I started The Artists' Socks after I became fed up with the plain, hoops and polka dot patterns on offer. I wanted to elevate the humble sock into something that brightened up people's day, flashed a bit of colour around the ankle and inspired people away from the drabs of grey and black....despite later adding a black sock to the collection.
The inspiration behind the range is to combine art and socks, to use the sock as a canvas for abstract art by small UK based artists. While at the same time avoiding novelty and simply pasting a famous picture onto the sock.
For a couple of years I ran a Sunday market stall at Spitalfields market. This provided me with a wonderful opportunity to met and talk with people about sock and develop a range which people love. I do miss seeing the smiles on peoples face as they stopped and looked at the socks.
We currently have five collections, all differ in styles from The Spatial Intervals Collection, which takes it's inspiration from abstract and geometric shapes. The socks match bold blocks of colour to together for two stunning designs.
The Seascape collection takes everyone back to their favorite beaches and holidays. Everywhere from Cornwall to the Mediterranean have been mentioned.
The Floral Collection reminds everyone of a summer garden with socks based on Cherry Blossom, Hibiscus, Poppies and travels to Turkey with a couple of pairs influenced by Turkish flowers.
The Bamboo Blank Canvas Collection are those who prefer single blocks of bright and bold colours of Red, Blue and Orange. Made from bamboo, not only for the luxurious feel, but for the added benefits bamboo provides.
It has been a joy to see people I've sold socks to come up to me, pull up their trousers display the pair of my socks they are wearing and proudly announce it to anyone within hearing distance.
Jahan Gerrard - Spatial Intervals
About the work
The project ‘Spatial intervals’ was made in 2014. It is purely abstract work, and is about playing with geometric shapes and colour combinations. Jahan used pencil, watercolour and gouache on canvas board.
My painting process involves exploring colour and its endless possibilities. I apply colour in a patchwork way, putting colours across the surface - overlapping, interplaying, pressing against each other, and piling up - and trying to explore how colours contrast with each other. I react or respond to the surface and format of the canvas or paper, and other materials. Through painting I can express the aesthetics of reality and my perception of it. I want to evoke and create something that a composer can create with music. I am expressing what I feel about nature, the atmosphere, and my surroundings.
Jahan was born in the USSR, and raised in a creative family - father an artist-designer and mother a weaver, Jahan was surrounded by patterns and bright colours of the carpets and hand-made things. Jahan first studied music, but later switched to painting and drawing when moving to England I wanted to draw and paint.
Paul Bursnall - Seascapes
Born 1948 in Hayes, Middlesex.Paints nautical scenes using acrylic paints on canvas.Paul is a member of ABNA The Assciation of British Naive Artists and Bucks Art Society. He paints in a naive style using blocks of colour with heavy outlines and is represented by 4 UK galleries inc. Red Rag, Bath. Art Nest Hitchin, Picture Parlour Boscastle and Little Pictures Mousehole.. Paul has painted over 1500 originals since 2005
Franz Loa - Floral
These socks are abstracted floral designs by Masters fashion student Franze Loa. The random pattern wraps around the sock revealing different and colourful vistas from all angles.
A good garden shoudn't be seen in one glance. It needs to be discovered.
Simon Dutson - Bamboo Blank Canvas & Turkish Flowers
The Blank Canvas sock collection is for those who just want a burst of colour above the ankle or when a bold design might not be deemed appropriate.
However even these socks can be linked to art. During Simon Dutson's second year at university, he became experimented in breaking painting down to its fundamental elements: Paint powder, water and a blank canvas. The aim was to create a piece of artwork that was randomly generated and to photograph the process. Titled "The Process of Art", paint powder, and finally water, was exploded from balloons over a blank canvas.
So, why bamboo?
Bamboo is a lot softer than cotton and therefore feels more luxurious. Much like comparing cashmere with wool.
However, it isn’t just about the softness and feel. There are also health benefits. Bamboo yarns absorb the moisture from your feet, keeping them dry. Bamboo also has antibacterial qualities, making the socks fresher for longer.