This is an ongoing page which will be added to as appropriate tea towels rise to the top of my pile in the airing cupboard. I am not going to disturb the natural order of things by rummaging through them all today.
While I consider tea towels as a “canvas” for works of artistic expression, or art in its own right, they can also be used as a significant medium for getting a message across, as a different form poster. Through Twitter, I have seen some amazing old tea towels of Labour Party propaganda but unfortunately I don’t have any of those at the moment. But what I do have is……….
Using Water Wisely
This is a great tea towel – white cotton, blue writing – one colour is always cheaper to produce so it isn’t an expensive means of getting your message across. It was produced by Southern Water, following a competition for children. The winner being Katie Chilman of Brunswick House Primary Class Bodiam (4B). The message is depicted in a ‘cloud’ saying Use Water Wisely and then large ‘raindrops’ offer advice as to how that might be done e.g. “Showering is much better than bathing” and “fix dripping taps” or “Collect rain water by using a water butt”. The addition of some umbrellas is a good idea together with the border of raindrops.
I was given this tea towel by my friends Gwyn and Pete, when they went to a festival near Brighton; it was given away free as a promotional message on a useful object. I bet all the families of children at Brunswick House have one of these, all the people who attended the festival and people like me, not living anywhere near Brighton have received this message. Good way of getting advice to people.
Mine’s A Loose Leaf
Margaret Thornby, who started producing a Guide to the Tea Rooms of Britain in 1995, is a leading campaigner for the use of quality loose leaf teas in tea rooms (and in your own home). She produced a magazine called Tea and Tea Room Talk and now has a blog called Teastuff.wordpress.com and is an avid Tweeter @TearoomGuide.
As one of the means of promoting the use of loose leaf tea, she commissioned a tea towel with the message “Mine’s A Loose Leaf”. This time a simple, off-white background with one colour writing; this time brown writing. Not expensive but good quality. The tea towel depicts a tea pot and a choice of cup with a tea bag on a string under which it says ‘No thanks’. The second cup has a tea strainer balanced on it and underneath it says ‘Oooh lovely’. A simple but effective message. No messing about. She used the sale of the tea towel alongside the sale of her own loose leaf tea. It is a logical link and proved very effective. The choice of the brown colour is quite clever in that it is the same colour of brewing black tea and makes you want to put the kettle on.
This was given to me as a gift from a friend who worked at Whitehill Publishing and I wonder how many friends of the staff at Whitehill Publishing had one of those tea towels as a Christmas present thus spreading the word.
More will follow………..