1960s Soviet pin badges

Was so thrilled to find these stunning psychedelic pin badges from the USSR on a recent trip back to Tallinn, Estonia.  Found at a Russian market there, the colour schemes and design look so contemporary. I love the folk tale feel to them too, coming from a region so rich in these sorts of stories.  These probably date to the 1960s or 70s.

Check out my earlier post on other Soviet pin badge designs from a previous visit to Russian markets in the city, and also my studio visit with Estonian illustrator Jurri Arrak whose 1970s illustration work has a similar aesthetic to these acid coloured beauties.

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1950s – 1970s Folk Festival posters & 1970s Folklore book covers

I was interested to find myself at Cecil Sharp House for a meeting recently in Camden, London.  The only dedicated folk arts centre in the world, Cecil Sharp House is the home of  English Folk Dance and Song Society and opened in 1930.  Named after the English folk dance and song collector Cecil Sharp (1859-1924) it now hosts a busy programme of folk events.

I was was thrilled to find some fantastic mid century folk posters whilst poking around the corridors on my lunch break, as well as some beautiful features to the building itself.  I loved the graphic feel of these late 50’s and early 60’s poster designs for festivals at the Royal Albert Hall – clearly there was a large appetite for folk dance and song at the time.

These later designs from the tail end of the 1960s and the early 1970s show that psychedelia had hit by this time and the folk revival was also clearly in full swing.  Having recently been reading the excellent Electric Eden specifically about this period in music culture, it was great to get a visual flavour of the time through these posters too.

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Finnish vintage ceramics design – Birger Kaipiainen

When in Helsinki in Finland a while back I came across the fantastic EMMA museum of modern art in nearby Espoo and loved stumbling upon an exhibition by Finnish ceramicist Birger Kaipiainen (1915-1988)

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1970s Gaelic Book cover illustration

Beautiful book cover illustration from 1970 ‘Gaelic without Groans’ by John Mackechnie.  Love these strong purples, magenta and turquoise, the late 60s / early 70s had the best colour schemes.

Found in a second hand bookshop in Edinburgh, visiting lovely friend, erstwhile collaborator and one of my favourite artists Rachael Macarthur

Published by Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh

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Silver End Art Deco Modernist Village, Witham, Essex

Made a chilly winter trip to a very unique place recently – Silver End in Essex, an enclave of Modernist housing with some supreme examples of Art Deco.  Sadly pics have a slight grey tone! But their wonder still shone through despite the weather.

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Beachlands Modernist 1930s Bungalow estate – Pevensey Bay

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Romanian 1970s Christmas postcards

Picked up these superb and wonderfully Eastern Bloc Christmas postcards in Romania a while back, all dating back to the 1970s.

This festive Brutalist block one is particularly spectacular

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