Message in a Bottle.

shipbooksMy little project idea for 2016 is to share my love of sketchbooks…. I’m going to send out 5 sketchbooks, three to good friends who like a bit of a sketch (Susie Hetherington Textiles, Debbie George Painter & Bruno from Super Fly Guy) one will be given to someone who follows me on social media & one will be left somewhere on the street of my nearest city (Truro) to be found.

Inside the front page will read: #messageinabottle.. If you have this sketchbook in your hands it’s likely that you’ve been given it by someone who thinks you’d enjoy it as something to be part of? So, what you do is, you do something, a sketch, poem? (in any medium that suits you) carrying on the story or theme in your own way from the previous people’s scribbles, illustrations, poetry etc. Then you hand it on/post it to someone else who you think might like to take part- that’s it. We all get to enjoy looking through other peoples sketches as it travels & add to something fun. Then when it’s done could the last person (pretty please) send it back to me in the stamped addressed envelope provided on the back page so we can all look through it.

My thanks in advance
Lou Tonkin.

keep in touch @loutonkin #messageinabottle

I hope you like the idea, I will share the results here!



Gallery Prints.


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I’ve been working very hard recently on a strong body of prints in the hope that I can send them out into the world like children to find a new super lovely gallery to be sold from….

Above is my print slideshow.

Please let me know.


New year outings

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I’ve been making the effort to go out on little outings as my New Years resolution… A day out last weekend took us to The Mid Cornwall Galleries  near Par in Cornwall( ). I’m rather ashamed to say I’ve never been before & I was so pleasantly surprised a great gallery! Really well displayed & organised, lots of great artists but for me the real treasure find was a print maker called Arthur Homeshaw.

Now, obviously I’m drawn to print but I’d never actually heard of Arthur?? A quick ‘Ecosia’ search (the new google, it plants trees per search) told me that actually dear Arthur was around from (1933-2011) so I just missed him by a whisker but what wonderful work…. (there is a good write up on here I’m glad I’ve found him now though & had I the pennies I would be marching out to get his fireworks print for my wall right now.

If you know of anyone I should enjoy looking up or I place you think I’d like to visit.. let me know.



A whole new year

Gosh! Such a lot happened last year that I think my feet actually left the ground at points.

Being a maker at The Lost Gardens of Heligan has of course been a source of constant joy, both socially & for wider inspiration & production.


My home life has changed to be almost unrecognisable compared to how it was last time I dared to blink (both sad & good), the children are happy & healthy though which is all that matters.. but it distracted me a LOT from my work last year & its definitely something to drag back this year.

Plans for the year; LOTS MORE PRINTING!

I’ve loved the print-making I’ve been able to do this year. I’m still doing my textile work of course but I’m going to make a point of making more time for print.


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Textile happiness that I’m still very much in love with:


What else has happened?? My harvest poster for Heligan was a great success & used everywhere..

& I was in the paper quite a bit… (the poppies only because of the beautiful poppies rather than me)

We were given a partnership status with the Campaign for wool for our wool project & I was commissioned to make an artwork to give as a gift for our royal visit at Heligan


I liked this still life artwork of the head gardeners office so much made from the Longwool that I kept it for myself!

17319_980616951978471_3647551885700215986_nI won 1st prize at The Port Eliot Festival for my flower arrangement (A particular highlight of the year)


Everyone was given a handmade spoon for Christmas (my resolution 2 years ago)

& the 2016 resolutions are to play more! find time for the beach or for seeing friends & visiting other creative spaces.

Cheers to you all, may we all have a ball this year xxx