When Hebden Bridge was devastated by floods last summer, the thing that stood out was the incredible resolve of this Yorkshire town and their determination to club together and get businesses back on their feet.
That’s why this etched apothecary bottle by [vinegar & brown paper] caught my eye. Few stricken communities bounced back like this one and if you could bottle Hebden Spirit, I am sure it would sell for a princely sum. These bottles were sold to help the town get back on its feet.
Andy Poplar is the designer behind the glass etchings of [vinegar & brown paper] and it is his quick wit, clever wordplay and perfectly fitting fonts that make his work stand out.
Harrogate-based Andy worked for more than a decade as an advertising creative before he says he became “burnt out” and quit. He was a stay-at-home dad before he had the idea to etch glass and set out to, as he put it, “mend his head” with [vinegar & brown paper].
He said: “I take vintage or iconic pieces of glass and… well… have some fun with them I guess.
“My aim is to bring them to life with the tools of typography, cryptic wit and my own slightly askew way of looking at the world.”
It’s hard to choose which of Andy’s creations I like best, hence the use of so many pictures in this post – but I think the vintage mirrors just have the edge for now.
Andy says he chooses objects with a nostalgic beauty – old sweet jars, milk and apothecary bottles and art deco mirrors – and the etching gives a “subtle, elegant and more tactile” effect than mass printing.
He also thinks, and I agree, it’s the ideas – the humour, the way with words, the modern twist on a classic object – that is the attraction of [vinegar & brown paper].
“Which is great, because for me ‘ideas’ have always been the most important thing behind everything,” Andy adds.
Judging by the way Andy talks about his new career it’s clear that if he asked himself the above question, the answer would be yes.
“I genuinely don’t know how this all happened, but by some quirk of fate I seem to have found myself running a business in which every aspect of it fits me perfectly.
“I love the time spent finding glass pieces in vintage fairs and auctions.
“I love the joy of coming up with new ideas for new pieces.
“I love the actual process of etching glass and seeing the finished piece.
“I love photographing them and sending them out into the world for other people to see.
“I absolutely love seeing the smile on people’s faces at shows when they ‘get it’.
“And I love the feeling that all of this is something that came out of nothing and how working for yourself can be one of the most creatively rewarding avenues to take.”