Thefty goes to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Thefty-LSHTM-Measles-1-700pxDid you know that 5 pence from every Retroviral mug sale is donated towards research at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (aka the LSHTM)?

The LSHTM is a world leader in developing vaccines and treatments, with the mission of improving global health. It is wonderful to be contributing towards this mission. The director of LSHTM, Peter Piot, was a key figure in responding to the recent Ebola Virus crisis, and so it was a natural fit for our charity donations to be given to the school; our Retroviral mugs are covered in images of viruses, so it makes sense for them to be linked to an institution which is battling the effects of these diseases.

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Until yesterday, I had never visited the LSHTM campus! I was kindly invited to visit the school grounds, meet the team, and hear more about the school’s work and (super-interesting) history. LSHTM is housed in a beautiful 1920s building in London’s Bloomsbury. It has many of the original Art Deco features (including a droolworthy library), plus lots of Science-inspired artwork and historical artefacts (for example, John Snow’s replica pump handle… and no, not that John Snow).

Interesting fact: The original LSHTM campus was located near London’s Docklands, because sailors returning from far-flung locations would bring back unfamiliar illnesses  – hence “Tropical Medicine” – that needed urgent attention! The corridors of the new campus have curved, wooden elements which are reminiscent of the hulls of ships, or ocean waves. A nice detail. Thanks for having me, LSHTM!

To donate to LSHTM directly, click here.

To order Retroviral Mugs, click here.

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Retroviral is a collection of Fine Bone China mugs for design nerds and science geeks alike. The eyecatching designs riff off unexpected biological motifs: the microscopic structure of virus particles. The collection includes six designs: Measles, Influenza, Smallpox, Rabies, Herpes and HIV. Retroviral is an artist’s spin on scientific information, and exists at the meeting point between design and science communication.

Retroviral is live on Kickstarter until April 3rd. The more pledges we receive, the more mugs we will be able to make… and the more we can then donate to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

If you miss the Kickstarter deadline, fear not! The mugs will be available for online pre-order on Etsy and Folksy. Thank you!

New Retroviral Mugs… on Kickstarter now!

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Hello! Helena of Thefty here with big news:

  1. We’ve got three NEW Retroviral mugs!
  2. We’ve launched them on Kickstarter!

Our Kickstarter campaign is live NOW! See it HERE!

We’ve been working with a new manufacturer to perfect six mug designs, three new (see GIFs below): Influenza, Measles, Smallpox, and three old: Herpes, HIV, Rabies.  Now it’s time to get them manufactured and into our customers’ homes.

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Why Kickstarter?

On Kickstarter, backers can pre-order the mugs before we get them manufactured, thus covering production costs in advance.  If you want to complete or expand your collection then please jump in! You’ve got until April 3rd to get involved in the campaign.
The more you pledge, the more mugs you get.  The more pledges we get, the more mugs we can make! It doesn’t stop when we reach the funding goal! 

What to do next?

  1. Check out our Kickstarter campaign (especially the video!)
  2. Pledge if you can!
  3. Help spread the word! Tell your friends! Share the link on social media with the hashtags #Thefty and #Retroviral (We’re on InstagramFacebook and Twitter)
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Check back here for updates on the Retroviral relaunch. Thank you very much for your support so far!

Thefty x EBSA: Custom Retroviral Mugs

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We’re delighted to reveal our latest project: A true Art X Science collaboration between Thefty and EBSA!

Last December we were contacted by EBSAthe European Biosafety Association – about creating a custom design to celebrate their 20th anniversary. EBSA is a non-profit organisation whose aim is to ‘provide a forum for its members to discuss and debate issues of concern and to represent those working in the field of biosafety and associated activities.’ Now, collaborations are always a delight, but given the subject matter we work with, it’s particularly wonderful to team up with organisations in the scientific community.

We worked with EBSA to produce something in their corporate colours… but absolutely not bland and corporate looking! The custom Fine Bone China mug was given to all attendees of the 20th anniversary conference, held in Lille, France, last week. More than 500 Thefty X EBSA mugs will soon be worming their way into labs and offices across Europe and beyond!

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As this is a custom design, it is not available for general sale. If you or your organisation are interested in commissioning a custom design, please get in touch!

Alternatively, if you’d like to get your hands on our mug range, please visit our online shop.

If you are interested in reading more about EBSA and their mission, you can visit their website.

New Stockist: Thefty at the Wellcome Collection!

Hello! Exciting stockist update: Our Retroviral mugs are now stocked at the Wellcome Collection Shop.

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The Wellcome Collection is one of our favourite places in London: describing itself as ‘the free destination for the incurably curious‘, the collection displays an eclectic mix of medical artifacts and original artworks exploring ‘ideas about the connections between medicine, life and art‘.

In other words, the Wellcome Collection is the perfect place for our mugs to be.

The next time you drop by (perhaps to catch the States of Mind installation) make sure to pop into the gift shop – Retroviral mugs aside, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll leave empty handed.

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The Wellcome Collection

Galleries, Cafe & Shop

183 Euston Rd, London NW1 2BE

Christmas Gift Guide: The Science Wishlist!

Hello! I have put together a collection of cool/beautiful science-themed goodies which make A+ Christmas presents. These items are mainly inspired by biology and natural history, and I’d be very happy to find them underneath my Christmas tree. Scroll down for a list of books, clothing, jewellery, artwork, home accessories and stationery. There’s stuff for kids, stuff for grown ups, pretty things and simply badass things. Enjoy!

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1. 3D printed bracelet, inspired by Radiolarians. By Nervous System. £52.35

2. The Universe is Under No Obligation to Make Sense to You, art print by DangerDust. £13.09

3. Mitochondria Greeting Card, by Anatomically Correct Greetings. £2.78

4. Natural History Illustration butterfly brooches, by Blings to Pay the Bills. £5.69

5. Melatonin molecule necklace, by Cherryloco Jewellery. £15.oo

6. Anemone clutch bag, by Saskia Pomeroy. £45.00

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7. Petri Dish Paper Coaster Set, by Proton Paperie. £9.82

8. White Blood Cell (basophil) plushie, by ButterflyLove1. £10.47

9. Fluid Earrings, inspired by ammonite fossils. By Nervous System. £13.09

10. HIV Retroviral Mug, fine bone china, by Thefty. £9.90

11. Herpes Retroviral Mug, fine bone china, by Thefty. £9.90

12. Rabies Retroviral Mug, fine bone china, by Thefty. £9.90

13. Moorland Botanical Sweater, by Masha Reva x SNDCT. £78.53

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14. Endangered Bee Board Shorts, by Riz. £90.00

15. Animalium: Welcome to the Museum. By Katie Scott and Jenny Broom. £15.49

16. Sex, Drugs & Rock n Roll, book by Zoe Cormier. £12.99

17. Set of White Pencils with Purpose, by Newton and the Apple. £6.50

18. Dinosaur Santa Christmas card, by Thefty. £1.75

19. Anatomy Tee, by nonfictiontees. £9.81

Happy shopping!

 

World AIDS Day

Hello everyone! #CyberMonday might be trending on Twitter, but today is also World AIDS Day. Given that we have an HIV mug in our Retroviral collection, we feel it’s appropriate – and important – to draw your attention to this cause. What is World AIDS day, you may ask? From the website:

World AIDS Day is an opportunity for you to learn the facts about HIV and put your knowledge into action. Find out how much you know by taking our online quiz: Are you HIV aware? Test your knowledge and awareness by taking the quiz and act aware by passing the quiz on and sharing it with your friends on Twitter and Facebook.

I actually took the ‘Are you HIV aware’ quiz and was surprised at how many questions I answered incorrectly. It’s an eye-opener, for sure.

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As you may already know, 5p from the sale of every Retroviral mug is donated towards research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (read more here). The school’s research on AIDS and HIV is at the forefront of the field, with projects around the world for developing vaccines, treatments and cures.

While you’re obviously welcome to buy an HIV mug today, you can also donate directly to LSHTM and make a personal contribution towards their brilliant work.

In addition, Londoners can drop by LSHTM to catch the exhibition about HIV/AIDS which explores the development of prevention and treatment responses to HIV/AIDS.

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Thefty HQ gets the Retroviral Treatment

Hello! The Ohh Deer Pillow Fight competition has been extended, so you can now get your Retroviral Cushions until December 1st! I ordered one of each design for myself – Herpes, HIV, Rabies, and a collage – and can confirm that the colours are lovely and bright, and the cushions are nice and fluffy. Of course, in addition to cushions, Retroviral mugs are still in stock in our online shop.

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Shop Retroviral cushions here

  Shop Retroviral mugs here

 

Christmas 2014 Last Order Dates!

Hello! I know, I know, it’s only mid-November…but in terms of postal deliveries Christmas is closer than you think! If you’re planning to order Retroviral‬ mugs in time for Christmas gift-giving, we recommend placing your order before the dates listed below. Please keep in mind that mail can be delayed at busy times such as Christmas, so get your shopping done as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Happy shopping!

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Blogstagram: The week in Instagram pictures.

Hello! What a week it’s been! As you may have noticed* I finally launched my first ever collection of illustrated mugs. Woohoo!

The collection is called Retroviral, and is as retro and as sciencey as it sounds. So many lovely people have already ordered mugs online, and I’ve been up to my eyeballs in bubblewrap and boxes. I love it! Parcels have already been dispatched to Hawaii and Las Vegas and other far flung locations. (My mugs are clearly leading a more exotic life than I am.) Here are a few of my Instagram photos, documenting a week of the best kind of chaos:

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In case you’re wondering: Of course I made time for technicolour tea parties and bouquets of lilies despite the madness. Those are the things that keep me sane. Here’s to another good week (and yes, I know it’s Wednesday!).

 

* Ahem – If you’ve managed to miss my constant posting, I salute you.


Beetles! The Cheeky Butterfly Edition.

Hello! This is part of my Natural History Museum series – I’ve been taking photos for the beetles department (aka the ‘Coleoptera section of the Terrestrial Invertebrates Division’). I will be sharing my favourite images with you every week!

Last week at the museum, I was looking through drawers of new specimens when I stumbled across trays of butterflies. It was a surprise to find them in the beetles department – butterflies are not beetles! They’re classed as lepidoptera, and they have their own museum hangout! However, after weeks of looking at compact little beetles, I was struck by the sheer novelty of broad, soft wings. I couldn’t help but whip my camera back out of my bag to take a few quick snaps.

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These particular butterflies were brought back from Tanzania. Aren’t they beautiful? I love the vibrant colours and crisp black lines and fuzzy little bodies. There’s just something so non-threatening about them, which probably explains why they’re loved by even the most passionate  of insect-haters. How can you hate something so delicate and good-looking? It’s just not possible.

Beetles! Photographing Gold & Stripes.

Hello! This is part of my Natural History Museum series – I’ve been taking photos for the beetles department (officially known as the ‘Coleoptera section of the Terrestrial Invertebrates Division’)! I will be sharing my favourite images with you every week, so stay tuned!

Today I’m showcasing some stripy, golden beauties (click here for a detailed close-up). Aren’t they stunning? I love the contrast of soft metallic gold vs. glossy black stripes and swooping antennae. Have a look:

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Nature: Just Too Cool. When I stumble across specimens like these, I can’t help but marvel at how much style nature has. I’m a complete sucker for shiny metallics and bold stripes (in case ya hadn’t noticed), so it’s nice to know that I share the same tastes as mother nature!   Those are my hands in the photos – I happened to be wearing matching nail polish and jewellery on this particular day, which made me extra excited.

Click here to see other Beetles! posts in this series.

Beetles! Photographing Glow Worms at the NHM.

Hello! This post is part of my Natural History Museum series – I’ve been lending my photography skills to the ‘Coleoptera section of the Terrestrial Invertebrates Division’ (which roughly translates as ‘beetles department’). I will be sharing my favourite images with you every week, so stay tuned!

This week I photographed glow worms. You might be surprised (and relieved?) to hear that they’re actually beetles, not worms! Some of the specimens at the museum are truly beautiful, with ridiculously long and elaborate antennae.

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The above specimen is special for two reasons. Firstly, because of those antennae. Secondly – and more importantly – because it is a type specimen. In other words, this particular individual is the ‘flagship’ specimen by which all others of its species are verified. The species’ name and description are officially attached to this one beetle, making it very precious indeed.

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Some of the specimens are very old, and I love the delicate, typewritten (or hand written) labels.
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Beetles! Behind-the-scenes photography at the NHM.

Hello! I spent yesterday at the Natural History Museum, lending my photography skills to the Coleoptera section of the Terrestrial Invertebrates Division (which roughly translates as ‘beetles department’). I was presented with a jewel box of Tanzanian beetles, and was asked to take close-up portraits for their beetle database and. I was also given free reign to take as many ‘arty’ shots as I liked! Let’s just say I was in heaven. Most of the ‘literal’ shots will end up on the NHM Beetles and Bugs Flickr page, so I’ve mostly included creative photos here. Enjoy!

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Helena-Maratheftis-coleoptera-beetles-07From this angle, it looks like a tiny dragon! (‘You arty people love your weird angles, don’t you!’)

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Helena-Maratheftis-beetle-pattern2I couldn’t help but create a pattern out of these gorgeous, flame-hued beetles.

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Helena-Maratheftis-coleoptera-beetles-04Real entomologists wear beetle earrings. Continue reading

Wedding Animals: otters, aardvarks and line-drawings.

Hello! I’ve just finished another project! This one’s for two lovely biologists who are getting married this Spring.

Between them, they study a whole bunch of wild animal species, and I was asked to draw 15 of them. My drawings will be displayed on tables at the wedding reception, instead of simply numbering the tables. (Isn’t that a nice idea?) Anyway, here are my 10 favourite drawings, presented to you in diagram-from-a-textbook style.

Which one is your favourite?

Line drawings feature in most of my artwork, but there’s usually plenty of colour involved, too. It was really refreshing to keep it simple with these drawings.

I hope you love them, Ms A. & Mr B.