Vom Fass: fascinating bottles, rainbow potions and exotic oils in the Royal Arcade

Although the majority of the shops and businesses featured in the project are independent outlets, I’ve always wanted to photograph the Vom Fass shop, part of a franchise, in the Royal Arcade.

Opening around two years ago, I instantly knew the gorgeous bottles of brightly coloured liquids and rows and rows of oils would make for some great shots. Hopefully you’ll agree with that.

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Brooklinde: treasure trove of gold, silver and platinum in the High Street Arcade

Happy New Year!

Alright, we’re quite a way into the new year, but this is the first post on the blog of 2013 so I thought I’d get that out of the way. When I started this project almost two years ago, I didn’t think I’d still be going all this time later. I’ve got some great new posts coming up soon, so watch this space!

Now back to the business of this post. A couple of weeks before Christmas I was invited to photograph the great Brooklinde Jewellery shop in the High Street Arcade. I’m a bit of a shiny things magpie so I was keen to get down there and have a look. I’d also been told there was a workshop downstairs, and I’m always intrigued by what happens away from the shopfront.

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Christmas in the Arcades: Magical lights in the Castle and Morgan Quarter

For many people, Christmas means presents, turkeys, Father Christmas and maybe even Jesus. For me, my favourite part has always been the lights. And maybe Mariah Carey’s all-time best song (no, not Dream Lover).

This year, the Arcades are looking as gorgeous as ever, with an array of lights to really heighten the festive cheer of the shoppers inside. I think the Morgan and Royal Arcades have really gone all out this year, and a visit to Cardiff this December wouldn’t be complete without a wander through the arcades to check them out.

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Christmas in the Arcades: Vintage festivity in Hubbard’s Cupboard

In this second installment of Christmas specials, I take a look at Hubbard’s Cupboard.

I photographed the shop a few weeks ago, but at Christmas they’ve decided to go all out and the store is looking beautifully vintagely (is that a word?) festive.

You can pick up all kinds of treats and goodies in the shop, including lots of handmade decorations (I think my favourite are the birds and owls) and beautiful Christmas cards from local designers.

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Bill’s: Fresh food, kooky interiors and candles galore in the Wyndham Arcade

This is quite a monumental post for the Arcades Project in some ways, because it marks the first shop I’ve had the opportunity to photograph in the Wyndham Arcade.

For those that don’t know it, the Wyndham Arcade is near the Central Library and a little away from the others. It’s owned by the same people who own the Castle and High Street Arcades though.

Bill’s, a new restaurant/grocery store opened just a few weeks ago and I went along very early (well, 8am) one Wednesday to check it out when there wasn’t many other people about…

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Sealed with a Loving Kiss: Naughty but nice in the Royal Arcade

I’ve photographed the premises of Sealed with a Loving Kiss (SWALK) before, when it was the vintage area of Joie de Vivre.

While the downstairs of the shop remains the same, upstairs you’ll now find something a little different, in the shape of the wonderful little independent lingerie boutique, SWALK.

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Morgan Arcade Studios: creativity and spark, hidden away upstairs in beautiful surroundings

In the middle of October, the Morgan Arcade Studios in the, er, Morgan Arcade, threw open their doors for curious passers-by to come and have a look at the workspace as part of Cardiff Design Festival.

The studio is the first place in the arcade that I’ve featured which isn’t a shop that is open to the public. Instead, it’s a place where people can have some office space without having to rent out a whole building.

I have a couple of friends who work in here, and I had always imagined that it was more like a co-working space where people can come and go as they please (such as Indycube, in the Castle Arcade). Therefore, I expected it to be a little blank and impersonal. Not to say that that’s a bad thing, but I hadn’t quite realised that the people occupying this space were pretty much permanent fixtures.

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Hubbard’s Cupboard: vintage fun in the High Street Arcade

It’s funny how much the High Street Arcade has changed since I first started doing this project.

Several shops have disappeared from this arcade, but happily, some more have appeared.

One of the new additions, opening just over a month ago is Hubbard’s Cupboard, another vintage shop new to the Cardiff shopping scene.
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Cardiff Arcades Project – the book

You may have noticed the frequency of the posts on this website are a lot slower than when it first started.

That’s obviously a natural consequence of progressing with work, but I’ve also been working on putting together a book of the project, and didn’t want to have *too* much to go into it (the first edition at least).

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Arcades Portraits: Lucy from Catapult Vinyl

Catapult was one of the first shops that I photographed for the project. Since then, Lucy the owner, and Simon, the manager have been incredibly supportive of the project and always been very enthusiastic about the work.

They’re always good to pop round and say hello to, and recently you may remember they moved premises just round the corner to the Duke Street Arcade.

However, a massive oversight has always been that I haven’t photographed the beautiful and wonderful Lucy for the project. That had to change, and so, when I had the pleasure of helping to review a Nikon D800, I jumped at the chance to shoot some portraits at the new shop.

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