Tuesday, 26 February 2013

A mella mella mella - huh...

Tell me more, tell me more... well seeing as you asked. Tobyboo is now on a range of melamine ware - three designs Wish You Were Here, Tea Time and Oranges and Lemons (not shown) all made in Great Britain. Go traytastic this summer and spread the boo!

Melamine available from Melamaster and soon to be in shops around the UK, Ireland and Switzerland 

Sunday, 24 February 2013

A London original

 London tape - april 2011 and below what the Shard looked like then.

and the reaction from team Portas and House of Fraser...

Saturday, 23 February 2013

If the Crown Fits

After decorating my efforts for Coutts/Holts Beautiful Boxes charity auction it got me thinking about when I was at college hammering and piercing away at jewellery. Well here be a couple of things that I'm still really proud of. My final collection was based on Biblical and Saint stories.... 

 Noah's Ark Crown with an animal for each letter of the alphabet on, some hidden, some move - it's a crown, it's a toy, it's a shiny!

Bad photo of St Sebastian ring that was based on a Rosary ring - the beads on the arrows go up and down and move like an abacus. Yes can you tell I was letter and number punch obsessed? 

So as much as my work has evolved over - well 20 years - there's definitely a vein that has run through.

View auction at ebay.co.uk/beautifulboxes from 1st March 2013

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Little Boxes

A few months ago I was approached by Coutts to decorate a jewellery box for charity - hoorah yes anything to distract me from admin yes please.

The money raised from auctioning the final 20 boxes goes to Children & the Arts which engages disadvantaged children who do not have access to high-quality arts because of social or economic barriers. Holts Academy is a not-for-profit organisation that supports 16-23 year olds into employment through work-study apprenticeship schemes. their overriding objective is to ensure the survival of age old British craft skills partnering with established jewellery businesses to provide long-term employment. 

Well here is my effort... the story of Tina the Ballerina and Billy the Builder....

 Not sure how and why but Billy did turn out looking slightly like Peter Cross (Peter, take it as flattery)

Tina the ballerina longed for a different life, trapped in pink and sparkly things she hated all the strife. 
Billy was a builder imprisoned by stereotype never had the strength to admit he didn't want a wife. 
Billy let the Prima free and melted at the tune filled with thoughts of dancing in Tina room. 
No more performing for others and feeling like each twin the builder and the ballerina at last happy in their skins

Being lucky enough to train in jewellery over (oh ahem - well over) 10 years ago I've seen just how much the craft has disappeared - courses are all too full of students trying to be clever and yes I was one of them and I went to one of the best traditional jewellery courses there was at Central St Martins and we had amazing tutors that I thought best to ignore and try and use different materials etc... it did me no good I came out not half as skilled in precious materials as I could have been for trying to be different.

If you want to use methods that aren't using traditional skills or for that matter, skill you don't need to be doing a course you can just do it or it should be what you do when you finish and the equipment isn't at your finger tips.

The point is is an amazing skill that's dying out and although not a necessity it would be a very dull world without skilled crafts people out there and certainly less shiny. 

I graduated in 1994 from jewellery design at Central St Martins; most of my time was spent thinking the further you strayed from typical jewellery the better without really questioning why. It's a typical art student mentality and every year at the graduation shows you can see the same characters year after year. I wish I'd paid attention to Ron and Neville my tutors at the time - I thought I knew better but doesn't everyone at that age....

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Somerset House

You might of gathered that I'm a bit excited about my new tapes - the original London design has been around for almost two years now (April 2011 shockingly) when the Shard was only about half way up. It was time for a change....

The lovely types at the Rizzoli Bookstore, Somerset House are the first stockists which seems fitting seeing as slap bang in the middle is the glorious Somerset House.

And no, your eyes don't deceive you it's on brown tape - I know crazy! still 25mm wide and a whopping 66 metres long go enjoy the river and the all round gorgeousness of Somerset House and spend some pennies in the Rizzoli Bookstore.

Huge thank you to Jo from Rizzoli who send me the pics. Who needs wallpaper when you can use tape - go decorate! 

The Rizzoli Bookstore at Somerset House on the Strand, London.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Wish You Were There?

About 20 size the size of Earl's Court, 3000 exhibitors, 5 days, a lot of standing and only one Tobyboo.... oh yes, Spring Fair 2013

Friday, 1 February 2013

A Spring in my Step

Ok, so its the 1st of February which only means one thing - IT'S THE DAY BEFORE I SET UP FOR SPRING FAIR! You might have guessed I'm in a slight panic.

Spring Fair is at Birmingham's NEC and with over 3000 exhibitors is stupidly massive, it also means I'm over 5 days away from the real Boo which is a first.

With a week to go predictably I came up with new product ideas including new tapes, lampshades and a really useful mat.

really bad photo of the tapes - never used the camera on this mac... it's rubbish who knew?!

Tobyboo will be on sale in some lovely new stockists soon including Switzerland and Ireland. There's also some incredibly exciting projects coming up but I'm still gobsmacked so you can wait to find out about those.....

Right - 'bout time I get my cases packed for Brum