What a brilliant way to end 2017! Working on Tatty Devine’s “Wintertime Trees” project was fun and inspirational, bringing a feel-good factor to the dark winter days.
The “Wintertime Trees” display at the Southbank Centre boasts 14 glitzy Christmas trees, each based around one of Tatty Devine’s most iconic jewellery items; Lobster, Pegasus, Gin, La Luna, Sweets, Dental Bling and Stars. The trees also feature giant charms that are based on aspects of their jewellery such as giant red Swarovski crystals, iridescent bubbles and also the Festival of Britain emblem designed by Abram Games.
In total we made 1208 decorations for “Wintertime Trees”, used over 100 metres of vinyl and 50 sheets of Foamex. We had to replicate the original acrylic jewellery pieces in a lighter, more durable and weather resistant material whilst keeping them instantly recognisable as Tatty Devine designs. We decided to use Foamex or PVC, which is usually used for printed presentation boards, but was perfect for this application. Then, following hours of research and sampling we came up with various vinyl finishes to match the glitter, pearl and iridescent acrylic that was applied to the Foamex sheet before CNC machining.
With a two-week lead time to complete the work after sampling, our CNC machine was cutting none stop! We had three members of staff helping to apply the vinyl to the PVC sheet and assemble the decorations after the cutting phase.
We weren’t actually involved with the installation of the trees, which took place over several nights, but we made sure everything was packed up and clearly labelled. Each tree had a decorations list with quantities and so we packed everything into separate boxes and labelled accordingly. Likewise with the toppers; the matching pair (one front facing and one back) were packed together and labelled with the correct tree.
These days, Tatty Devine is the go-to brand for playful, original, Perspex jewellery pieces and their work can now be seen in large department stores such as John Lewis and Selfridges. However, Robert and Marcia, from our sister company Capital Models, has worked with them since 2001 when they opened their first jewellery store on Brick Lane.
Due to the success of their jewellery designs and the amount of cutting required, Robert and Marcia advised them to purchase their own machine; they had outgrown the cutting service. The two companies have kept in touch over the years and still occasionally work together for window displays etc but this is the first Tatty Devine project for Swordfish Works.
We are big fans of Tatty Devine’s jewellery so it was great to be able to work with them and Harriet was particularly brilliant to work with. She had a clear vision of what she wanted to achieve and even loaned us some of the original jewellery pieces as inspiration. We’re proud to say the final results look incredibly similar!
For over two weeks the Swordfish team were surrounded by these tactile and playful designs and the amount of sparkly material we had in the studio brought a smile to everyone’s faces… a brilliant way to end 2017!