By Carola van Dyke, a proud young Kudu doe wall mount for a touch of creative whimsy

By Carola van Dyke, a proud Kudu

Zany Zebra and Friends

Zany Zebra and Friends

Continuing with our theme of what was amusingly inspiring at the Decorex showcasing recently I’d like to mention a new entrant by the name of Carola van Dyke. Carola takes taxidermy to a new level, and in such a way that you would be happy to have one of her beauteous beasty busts on your walls, because under the African wax cloth collage that she so deftly applies there is no real beast at all, just the perfectly proportioned mould of the animal depicted. So, you can live peacefully knowing that you never have to wonder, everytime you look at your zany zebra or your graceful gazelle, just how it came to find its end on your wall!

More impressive, however, is the way that she artfully works with her library of striking African wax cloths to help exaggerate and bring these creatures to life. Every piece is original. These are true character pieces, made to be loved and admired for years to come. The Carola Van Dyke Studio also produce a range of scatter cushions, depicting animal busts of many forms in a whimsical nature. The perfect solution for a light hearted whimsical addition to your home perhaps?

Fine Cell Work, William and Catherine Cushion

Fine Cell Work, William and Catherine Cushion

My next treasure for mention is the Fine Cell Work Company. This is a company with a big heart and it, too, makes me smile every time I see it, because it’s such a great and uplifting story. Fine Cell Work trains prisoners to do high quality, commercial needlework in their cells, and textiles training in prison workshops to foster hope, discipline and employability. At any one time, they have a workforce of 250 prisoners across 31 prisons and have sold to and worked with many of Britain’s top interior designers. I have heard first hand how this initiative has been life changing for so many men and woman. It really does foster hope, meaning and a sense of worth and value for people who often desperately need purpose and a fresh start.

Fine Cell Work has over 15 years of experience in producing high quality, special commissions. Anyone can commission a handmade, bespoke and ethical piece.  FCW can produce cushion covers, wall-hangings, needlework portraits, a hand stitched personal message or quote, a keep-sake quilt using favourite fabrics or adapt  or personalise an existing FCW product. Why not commission your own and know that you will be making a real difference. E:

Fine Cell Work, Romeo and Juliet

Fine Cell Work, Romeo and Juliet Cushion

Fine Cell Work, Louisa M. Alcott

Fine Cell Work, Louisa M. Alcott Cushion