In the spotlight

In our meet-the-maker feature, we’ll put our makers in the spotlight. We’ll ask them about their work, get a feel for what inspires them and – fingers-crossed – hear what new designs are in progress.

Elaine McLeod, The Tickety Boo Coo

Elaine McLeod is the owner of The Tickety Boo Coo and designer of beautiful handmade silver jewellery. Elaine’s happy nature and fondness of a highland cow was the inspiration of The Tickety Boo Coo. We’ve placed Elaine in the meet-the-maker spotlight.

What led you to designing and making your own products?

I’ve always had a bit of a creative streak and, in 2018 (after many years behind a desk), I decided that it was time to concentrate on my young family and doing something that I loved that could fit in around the very hectic social and sporting lives of a seven and a nine-year-old.

I knew I wanted to do something creative and many moons ago I did a silversmithing night class where I made my first set of cufflinks for my then-boyfriend (and now-husband). So I took a couple of silver clay classes and have been hooked ever since, learning as I go and utilising the silversmith skills that I thankfully retained.

I also tried my hand at sewing and it’s safe to say that you won’t be seeing any creations that involve a needle and thread from The Tickety Boo Coo anytime soon.

How does Scotland – where you live and work – influence your designs?

I’m originally from Nairn in the highlands and grew up with an amazing view of the Moray Firth and a field of Highland Cow along the road. The cows were certainly the inspiration behind The Tickety Boo Coo and I find myself drawn to the blue and green semi-precious stones that remind me so much of the sea.

What do you want your brand to represent?

I would love people to see my brand or my work and think that’s both elegant and understated but – at the same time fun.

What is your favourite part about creating your own products and/or running your own business?

I absolutely love the creating aspect. I love sitting at my bench with some raw materials – sometimes with no particular plan. It’s often these pieces that are the basis for the best ideas, and then morph into collections. 

If someone is thinking about turning their creative hobby into a business, what advice would you offer?

Absolutely do it! Don’t worry about making mistakes or getting things wrong. As long as you learn from them then they were mistakes worth making.

I’m a firm believer that, if somethings for you, it won’t go by you. But that doesn’t mean you should sit around waiting for it to happen. There’s a huge amount of support from fellow artists and makers across the globe and across the spectrum of arts, too. They’re always willing to answer questions and point you in the right direction. And, ultimately, life is too short.

What are you working on now?  

Too many different things! I had high hopes for getting through my to do list in January; however, after a very relaxing Christmas and new year break, I’ve found myself experimenting and trying out different finishes, such as oxidising and Keum Boo, an ancient Korean gilding technique.  I would also like to expand my range of gemstone and mixed metal jewellery.

If you like what you’ve read, have a look at The Tickety Boo Coo products available on Peg & Patch