Tara McIntosh loves colourful things, illustration, accessorising and fiddly tasks. Add to this a degree in textile design, a course in fine woodworking and the power of lasers and you get ... Twiggd. More specifically, you get playful, colourful, hand-painted jewellery from Edinburgh.
Twiggd's design inspiration comes from lots of places, including the love of colour, simple shapes and geometry, living by the sea, Scottish culture and funny words.
All pieces are designed and made by Tara in Edinburgh, where she lives with her fiancé, little boy and two black cats who, of course, also have colourful laser-cut accessories.
Take a look at Twiggd products available Peg & Patch.
In the spotlight
As part of our 'meet the maker' feature, we put our makers in the spotlight to to learn about their work, hear what inspires them and get the inside scoop on their upcoming work. In June 2019, Tara took the spotlight. Read the interview below.
What led you to designing and making your own products?
I graduated with a degree in fashion and textile design when I was around 23. I wanted to start my own business straight away – I’ve pretty much always wanted to work for myself – but didn't know how to use my skills in any practical way that would make money!
I ended up doing a one-year course in traditional woodworking with the idea of becoming a furniture maker/upholsterer. I started making little brooches and necklaces from off-cuts of wood around the workshop and selling these at local fairs. When a few shops asked to stock my jewellery, I decided to focus on that and Twiggd has grown a bit spontaneously from there! I started out with a burning tool and a fret saw but now use an iPad and laser cutter. My work is still all hand-painted and made in my one-woman studio.
How does Scotland – where you live and work – influence your designs
Scotland definitely inspires my designs. Over the years, I've had a variety of Scottish slang speech bubble badges, seagull brooches and – my current favourite design – a rainbow unicorn inspired by our national animal! (Yes, for anyone who didn't know, the unicorn is the national animal of Scotland.)
I'm from Edinburgh and I love it here. There's a really great mix of city, sea and countryside all around. There’s a mix of cultures, some amazing historic places plus a great base of creatives in the city.
What do you want your brand to represent? When people see your products, what do you want them to think or feel?
To be honest I just want to make lovely things that people enjoy wearing. I describe my jewellery as 'colourful and playful' – a focus on design and quality but totally unpretentious.
How do you approach your work: do you work to a schedule or is it more fluid?
Definitely fluid. I have a three-year-old whirlwind so it kind of has to be that way! My work schedule is flexible – a mixture of days and evenings – but I have a daily list of things I need to get done to keep me right. I love lists.
What are you working on now?
I've just finished a new collection for this summer, which I'm really excited about. Bright, rainbow colours that I'm in love with and geometric shapes. I'm just in the process of launching these new designs.