Q&A with Laura Long on developing a product for the Tate Modern
Laura Long, a designer-maker at Cockpit Arts talks about developing a product for the Tate.
How did the knitting kit idea come about?
I wrote a how to knit book called ‘Knitted Toy Tails’ which was published last year full of knitting patterns on how to knit toys.
This book was more popular than I ever could have imagined and I have received a huge response form it. People started emailing me images of the toys they had made from the book. It was so lovely to see everything people had made and how each piece was so personal. I am constantly asked for patterns for new toys so knitting kits seemed the best solution. At the same time as I was thinking this, the Tate Modern contacted me. I managed to persuade them that kits (as well as finished products) were perfect for them! I was so pleased when they placed an order .
What product development have you had to undergo?
I had to do lots of research on packaging, needles, yarns, etc. the list seemed endless to begin with and was one of those lists that got longer, not shorter! I was very lucky because the Tate helped me a great deal and gave advice and feedback throughout the whole packaging development.
What stage are you at now?
My first knitting kit, a Gauguin puppy, is being sold in the Tate Modern along with the finished hand knitted puppy. It is made for the Gauguin exhibition (which is well worth seeing). Gauguin features a lot of puppies in his paintings.
What will you be working on over the next 2-3 months?
I am currently in the process of getting my website redesigned. It will focus on the hand knitting side of my business and incorporate a blog so that people can post up the pictures of their finished items. I am also developing more knitting kits, have just been commissioned to do a follow up book to my ‘Knitted Toy Tails’ book…make lots of puppies and kits because I had a reorder after day one of the exhibition!..and Christmas stock for exhibitions!
What have the challenges been so far?
Time! there is never enough time.
And if you’d like to meet Laura and see more of her work she will be taking part in our Open Studios.
Filed under: Business Planning, Creative Development | Leave a Comment
Tags: awards, makers, planning