After months of discussing top secret plans in hushed whispers and keeping all details under wraps – it’s finally time to reveal our exciting news, drum roll please!
This summer sees the opening of the Natural History Museum’s forthcoming exhibition Colour and Vision, an exciting journey uncovering how colour and vision have filled the natural world with a vibrant palette of hues. Offering three Etsy sellers an exclusive first look at the exhibition, each maker was invited to create one-of-a-kind, bespoke pieces inspired by the exhibit to go on sale in the dedicated Natural History Museum gift shop.
As the doors to the Colour and Vision exhibition open today, we meet the three talented Etsy sellers who crafted these handmade pieces.
James and Joana, the makers behind Etsy shop Cha Com Letras, create design conscious products with an extra pinch of wit from their London studio. From homewares to ceramics, prints to stationery – all of their products are designed by in-house, carefully sourced and produced in the UK.
‘The Natural History Museum’s upcoming exhibition, Colour and Vision, was a major inspiration for our items. We wanted to focus on the colours and variations found in nature, we chose feathers and coral as our points of interest to highlight these.
Each element is individually hand drawn by James and combined to form a pattern. We then apply our patterns to paper products such as notebooks and prints, and onto textiles including cushions, handkerchiefs and lampshades.’
Based in her sunny studio in Southsea, Mica, along with her partner in crime wire fox terrier Reg, she specialises in crafting unique patterned jewellery. Her pieces are inspired by her love of the beautiful natural world combined with modern stylised shapes.
“I always love to visit the Natural History Museum when I am in London, my favourite exhibit being the taxidermy birds and insects. So when I was given the brief about the Colour and Vision in Nature exhibition I knew I had to incorporate my personal love for these beautiful specimens.
All my pieces for the Natural History Museum collaboration started out as my original ink drawings, which I then transferred onto a computer to create a digital vector file ready to laser cut. All of the wooden pieces incorporate my unique print designs, created especially for this project. I combined these prints with real iridescent foil to replicate the colour found on the birds and insects. The pieces are then lovingly hand assembled to create the final jewellery designs.”
Selling on Etsy since 2010, Sandra illustrates prints and greeting cards inspired by the natural world; including animals, plants and dreamscapes. Working from her East London home, with her cat Little Crumb, Sandra is best known for her colourful and intricate designs, working in a multitude of media from pencil and paint to digital and clay.
‘The NHM is a beautiful and vast place, always brimming with inspiration. My pieces for the Colour and Vision exhibition came about by thinking about the patterns and colours that I found most exciting after hearing features of the upcoming show. I tried to create a variety of things and chose to illustrate Peacock feathers, Scottish Wildcats and the mighty Mandrill!’
I worked on my drawings with pencil, ink and paper first and then transferred the images into Photoshop to finish off the colouring and some of the details digitally. I always work in a wide array of media using whatever process suits the individual piece.”
Curated Etsy for NHM pieces
And on top of this exciting news, The Natural History Museum have also curated a hand-picked Etsy range to be stocked in their gift shop, with pieces from super skilled sellers Ceridwen Design, Fawn and Thistle, Moon Tide Jewellery and BakuForestStudios!
To see the exclusive Etsy collection, you can visit the museum’s online shop or head to the Natural History Museum’s Colour and Vision exhibition to see the products IRL. Pssst! Also, if you spend £20 or more in the NHM gift shop in-store, you will receive a complementary Etsy tote bag!
The exhibition runs from July 15th to December, so be sure to get down there and take a look! You can find all the details here.