Stepping back in time

I have been digging through box upon box of old photographs this week, trying to scan and sort them into date order – now that is a LONG job – annoyingly nothing is written on the backs of most of them, so the ageing process is a case of analysing the dodgy fashion and haircuts.  Found this classic from 1980-ish of me in a very fetching peach knitted number, with the obligatory “smart for school” haircut.  Working Saturdays in my mum’s engraving shop was where the foundations of Cove Calligraphy were born.  To begin with I was only trusted to polish the finished items ready for collection, but within a few years I was learning the engraving techniques, and loved it so much I enrolled on a calligraphy course at the local college.  And the rest, as they say, is history!earlydays1

The bank holiday sun is shining down by the cove this morning, so we are expecting visitors galore.  We are still knee deep in Father’s Day orders here at HQ, so a quick lunchbreak in the garden may be the nearest we get to the sea until this evening.  Nice and quiet by then though!

2015-04-06 09.04.30

Have a wonderful weekend everyone – see you on the other side!

Click, Click, Spring!

We have had an amazing photo shoot with Richard Budd http://www.richardbudd.co.uk who took some incredible shots of our products – great to work with such a professional, and the results are stunning!  I would highly recommend him, so calm in the face of adversity (he made it seem simple but lighting engraved glass is on a par with working with children and animals!).

Looking back at the first photos I was taking around 6 years ago, trying to create my own light tent with a sheet and some halogen bulbs, and getting through a ridiculous amount of blutac, I wish I had gone to a professional photographer back then – could have saved myself a lot of bother and grey hairs!

The weather ‘down south’ has been beautiful this week, a real taste of the summer to come hopefully – and the bluebells and rapeseed have certainly come into their own…Pepper the Labrador has been walked over hill and dale, and has made the most of some early mornings down on the beach.  We are very lucky to live in such a beautiful place.

Here at CCHQ things are hotting up for Father’s Day – the boxes, tissue and labels are ordered, we have enough hammers to build an ark, and I have re-tuned my internet radio ready for many hours spent in the studio with my woodburning tools – the tension is palpable! We always encourage our customers not to wait until the last minute to order, but I can see a crazy four weeks on the horizon nevertheless.

Best message I have engraved this week has to be “It’s always Pimms O’clock at Windy Bottom” on one of our glass jugs…would love to know the story behind that one!  12 engraved shot glasses going off to London tomorrow too – someone is having a PARTAAAY!

Ah well, back to the techno dilemma of the week (and there is usually one a week, sadly!) – we have bought a Freesat box, to catch up with a) the rest of the world and b) programmes we have missed whilst buried under piles of engraved hammers.  All plugged in and ready to go, but no picture…and yes, we have tried turning it off and on again.

Watch this space (we will be, there is certainly nothing else to watch!)

 

Cove Calligraphy’s first blog post…

20150321_103143.jpgCove Calligraphy’s first ever blog post – first of many I hope.  A beautiful sunny start to the bank holiday weekend, and I am afraid to say that other than a breezy walk down to the Cove first thing this morning, I have been pretty much tied to the computer all day!  On the plus side, I have created 3 videos for YouTube (another first!), taken some photographs involving a new line of pyrographed cheeseboards (using some very smelly camembert as a prop – pheweeeee!) and sketched out a cake stand, coffee glass and a Pimms jug for engraving tomorrow.  That was with my left hand – my right hand was posting on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Etsy as per usual.

A bit of background information about the business – Cove Calligraphy has been through many transformations since its early days back in the depths of Middlesex in the 1980’s.  It was there that I trained in Calligraphy and was taught to transfer those skills into glass engraving and pyrography. I worked as a Saturday girl in my mum’s jewellery & engraving shop, and Cove Calligraphy was born (although back then we went by a different name – there weren’t many seaside coves in Middlesex!). I have my mum and dad to thank for my artistic streak –  a skilled artist/engraver and a jewellery designer/maker, they were always an artistic force to be reckoned with, as well as being entrepreneurial business owners themselves.  It was only a matter of time before I followed suit…

Cove Calligraphy in its current form began around 10 years ago, when I had a small website offering pen and ink calligraphy for local businesses, just a little something to do alongside my ‘real job’ – (in case you are interested, I was a Commercial Store Manager at Marks and Spencer).  It quickly became apparent that there was a demand for beautiful handwriting, despite computer fonts and laser printers being so readily available to all.  So I decided to revive some of my old skills and added hand glass engraving and hand pyrography to the list of services on offer. I designed my own font and invested in some professional hand engraving tools and equipment – customers loved an alternative to the computer generated laser engraving that seemed to be flooding the market, and that was where I found my niche.  I was offering an artistic handmade alternative to the laser industry, and the customers loved it!  This was around 5 years ago and that was when things really changed…after a phenomenal success with our Father’s Day hand engraved hammer, I opened Cove Calligraphy shops on Etsy, Great British Life, Amazon, Ebay and Folksy, and the rest is history.  Cove Calligraphy hand engraved gifts are now shipped all over the world, and the business is continually growing and developing.

Well, that’s a brief rundown so you know who you are reading about…see you here again soon I hope!