In January this year my sentiment driven card range for Gemma International, Whittle Mill, launched into Clintons stores nationwide! It recently featured on the cover of Progressive Greetings, the number one magazine of the UK greetings industry, which was really satisfying to create and see in print.
Whittle Mill is a cute sentimental range centred around two wooden puppets. There’s a sweet little story to accompany them which tells of how, long ago, a couple carved a heart into a tree which sealed their love inside it forever. Years later a branch falls from the tree and is carved into two puppets who, imbued with the love once sealed in the wood, come to life to be reunited.
This range is very much a love letter to my Wife, who inspired the relationship based illustrations as well as the background story (below) and the verse inside—which in its self was a whole new, and very rewarding, experience to write.
The story on the back of every cards reads (get ready for the feels!);
"A long time ago, before you and me,
A happy couple sat under a tree.
Into the bark they each carved a heart,
And swore to each other they never would part.
In leaving the hearts their promise was kept,
And for many years in the wood their love slept.
Then on one windy day a branch snapped and fell,
Landing next to a sculptor, who said with a yell...
“This wood is perfect for the toys I’ve drafted!”
And from the branch two puppets were crafted.
The sculptor examined his work, delighted,
The happy couple at last reunited."
But my illustrations would be nothing on cards without the expert graphic design skills of fellow Gemma creative Adam Martin which frames them so perfectly.
As previously mentioned, Whittle Mill is currently in Clintons stores across the UK, and will soon be sneaking into Tesco and WH Smith.
This post contains excerpts from a recent interview I did for Tuts+ which you can read here.