Bird Lady Jane Ryan OPISHOP & www.opiworks.co.uk
I started my little company, 'OPI' making simple mechanical toys (for grown-ups) in an attempt to combine motherhood and work. Three kids on I am still making them. I use a lot of reclaimed wood, enjoying the obvious history of the material. Recently I have been using mostly oak which is weighty and lovely to work. All the pieces are one off, no two are the same. There have been recurrent themes over the years which reflect my seaside home, gardening, food.I hope that my work is infused with a genuine humour. I have always been more interested in decoration and form than clever mechanics and my toys have very simple mechanisms designed to charm rather than amaze. I work in a disused cowshed in a state of blissful chaos.Heaven in the summer and bleak in the winter, with my faithful hound snoring at my feet.
UK artist Jane Ryan's pieces remind of the automatons from the turn of the century. I love the whimsical nature of each, and that birds flutter, boats list, and little hearts pump in and out when you turn the handle.