Kate expands her range at Cockington Court

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The Angel Bill Trading Company, run by Kate Toms, has been trading for more than ten years with the range of handmade decorative accessories continually expanding.

“I’d always made as a hobby. I grew up in a making environment,” explained Kate. “It all started with textiles; I started making to sell for the school PTA and then approached local shops to sell my work.

“I enjoy working with felt and needle felting but the beauty of mixed media is that it encompasses so many different mediums so I can do almost anything else I fancy. I have so many ideas in my head. I grew up with vintage and that’s a huge part of what I do.”

Now in what she terms as a transitional phase, Kate finds she is moving away from making products for commercial reasons towards making items she enjoys and says she is lucky to have so many strings to her bow.

“I’ve always had my commercial bonnet on, exhibiting at the Country Living Fair in London and the British Craft Trade Fair in Harrogate but I’ve got so many ideas whirring around in my head of things that I would like to do,” Kate explained. “I’m very fortunate that things are going very well including passing several of my designs to a gift company.”

And things are going so well, that Kate is about to move to a larger unit in Cockington Court Craft Centre’s Sea Change Studios, a move she says is a great opportunity to expand her work and range.

“Cockington itself provides a great work address and environment. It’s fantastic, such a special place,” she said. “It’s very nice shutting the front door at home and going to work, the rent is more than reasonable and it’s great to have a studio in a place that’s open to the public as well so there is the opportunity of selling, it’s a huge bonus. I had a little shop before but there was no opportunity to work from there as well.”

And Kate explained that having the use of the resource room at Cockington is also an advantage - giving her the option to push the workshop side of things - Kate currently offers needlefelting workshops but hopes to offer a wider programme in the near future, to include creative stitch and collage incorporating textiles and mixed media.

Marissa Wakefield, Cockington Court Centre Director, said: “Kate is full of enthusiasm and has been a delightful addition to Cockington Court. Her work is fascinating and Kate soon outgrew her small studio; so we are now able to offer a larger one in the Sea Change studios to help Kate expand her working space and range.

“Kate has also started to tutor classes here, which we are very keen to develop, to add to our Court offer. I am  very excited for Kate’s future personal and business development  here at the Cockington Court.”

TDA Innovation Centres Manager, Adrian Sheen, added: “Like all the craftspeople at Cockington, Kate is clearly very talented and I’m sure she will be very successful in the new direction she is taking with her work.”

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