A crafty couple have truly carved out a niche in the market with their beautiful boxes, which they say are unique to the UK – and possibly the world.
Former teachers Ray and Kathy Sylvester started making their fascinating boxes, which are intricately designed to fit together in a jigsaw pattern, after they took early retirement from Kirk Hallam Community College in 1995.
Despite having no previous experience in arts and crafts, Ray was inspired after seeing a similar product on sale while on holiday in New York and soon developed his own method for building them.
The 69-year-old, who described himself as ‘bonkers about boxes’, said: “As far as I know I am the only person in the UK making anything quite like what I do.
“And if anyone else in the world is doing it, they don’t appear to be on the internet.”
The boxes open and close without hinges, using a jigsaw construction, but, Ray insisted they are not puzzle or trick boxes.
“They are lovely containers for jewellery, nick-nacks, mementos – even pets’ ashes,” he said.
“I choose my wood very carefully and people tell me they are intriguing and fascinating.”
Temima Crafts, as they are known, will be displaying their wares at the prestigious Great Dome Art Fair – part of Buxton Festival Fringe – on Saturday July 20 and Sunday July 21.
“I love the look on people’s faces as they explore and investigate my work,” Ray added.
“There’s absolutely nothing better in life than people buying something we have so much passion for making.”
Temima Crafts are Peak District Artisans – a collective of the finest artists, designers and craftsmen Derbyshire has to offer.
A total of 65 members have been asked to display at the award-winning arts fair in Buxton, which is free to enter.
Throughout the weekend members will be delivering a range of demonstrations and talks giving insightful examples whilst focusing on their individual styles.