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Meet the Maker - Tracey Richardson

Sometimes in life, we are all rushing. Rushing to get to somewhere on time, rushing to get back home or just too busy for the number of hours we have left in the day. Sometimes, when we stop and look around, like many of us did this year in lockdowns 1 and 2, we see how much beauty we have all around us.


For me, as a working mum of two, I find myself rushing to take the children somewhere, to pick them up on time and to make sure they’ve got the right bag, right coat and right shoes for whatever it is they are doing that day.

 

For the last year, my children have been going to a village nursery some 10 minutes from my home and across the road is a set of wooden double doors adjacent to the Old Forge house. On these garage doors are always beautiful displays reflecting the time of year, whether that is Easter, Christmas or even just a celebration of the RAF or the Red Arrows.

 

Last week as I walked out with my two lovely albeit grumpy children and made my way to the car I saw that the doors had been decked with the Christmas display. It is stunning and both my children suddenly starting smiling and pointing out to me what they could see.

 

This year has definitely made me appreciate the extra effort our neighbours or loved ones go to, so I didn’t want to leave it there. I decided to write a Christmas card and post it to whoever lived there, thanking them for the effort they go to, to make us smile everyday and to wish them a Merry Christmas. I also asked if they would be interested in a short interview so that we could share his/her creativity with our Makers. Luckily for me and for all of you Tracey Richardson, the brain behind these lovely designs said yes.

 

Due to covid we had to have a covid safe email chat, even so, we found out what an interesting person Tracey is, and we thank her once again for her generosity of spirit and for making us smile all year round.

It is so lovely to speak to you Tracey. Thank you so much for giving us the time. So can you tell us a little bit about yourself, who are you, you live in Osbournby and it was where you grew up I believe?  

I’m married and have two children, Ralph is a Carpenter, my daughter Georgina has just had her first child Archer.  I now have 3 Grandchildren Lily 4 (arty already) Archer 2 & Otto 1.  I turned 60 this year and had planned so many wonderful things to do with my husband, and family.  I have still had a great year, but certainly not as planned.  I am a 4th generation villager, moved away at 17 to work in Buckinghamshire, returned to Osbournby and bought my old home in 2006 and my parents live next door.

What do you or did you do for a living? 

I was an export clerk, then I had a livery yard & feed & forage business.  Now I run my own business with my husband, manufacturing and designing Perma-Grit Tools.  These are specialist abrasive, tungsten carbide grit tools, very tough, with a very long life and we supply them all over the world to Model makers, special effect units, Motorsport, Stone Masons, Musical instrument makers, Shop fitters, Sculptors and especially the Composite industry, carbon fibre, Glass fibre etc.

You mentioned painting on the phone? Is that your main passion/hobby?

Now this is difficult, probably just creative!  I love making, mending, reusing.  I like to try all things, but I suppose it all started with drawing, pencil, ink.  I have never mastered colour, I always seem to ruin a good drawing!  I wanted to create an object something 3D or in the round, which I believe is the correct terminology.  So when ArtsNK were offering carving lessons and a project in the village to our design.  I jumped at the chance, we carved the Octagonal seat, which can be seen (and sat on) as you drive through Osbournby.  Eight villagers, including my mother and I, helped to carve the seat.  I have since carved a bench in the village, replacing one my Grandfather placed in the village, many moons ago.  Stone carving has mostly been lettering calligraphy style for my dogs memorial stone, name plaques for my sons house.

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Your garage door displays are a delight, what made you start these?  

Well I travel to Europe with business, and in Germany I spotted some garage doors, where they had painted the interior of the garage on the doors.  It looked amazing, I could not reproduce that, but it stuck in my mind, and when I moved back to the village.  My old primary school which is opposite my garage doors, is now a nursery. So I started to create silhouettes from our tool packing boards to amuse the children and mums & dads.  I have such fond memories of that school.  My favourite class was art, outside with an easel, sploshing paint everywhere, then sewing and making rhomboids! 

What do you use to make such intricate pictures in such a great size?  

Well when I first started, I used a very sharp Stanley knife. I have now found a tool called a Gyro-Cut Pro, which you hold like a pen, but it cuts like a knife.  It’s amazing and there are different angled blades, depending on what you are cutting.  It cuts, card, paper, leatherette (my Poppies) icing, vinyl’s etc. a great little tool.   Steel ruler, Gyro-Cut Pro, Stanley knife, cutting mat, pencil, rubber, marker pen, Halfords spray paints & a staple gun.

Can you remember for how long you’ve been doing these & What inspires you?

Approximately 12 years, oh my goodness, I must love doing it!  

People, things I hear and see, life, Banksey!  I love to see people do a double take, stop & smile.  It sounds like I stand at the window all day,  I don’t, my office window is next to the doors.

 

I notice a lot of aircrafts in your designs, is this something that is a passion of yours also?  

Our business runs along very closely with the world of Aero Modellers and light aircraft, also my husband Ian is ex RAF.  So it is a nod to all our customers, and we have had quite a few Wing Commanders & Squadron leaders living in the village.  The village raises money for the Lincs & Notts Air ambulance as well as other charities.  Also very proud of the Red Arrows display team – and being a Lincolnshire yellow belly!

What is the favourite thing you’ve ever created and why?  

Probably my carved oak bench.  It has carved lettering, relief carving, and little colour. The top of the bench has a Snakes & Ladders board, Chess/Draughts board, Time clock and Naughts & Crosses.  The playing pieces hang on the tree next to the bench.  It is useful art, I like to make something that has a purpose, a meaning and that others can enjoy.  I spent many happy hours as a child in my Grand Pops workshop fixing and breaking things.  I didn’t want to lose that connection with him, his old bench had all but rotted away.  It stands on the original legs he put in.  The bench is situated at the top of Osbournby village, In the square, take the left, West Street, drive out of the village, it is on your right approximately 100 yds from the last house.

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Is there any craft you haven’t tried that you’d like to?  

Yes, metal work, which is bizarre really when I live at the Old Forge!  That would have been one of my 60th birthday presents to myself!  Roll on 2021.

What’s the next display? 

Well, I staple all the silhouettes & pictures on the doors, so it will probably be me, with a filler, filling in all the holes!  The doors look like they have a severe case of woodworm!

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