Cockington Court Craft Centre is home to over 20 innovative and creative studio artists and Cathy Hilton is no exception. Selected to take up residence in one of the Court’s Sea Change Studios, those of you who visit regularly may have noticed that she has recently moved into a much larger studio, thanks to an increasing demand for her work.
Cathy prints her distinctive colourful illustrations on all manner of wooden kitchen products which have grown into an extensive range of hand painted woodware that you can purchase directly from her studio.
Marissa Wakefield, Centre Director for Cockington Court, said: “Cathy is a fantastic crafts maker and her story stands for exactly what the studios at Cockington Court are all about. We love supporting talented makers to develop and grow and Cathy is doing just that. We know that her business is going to continue to grow in her new, larger studio.”
What makes Cathy’s products particularly unique is that she has developed an adaptation of the screen printing process herself to compensate for issues she uncovered initially with the colour not absorbing quickly enough into the wood and not being of a high enough quality.
Her own unique process for printing enables a stronger and more solid colour to appear on the wood and Cathy can more adeptly control the shapes and illustrations she wants to appear, resulting in the really high quality finish that makes her products stand out beyond similar products in the marketplace. The process took 18 months to establish and trial, 3 months of that being technical experimentation.
Cathy Hilton said: “I’m very proud of both the process and the product range I’ve developed. It’s a great result, and a real testament to the value of the TDA’s support and encouragement for creative businesses at Cockington.”
Cathy tried a range of different paints and varnishes before working with the country’s leading lacquer supplier. Morrells have a Royal Warrant, supplying products to the queen. The chosen lacquer has an intentionally matt finish meaning that the artwork is totally protected but the wood is still the hero and has a lovely feel to it.
Cathy has 80 products overall which range from small egg cups to large cheese and meat boards and she can print in 100 different colours. Moving forward, she also plans to start the same process on furniture whilst still being very kitchen focused. The majority of her work is personalised incorporating names and special messages which lends itself well to the gift market.
Cathy’s striking work has caught the attention of one of the most successful gift buying platforms in the world. Not on the High Street.com will be featuring a range of her products on their website next month which is great news for Cathy and for Cockington.
If you are looking for a distinctive gift this Christmas, Cathy is currently taking commissions as well as selling readymade products at her Cockington studio. Visit www.cockingtoncourt.org/craft-studios to find out more about Cathy and the other crafts makers.