Ooh-la-spatula as French go mad for Northumberland woodwork

Ornate wooden spatulas created by Tim Foxall and his team in Northumberland are proving a hit across the English Channel

Tim Foxall's team with his spatulas
Tim Foxall's team with his spatulas

Quirky spatulas made in Northumberland are proving a hit across the English Channel.

The ornate wooden items hand crafted by designer Tim Foxall and his team at Haltwhistle are being snapped up by shoppers in Paris, while one of their efforts is also being used to shepherd tourists at the city’s Louvre art gallery.

Tim has also been asked to produce a special range to be sold at the British Museum and picked up the accolade of best trade stand at the recent Northumberland County Show.

The designer uses a range of woods and traditional tools to saw the spatulas before they are sanded and oiled.

The spatula business started out at his home near Hexham but the need for more space and assistants led to a move to a workshop at Haltwhistle in 2012.

An expanding range of more than 30 different designs is sold by Tim and his growing team at shops, galleries, craft fairs and events across Britain, including the Edinburgh Festival.

Tim Foxall's Venus de Milo spatula
Tim Foxall's Venus de Milo spatula

They sell via a website set up last year - with orders from overseas including America - and take commissions.

Tim’s venture is now achieving success in France.

A gift shop in Paris which originally stocked Tim’s spatulas after seeing them at a gift fair in London in March has already put in two repeat orders because they are selling so well.

And a spatula version of the Venus de Milo was bought by a tour guide at The Louvre who uses it as a symbol for her tourists to follow.

Closer to home, Tim has been asked to design a special range to be sold at the British Museum.

Tim Foxall with his spatulas
Tim Foxall with his spatulas
 

And following a phone call from a member of the public asking why he wasn’t at the County Show, Tim rang organisers at the last minute on the day of the event and managed to get a stall.

He then walked away with the rosette for best trade stand.

Tim has also ranged a number of new designs including “I see no chips!” admiral - based on Lord Nelson, a basking shark, an electric guitar, an acoustic guitar, and efforts inspired by the Thinker by sculptur Rodin, French cut-out artist Matisse and Easter Island.

He said of his growing success: “It is absolutely wonderful. Getting money from something you created is absolutely wonderful.

“It is lovely working with other people. It is great, it is such fun.”

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