Anthony Knights of Feature Creatures speaks to EAUX about the latest trend in garden art
Wicker garden furniture and rusty hanging baskets are a thing of the past when it comes to garden décor. Feature Creatures is run by Anthony Knights based near Ipswich in Suffolk create unique steel sculptures of all shapes and sizes that are tailor made for you and your garden.
We spoke to Anthony to find out about why these bespoke steel designs have become so popular and all about the process from steel to sculpture.
How did you come up with the ideas for your Feature Creatures?
I was introduced to the t-rex by someone who thought I could include it in one of my garden designs! I fell in love with them and after many talks and planning I decided to start selling them. I come up with the ideas and designs; Some are started with pen and paper and others with the use of CAD. A local company manufactures them for me from metal. We have just started to play around with the designs in mdf and perspex.
How long have you been making your feature creatures?
It all started about three years ago. It has taken longer than I would have liked but now we have the barn to display them in and sales are really picking up.
What is your favourite creature so far and why?
I love the pig and the dog which are two of the most popular designs – the dog reminds me of my grandma’s pet!
Are there any special designs in the pipeline?
We have been working with a local design company on lots of new creatures and moving onto other garden products such as garden furniture, fire pits and a Christmas tree which should all be on display in the barn by the end of August.
How are the creatures assembled? Do you do this yourself on site?
They are assembled by the companies who cut them out but we are in the process of doing the small mdf ones as a jigsaw puzzle.
Can you walk us through the process of buying, from beginning to finish?
A client will contact us via the website or the barn or one of the other display sites (Jimmy’s farm, Brightwell Barns Café, Black Country metal works, and Bannold Landscape Suppliers). If it’s a creature we have made before it takes about 10 days. Then we will send an order to the company to cut them out and assemble it.
We deliver the smaller creatures ourselves but for some of the larger ones we have a company with a hiab lorry to deliver it for us but we will always be there to help install it. If it is an entirely new creature then it takes about six weeks as we have to do the design work, make a small model and have it turned into the file we need to have it cut out.
Can you tell us a little about your shop opening at Friday Street Farm shop?
Our new shop is called the-barn.co and we are based just behind the fantastic Friday Street Farm Shop in Farnham. The idea for the shop originally came from needing somewhere to display the Feature Creatures and has now grown into a great collaboration of modern, mid-century and vintage furniture, homeware and sculptures set in a rustic outside-in experience. We have a great team made up of family and traders offering something for every taste. The shop has been open since late March and we are open 10am till 5.30pm every day.
Want to find out more about how you can have one of these eye-catching sculptures in your own garden? Visit www.featurecreatures.co.uk