Steel garden wildlife artist sees a 200 per cent rise in turnover during May
I don’t often cover gardening products at the higher end of the market but this a real good news story about a Northern artist. It’s good to see a smaller horticulture-related business benefiting from the boost in gardening.
A Cumbrian firm specialising in hand-welded steel wildlife sculptures has received a lockdown boost in orders and has noticed a change in customers’ tastes.
During May, turnover at Andrew Kay Sculpture increased 200 per cent year on year and this shows no signs of slowing.
The mild steel artworks range in price from Indian runner ducks at £545 to a large herd of life-size deer for £12,700.
In normal times, Andrew’s best-selling sculptures are the Stag and Hind, with the Stag’s stance almost aggressive. During lockdown, however, customers have been plumping for a calm, tranquil, grazing doe ‘without a care in the world’ (£2,530) and an inquisitive life-size hare (£840).
More modest pieces
The customer base has also changed, from mostly high earners (including British peers, Richard Curtis, Sir Tom Stoppard and John Bishop) and public bodies, to homeowners buying more modest pieces for their gardens.
The studio thinks that the increase in demand has been the result of people spending more time in their gardens, with some families having more disposable income due to a lack of spending on leisure activities and holidays.
Andrew Kay said: “As a result of lockdown, our customers have been working in and enjoying their gardens more. They are planning new landscaping schemes and are looking at ways to enhance their gardens and grounds this summer.
“For those fortunate to still have work, and whose household spending is down, it may be easier to justify the purchase of a sculpture.
“The style of sculptures which have been popular during lockdown is certainly more tranquil and reflective in tone than usual. This seems to mirror the way people are feeling. There is a definite taste for sculptures with a calming feel.”
Marking the pandemic
Some customers are buying work to mark the pandemic. A client in Suffolk recently commissioned a doe and a hind sculpture to mark ‘The time of Covid-19’.
Andrew added: “This period of time represents a unique set of circumstances which many people want to mark and remember.
“As has been frequently discussed, this moment is also a chance for us all to hit the ‘reset button’ and hopefully keep it pressed.
“We humans can generate in various degrees a more respectful, optimistic and generous society – where we can all play our part in giving back to each other and the wonderful world we live upon.”
Andrew Kay Sculpture has been established since 1993 and is based in a converted barn, Beckside Studio, in Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria. For more information, visit www.andrewkaysculpture.co.uk.