special projects

A series of useful-ish tools for tackling tricky social situations.


From childhood I have had a fascination for old tools, the older they are and more mysterious the better.  Not really understanding what a tool is for provides the perfect opportunity for a little imagination to come into play and a story to unravel.  Growing up with a Grandfather who was a toolmaker and a father who is still a great hoarder of vintage machinery and all its paraphernalia I guess it was inevitable that some of their fervour for the subject should rub off on me.  These days I still have an intrigue for these things and I spend time routing around antique tool shops looking for interesting bits and bobs to feed into my work.

Taking inspiration from bizarre Victorian inventions and the Heath-Robinson approach to fabrication I have created my own series of tools for coping with everyday scenarios and to help turn an awkward social situation on its head.  The idea of spreading a little joy and happiness rather appeals, so drawing inspiration from these ideas I have created a series of wearable tools which will undoubtedly aid the wearer and help them to spread a little cheeriness too.

My inventions include the Emergency Bubble-blowing Kit brooch which is intended for swift operation to calm opposing parties in the event of an altercation.  The Hand-operated Fan brooch which will rapidly clear the air following an embarrassing faux pas, and you need never feel speechless again with the Tombola-necklace of conversation starters which will provide the perfect ice-breaker when making new friends.

Just as a clown might hide behind a painted smile, these tools might provide a comic shield for the ill at ease.

Lindsey Mann

Exhibition Tour Dates

Ruthin Craft Centre North Wales
3 July – 8 September 2010

Mission Gallery Swansea
13 November 2010 – 8 January 2011

Black Swan Arts Frome, Somerset
5 February – 19 March 2011

Harley Gallery Welbeck, Nottinghamshire
31 March – 30 May 2011

Shire Hall Gallery Stafford
6 August – 30 October 2011

Chapel Gallery Ormskirk, Lancashire
27 May – 26 August 2012