South Shields design firm Cabinet of Curiosity Studio aims to be a cut above the rest

A creative design studio in South Tyneside is cutting a path to success after investing in new equipment to expand capabilities and explore new markets.

By Tom Patterson
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 4:36 pm
Claire Darling-Cooper of SAM with Cabinet of Curiosity Studio's Caroline Collinge and Edmond Salter.
Claire Darling-Cooper of SAM with Cabinet of Curiosity Studio's Caroline Collinge and Edmond Salter.

Cabinet of Curiosity Studio – which specialises in public art commissions – has upgraded its cutting machinery, enabling the business to unlock new opportunities and support batch production.

Based in South Shields, the studio was established in 2010 by designer maker Caroline Collinge and architect Edmond Salter, after they were selected as finalists in a Royal Institute of British Architects competition.

Since then, Cabinet of Curiosity Studio has worked with museums and heritage organisations such as the Thames Festival Trust, local authorities and universities to create art exhibitions and installations using materials such as paper and wood.

Caroline and Edmond worked with the team at the Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing (SAM) Project – a collaboration between the European Regional Development Fund and the University of Sunderland – on the project.

Caroline said: “We have worked on some fantastic projects over the years, using laser cutting fabrication techniques and CAD software.

“I came across the SAM Project and the digital course and funding has enabled us to invest in equipment to craft more detailed designs, use a wider range of materials and recycled materials, as well as explore new income streams and batch production.”

Caroline and Edmond are currently working on two projects with local authorities.

One is supported by a grant from Durham County Council, fabricating laser cut kits for families to take away and build their own miniature market gardens to grow fresh produce, and the other in Milton Keynes, using laser cutting equipment and wood materials to create a nature themed art trail along cycleways.

Caroline added: “We will continue to work on arts and heritage projects, but we’re also looking to move our business towards creating products for people to purchase.”

Roger O’Brien, project and technical lead at the SAM Project, said: “We are delighted to have been able to help Caroline and Edmond to explore the next steps for their business and invest in the equipment needed to continue innovating and creating unique and bespoke products."

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