Ron Fuller is not your average toy maker. With his playful nature, intuitive sense of storytelling and gimlet eye for detail, there’s a lot more to his humorous toy collection than what first meets the eye.
Born in Cornwall in 1937, the Royal College of Art alumnus has been making folk toys and automatons for over 50 years. Spend just two minutes with him via this micro-doc from film-maker Richard Hunter below and you’ll understand why.
Click play to be transported to Fuller’s world of make believe: his home in Suffolk that doubles-up as a studio. It’s a vivid display of creativity, from his breast clocks aka Tit Tocks ‘so you can say, I like to keep abreast of time’ to talking parrots, wimmydiddles and flipper dingers – there’s plenty to inspire.
And if, like us, you’ve fallen for Fuller’s mischievous charm, see his work up close and in person at SCP East from 1 to 15 December. We’re hosting a shoppable show of his most celebrated work, where you’ll be able to see first-hand the delicate craftsmanship and meticulous hand-painted detailing at its most exquisite.
Each piece is available to buy throughout the exhibition and will be sent out for delivery from 16 December, once the show is over. Due to each design being very limited in its availability, should a certain toy sell out, Ron Fuller will hand-make another one – to be shipped from January 2017.
See inside Fuller’s mischievous mindset by reading his Q&A with Guardian below:
I make old-fashioned toys: wooden aeroplanes, dolls’ houses, rocking horses and folk toys such as the flipper dinger (a blow pipe game) and the whimmydiddle (a propeller on a stick). In the old days, there were lots of small shops selling handmade toys, but there are only a few left.
When I’m not in the workshop, I’m playing with my toys. There’s a model boating pond in Southwold. People bring three-masted schooners, clippers, yachts and racing boats. It’s marvellous.
We always make an effort to go to the pub on the weekend. Our local in Laxfield, Suffolk, is the King’s Head, an old-fashioned pub with no counter – you have to go to the cellar to order your beer. There’s always a big gathering of artists there on Sunday lunchtime.
I like wearing bright colours. My trousers are from Gallyons countrywear shop in Norwich, and my beret is from the UN peacekeeping force. Being a toymaker is quite a romantic notion. I play with cars and trains and boats and planes all day – it’s a substitute for real life. I don’t want to look drab. I live in a world of make-believe.