Jane Ryan Biography

I studied Fine Art at Chelsea School of Art and moved to West Cornwall in 1988 with my new baby. I started my little company, 'OPI' making simple mechanical toys (for grown-ups) in an attempt to combine motherhood and work. Three kids on I am still making them. I use a lot of reclaimed wood, enjoying the obvious history of the material... (I treat the wood in a microwave if there is any evidence of infestation)... Recently I have been using mostly oak which is weighty and lovely to work... All the pieces are one off, no two are the same. There have been recurrent themes over the years which reflect my seaside home, gardening, food... I hope that my work is infused with a genuine humour. I have always been more interested in decoration and form than clever mechanics and my toys have very simple mechanisms designed to charm rather than amaze... I work in a disused cowshed in a state of blissful chaos... Heaven in the summer and bleak in the winter, with my faithful hound snoring at my feet.