You may know Rosy Tydeman as the lovely owner of The Glorious Art House. Chances are you’ve sat upstairs, sipping on your Artisan Chai, and admiring the colourful art work around you. Those beautiful felt clocks and people? They’re all the handiwork of Rosy herself, as La Vie En Rose Makery.
Rosy was born in Wales. “My dad was an English lecturer and he used to put on plays, so there’s a lot of theatre in my background. Mum was very, very artistic. She drew a lot. What’s precious to me now is her doodles, the little drawings she did while on the phone. She was a feminist, but her priority was to be a mum and housewife, so her creativity seeped out there – making dolls’ outfits and clothes for us as kids. Her mum sewed, she sewed, and then she taught me to sew, so I’ve always made stuff. That led to me sewing my own clothes, and then into shoe-making.”
From shoe-making to glove-making to Steiner teaching, Rosy has rich experience in all things hands-on and heartfelt. And where does she draw her inspiration from for her felt pieces? “Birds is a big one,” Rosy said. “I had a whole lot of time drawing women letting birds go, or birds flying around. I did a series when Gloria [Rosy’s daughter and the lady behind Au Cacao] was a baby. I was very interested in the woman – the mother – and the constraints of looking after someone. I suppose it’s connected to my own mum; your life can contract, so the woman releasing the bird was that release. That bubbling up of being alive, and sometimes I get overwhelmed by that feeling. You have to celebrate motherhood and the strength of being a mother, so I drew these big women with birds flying around them. The birds are from those days, the freedom of spirit. Also people and love – because love makes the world go round.”
And what of her clocks? “I like the faces and the symmetry, and the eternal round-and-round with no end. They’re totally incongruous – they shouldn’t be made out of felt. There’s something a bit rebellious about them, making it fun because time can be limiting, but if you have a squidgy clock, then it makes fun of that – and they’re not accurate, y’know? It’s all play. With the Grandmother Clock, it was very important that you could hug and squeeze her. It messes with your senses and reality a little. And I think it’s magic because right after I made it, I found out I was becoming a grandma!”
Be sure to keep an eye on this little spot on Fore Street, and if you haven’t already, pop in to see Rosy’s work – not to mention the rotating shows on the top floor gallery! “There’s so many creatives here already,” Rosy said, “and that’s my biggest treat. They have their meetings here, ideas here – that buzz of people and café society. It makes me so happy! It was totally what I wanted it to be. We don’t have to do anything – it’s just happening, and that’s fantastic. I want it to go on like that, people to use it and keep it moving.”