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Kilburn, York, North Yorkshire YO61 4AH

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As the nights draw in and Christmas approaches, I, like many people, find myself looking back and taking stock. This year more so than ever as I have been spending time delving deep into the company’s archives, unearthing material never before seen in public which will be featured in the forthcoming Mouseman book currently being compiled. It seems the more we dig the more we find. And what a fascinating treasure trove it is. One of the most intriguing items in the archives is a cache of postcards sent during the 1920s and ‘30s to my great-grandfather Robert Thompson from friends travelling abroad. Robert never had the opportunity to journey beyond the country of his birth so these postcards offered him a rare glimpse of foreign architecture and design. Robert treasured these cards and was inspired by them. Pencil markings on the cards show how he adapted these black and white images of medieval carvings and gargoyles for later use in his own work.


I was reminded of how the creative design process reinterprets classic motifs through our collaboration this year with the Spanish luxury brand Loewe. This was an exciting and illuminating project to be involved in, not least in seeing Mouseman pieces given a new design twist whilst remaining true to the traditions established by Robert Thompson and the skills of our craftsmen. The media coverage of our collaboration with Loewe has been truly global, with pieces from the collection illustrated in international design magazines, newspapers and via the internet. I hope this exposure will inspire a new audience to appreciate the beauty of handcrafted work and perhaps to find out more about the Yorkshire woodcarver who, in the early decades of the last century, worked quietly at his craft in the village of Kilburn inspired by many sources - including an occasional postcard from abroad.


Wishing all our Mouseman friends across the world a joyful Christmas and a happy New Year.


Ian Thompson Cartwright



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