Kirsty Thomas of Tom Pigeon

By Elspeth Pridham
August 22, 2019

Kirsty Thomas, founder of creative studio Tom Pigeon, talks setting up her own company, the power of tiny teams and getting inspired by trips to Mallorca

When was the business founded, and why?

Tom Pigeon was founded in 2014. We set up the studio to explore different areas of design and create objects that we wanted to live with. Our work spans prints, homewares, textiles, stationery and jewellery and we also work collaboratively with brands like Parkside (on the Arrange tiles) and Made. We love the process of exploring shape and colour through different materials and objects.

How many staff?

Right now we are a tiny and powerful team of five.

Where are you based?

We are based in an old converted dairy on the East Coast of Scotland.

What is your latest significant achievement/project of note?

We are lucky to work with amazing gallery and retail spaces around the world and over the past few years have collaborated with the Barbican, Tate and the V&A. That feels like a real privilege. We are also currently working on a top secret print project which is very exciting – but sadly I can’t tell you more right now.

What is your best selling product?

We sell a lot of our Balance print triptych – it’s a series of three foiled screen prints which interlink and play with the balance and tension between simple geometric shapes.

I’ve just discovered…

Span houses. I love Mid-century design and architecture and have just discovered the work of Eric Lyons, Geoffrey Townsend and Leslie Bilsby. They founded Span in 1948 to create houses and communities that were all about space, light and blurring the edges between outdoor and indoor space. A Span house would be the dream.

Who inspires me…

I am very inspired by the work of Charles and Ray Eames. I absolutely love their playful and eclectic approach to creating work, the outstanding breadth of their practice and their total day-to-day immersion in the design world.

I’ve always been a fan of…

The Conran House Book from 1974. It has prompted a lot of my interior design decisions.

My highlight of the last 12 months was…

Buying a camper van. I’ve been in love with the whole camper van thing since I was a kid and finally bought one last summer. I drive it to work and it even makes my commute feel like an adventure.

My next design trip is to…

Mallorca. We go every summer and love rummaging through the flea markets and vintage shops for new things for the house. A trip to the Miro Foundation on the outskirts of Palma is also a must – Miro’s studio, designed by Josep Lluis Sert, is one of my favourite spaces in the world.