Tom is a local artist and sculptor based down on the beach at East Beach Studios.
We are huge fans of Tom's work here at Independent Worthing and have two of his fabulous seagull pictures in our home.
Tom produces some of the most distinctive and beautiful musical sculptures and he continues to develop his work with the help of some very special people, consulting with therapists and practitioners and developing products directly for the people they work with.
His most popular product, the oval Portable Timberharp, was inspired by a teenage girl who has an enormous love of music but profound disabilities. Together they developed an instrument that she could play with her feet that always sounded beautiful, regardless of her physical limitations. The resultant product has gone on to benefit a huge range of people from a young mum with autistic twins; an elderly man with Parkinson’s; as a tool for an occupational therapist working with end-of-life dementia patients in hospital; as well as many special needs schools and colleges.
IW: What inspired you to start your own business?
TF: I have always wanted to make my own living. I tried being an employee once upon a time, but I am not particularly good at being told what to do. This way I get to boss myself about a bit but also get to tell the boss to do one if I feel like it.
IW: What is the best thing about what you do?
TF: I get to put food on the table using my own skills, knowledge and hard work. That is a great feeling.
IW: What pearl of wisdom would you impart to anyone wanting to set up their own business?
TF: Never take advice from an artist.
IW: What are your ‘go to’ local businesses?
TF: We have been doing the rounds of the amazing food establishments that have been so brilliant during the last year and have discovered some incredible local gems; particularly loving the new Donut van by the Pirate’s Playground.
IW: What do you get up to in your spare time?
TF: Walking in the wild; soaking up nature and watching the seasons change.
IW: What’s your guilty pleasure?
TF: My electric bike, which I ride with a mad grin everywhere I go.
IW: What’s your favourite way to start the day?
TF: A large and strong coffee, just before all the family jobs start, and then another one.
IW: If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 things could you not do without?
TF: A sharp knife, my wife and one of my children.
IW: What plans do you have for the future?
TF: I am keeping fingers crossed for exhibitions this year, including the RHS Summer Exhibition at Hampton Court Palace and hoping to get to Dubai at some point to show at the Technology expo. I’d like to go to some museums and galleries soon.
IW: Anything else you would like to add?
TF: Thank you to all the local businesses who have offered your services during the last year. You have made this pandemic not just bearable, but hopeful, motivating and sometimes even thrilling!