2023, what is coming. 

Dear readers, supporters, customers, I wish you a very Happy New Year. I hope it will bring you joy and happiness even in the smaller things of the daily life.

This new year marks a turning point in the life of Dragons Are Real and I thought it would be good to remember how it started to tell you then, where is it going.

The beginning of Dragons Are Real

When I launched Dragons Are Real, my purpose was to create and make quality material of game answering babies and young children’s needs, depending their stages of development. Using my experience in Nursery in 3 different countries I had developed a particular interest for material of games for babies and toddlers. Despite all my motivations and my great list of idea, I realised that this goal and how I wish to work for Dragons Are Real weren't compatible. For 2022 I had the goal to obtain the UKCA certification to offer for sale my toys in shops in UK. As I explained in a previous article, this entails to have a factory production and not handmade, and unique pieces. This point is entirely discordant with Dragons Are Real.

Back in 2019, when I was creating Dragons Are Real in my head and in my future studio I knew I had to remain open minded about this adventure: observing, testing, adapting, evolving. My first idea was to offer my dear dragons to you but always with more ideas in my pocket. 

This 3 years, I offered a large ranges of toys, accessories for every ages and every persons to see what do you like, what do you need and what I want to make. I took a difficult decision 6 months ago to stop the toys and part of the accessories and decided which direction I am going now. This decision is combining what you like more in my shop, and what I loved to make and explore these last years : rope and plant dyeing ! 

What remains ? 

You are probably wondering what is the link between dragons and baskets ? The name I choose is more subtle. Most people ask me what do I do with Dragons Are Real. So first there is Surprise and Curiosity. Then Interest. I love dragons that is no more a secret. I also like the idea that we don’t really know who or what they are. My creative journey is patterned after what the name Dragons Are Real creates in a person’s mind when they discover it: curiosity, interest. It is my curiosity and my interest for art and craft that nourish my work. 

Back to what animate me : Creation and art

I know, it is a classical one but I make and imagine since I am a child. I remember, aged of 7 making woollen dolls and then sewing them clothes with scraps of fabric. This is an example among other ones. I planned to be a cabinetmaker, an architect, a costume designer, a set designer. Since I am a child I explored and practiced and still do : Painting, drawing, sewing, papier maché, wood work, weaving, knitting, embroidery, beading, linocut, felting, plant dyeing, etc … the list is growing bigger and bigger for my greatest pleasure.

This is a part of me, of who I am so I can’t reduce Dragons Are Real to one box. Also all these experimentations are my tools box. Some of them will remain my activity for private purposes. I don’t want to make a professional activity of all what I like and practice.

Today, what is Dragons Are Real ? 

Dragons Are Real is starting a new chapter using rope to make baskets and items for home. For a utility purpose or decoration, for storing toys or to embellish your favourite spot in your house. I like to create something timeless that will last many years and could be pass through generations.

Plant dyeing is also taking an important place in this. It is for me a way to include my home, this place I love so much : The Outer Hebrides. Indeed I use the plants that can grow here, or my kitchen waste before to bin them in the compost bucket. I Create and try to preserve the soil, plants, water, life. 

I hope this little presentation help you to see and understand what is Dragons Are Real and how I work behind this name. It is not an easy exercise to write and explain with words when my language is made of colours and textures to express myself. I am really enthusiastic to share this with all of you.

What to see this month on the blog ?

During January the shop will be closed but I will post articles on the blog and Instagram to introduce the new items and finally reveal what to expect for this new year. I waited so much for this moment I can’t wait to finally share all of this with you.

  • 11/01 : The Collections: Elegant and Useful
  • 18/01 : The Collections : The Hebridean Dye
  • 25/01 : Dye Magic




Photo n°4 : Ralph Tonge

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