We are two artists, Bev Shalts and Mike Petty, and we've worked together as Tentacle Studio for 27 years. We create ready-to-ship products, and we also solve creative problems with intelligent, custom-made solutions. Everything is hand made by us.
Bev Shalts and Mike Petty
Our careers began in professional theatre, in England. Way back in the 1980’s, we made costumes and sculptures for spectacular theatre shows, and hit musicals like Cats. Bev is a master tailor, Mike is a classically trained sculptor. For a few years, we travelled around, working in European theatres. This type of work is very high energy, with lots of mad panics and short deadlines. It was an amazing education, and great fun too! But it was also frustrating. Theatres were badly organised, and the endless squeeze of tight deadlines was killing our creativity. It drove us crazy!
So we decided to ditch the drama, and launched our own company in 1991. Since then our work has vastly expanded in scope. Now our designs are enjoyed by millions of people around the world, and our client list is impressive. We still work intensely on each order, but now we can choose the best materials. We focus on quality, and our prices reflect this.
Our Work Ethic
Creating our items by hand, ourselves, is a matter of pride and integrity with us. We keep our promises, and use our wealth of experience to ensure our creations are long lasting, and a joy to wear. We deliver on time, with no stress.
Our workshop is nestled just outside Amsterdam in the heart of the tulip growing area, close to Schiphol Airport. We have clients all around the globe, and we mostly stay in touch by email and ‘in progress’ photos. But you are very welcome to visit, or phone us for a chat about what you need.
Our proudest moments come with the positive feedback of our customers: we love it when people have fun and get transformed by our creations.
Our clients are very diverse: Lady Gaga, Harrods, Delta Airlines, The BBC, Hermès, Ke$ha and stylists, magicians, museums, theatres, ballet companies, fashion houses, professional performers and amateur party beasts! Our work has featured in many magazines including Vogue and the New York Times, and in several TV ads and music videos.
Here's some photos of us, and the studio in action...
Bev is a classically trained tailor, but often works with high tech and stretch fabrics. After achieving her degree in Theatre Costume & Design, she initially specialised in creating costumes and headdresses for large musicals, then became involved in additional projects and quickly turned freelance. Bev is an expert in all things to do with fabrics, animal heads and masks.
A classically trained sculptor, Mike works regularly with wood, plaster, latex, poly foam and fibreglass resin. For many years he was head of the busy Props Department at the Haymarket Theatre. Having worked for the BBC and several award-winning designers, Mike has created sculptures and effects for many TV and theatre productions. Also an accomplished painter in oils, his work takes pride of place in private houses, hotels and government institutions around the world.
We couldn't acheive as much as we do without our network of specialist freelancers and other expert companies who work closely with us: sometimes at very short notice!
Special thanks go to Eva, Herma, Marjolein, Yolanda, Katherine, Qin, Russell Gilbert at The English Editors
, Helen, Rosie, Galiene, Els, Vittorio, Fukotex, Willem at Mawi Embroidery, and Krijger the Printers.
And if you want to hear our latest news, check out our Tentacle Studio Blog
Tentacle Studio on Facebook
If you have a question, just contact us, we'd love to hear from you!
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