After discovering Becky's designs on Instagram we just had to find out more! Becky is the master of storytelling with her unique and down-right cute characters that she creates out of coins and scrap metal. From her popular robots who find themselves in all sorts of situations to her adorable coinlings! We love that at the heart of Becky's business is recycling and we find out more about how she ensures that all aspects of her business is eco-friendly. We also chat about findings inspiration, selling on Etsy, favourite commissions to making unique jewellery designs. We hope you enjoy Becky's fun designs as much as we do!
At the heart of BoFlo is recycling. I love the idea of breathing life into old scrap and discarded rubbish to make something new and cherished. I use old coins, scrap copper wire and off cuts of copper and brass sheet to make all the little characters and creations.
All the coins I use are out of circulation British coins, there are a few legalities surrounding using old coins and it’s important to be aware of this as a special licence is required when using some of them.
The inspiration behind the name are my two dogs, Bonnie and Flo! 😊
The idea of BoFlo started when my Mum gave be a rusty old Quality Street tin full of old coins that my dad had collected when he was a boy. I wanted to make use of them somehow and so I made a forget~me~not lapel pin using a coin from his birth year. After that, I started making keyrings, pet tags and some jewellery until I saw an advert on telly with a robot! That’s it!! After a few failed attempts the first robot was ‘born’.
As I mentioned before, recycling is at the centre of BoFlo and I’m constantly trying to think up new ways of being eco-friendly. I recently bought an old manual typewriter so that I can type all the thank you notes that go inside the packaging. All the packaging has either been recycled already, like the internal box, business/thank you card and tissue paper, or can now be recycled, like the postal box and hessian bag, or I sometimes use the little pulp seed pots too. The tape and glue are both eco versions as well and I’ve just bought a deckle mould so I can try making my own paper/card.
The Bots are really great to make, each one has its own character which often doesn’t shine through until the little face is looking back at me. There are two main designs, one with a jaw with teeth and one with a neck and a little mouth, the rest is really down to a hobby someone may have or maybe the time of year perhaps. The names sort of come to me, sometimes they are more obvious, like Rod for the Bot that holds the fishing rod or Flapit the Bat, that sort of thing.
Hmm, interesting question… I like them to feel excited when the BoFlo box comes through the door and feel like they want to quickly get inside the packaging and see what the little chap looks like and then…. Awwww how sweet is that!
My workbench is made from an old (recycled) dressing table with a semi circle cut out from the middle so its like a proper jewellery table. I have another table I use for packing the items up with all the stamps, tape, typewriter etc on there. My go-to tools are most definitely my Foredome drill, doming dapping set and propane torch for sure, I couldn’t do what I do without those, oh and my jewellers saw or course, nearly forgot that!
My favourite commission….hmmm… tricky one. Probably Actus the cactus lover, he’s a little cutie.
So the Coinlings are two domed coins soldered together at the back. Some have antenna, some legs, even a Mohican! There are only certain coins that I can dome as some, like the old Half Crowns, are much too thick. The coinling designs came after the robots, I wanted a slightly cheaper and less labour intensive alternative to the Bots but with the same amount of character.
I think the Pirate Bot is the favourite Bot I’ve made so far. It was quite a challenge to make Cap’n Cutlass and he took quite a while but I was pleased with how he turned out.
My favourite part of the design process is really when the little Bot’s come to life. I start with a very sad, dirty looking pile of copper and coins and bit by bit, I make the body, join the head drill the eyes, and all of a sudden, their character comes to life! I also like making the little accessories, there is no end of possibilities.
I would recommend Etsy to other creatives yes. It’s a great selling platform, easy to use and although there are a lot of people on Etsy, you do get found!
So, I started making jewellery quite a few years ago, that’s really where I learnt a lot of the skills I use now and it’s still a passion of mine to be honest so I try to ‘shoe horn’ a few designs in here and there, using coins of course. I like to use really old coins for jewellery as they used to be made from sterling silver 100yrs plus ago and I like to keep most, if not all, of the coin intact too so the designs are very much based on that idea.
I don’t often use gemstones but if I do I would usually go for the cabochon stones as they are easier to set and wobble about less! I love gemstones and buy far more than I use but they are not usually the main features in my pieces, they’re quite minimal and understated.
It’s hard to say as I’m not sure where my brain will take me next but there are some fire breathing creations on the horizon, I know that much.
Head over to our tutorial page where we share with you the many ways you can transform your scrap silver to create unique jewellery designs.
Scrap silver is created from excess metal, including tiny particles of silver left over from filing and sawing - never throw these pieces away! Even tiny pieces of silver are valuable and can be used to create new and beautiful pieces of jewellery.
We show you some brilliant tutorials including how to make these little pebble earstuds.