Stilin's Old Word Mettle

the next chapter in the story of Stiling’s Workshop.



the toy shop that jack built


A toy is a catalyst for imagination, an exploration of an idea, just as a sketch is drawn before a mural and a model before a technological breakthrough.

Old World Mettle provides hand-built, traditionally-themed ‘toys’ through the means of ingenious and inventive contraptions. An experience of playful interaction, artistic collaboration and social experimentation, it's a good tug at the strings of the inner infantile puppet kept under lock and key by adult rationality.


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imperfect toys for imperfect times


Modern takes on resurrected designs of antique playthings.


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Mechanically restored and modified examples of original tinplate and clockwork toys. Well-built and well-loved, these antiques are are rebuilt and offered a second chance to excite, fascinate and inspire.


in progress...



The Spick-n-Span range embodies the history of the traditional toy genre while reviving it in a contemporary context.

Available for the collector and admirer, these one-off handcrafted artworks are designed and built from scratch in the workshop, or supplied by a co-operative of fellow artisans doing much the same. These pieces are as unique as the individual who makes them, a culmination of skill, talent and hours of hard work.




For this project, not even the humble box sees compromise. Take a look:



humble work & mad wanderings

Operating as platforms for display will be two mobile stalls. On town streets and public events, they are to be spectacular in themselves: a mass of movement, colour and excitement.

The large stall will invite the audience to play, interact with and race the exhibits. For public entertainment, eccentricity and improbability will be paramount to ensure a complex visual experience.

It will offer a 'pay to play' service at £1 per wind of locomotive or per putt-putt boat race.


Scratch built, with tricks up every sleeve.


A smaller stall will be made to be carried on the back in order to trade whilst walking the streets.

Mobility is essential in this case as it is to be built to comply with The Pedlar’s Act (1871).


This project is entirely self funded with every aspect designed and built by one man in the time that can be afforded between surviving and running Stiling's Workshop.

Please read the full plan, donate or buy the products on this website. Every purchase is in direct support of Old World Mettle, an independent business born out of sheer hard work and relentless optimism.


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