Two weeks down the line after first setting foot into the delightful Bombus Oast, I don't think I've ever been so well acquainted with the world's geography, or glue. Read on to find out what happened when I jointed Bombus for a fortnight, as part of their internship programme.
These two weeks truly have been food for creative thought, from the very beginning we got stuck straight in. This was definitely not going to be the average internship cliché.
I was introduced to the workings of the laser cutters and shown how they were programmed to cut the various characteristic Bombus shapes. As someone fairly new to the scene when it comes to using Adobe Illustrator and cutters themselves, I was surprised as to how quickly I managed to get the hang of it, it was explained so clearly and simply that it would be hard not to!
As the weeks progressed I moved between making the different products. I helped to make slot boxes first, and had a go at staining wood for the box pieces and a few of the Keepsakes too. I also made a few mirrors and covered notebooks.
Another day I was making personalised letters: sticking the appropriate maps onto wooden letters and sanding them to perfection. There was something immensely satisfying about transforming two very separate pieces: a map, and a block of wood into a unique and quirky product, a feeling, which I found, often repeated during my time at Bombus.
As I made my way around it was interesting to see the variety of locations requested by the customers, you can’t help but begin to wonder what happened to a Sarah and James in Sheffield in 1995 to inspire their order.
Of all the things I tried, I thoroughly enjoyed sifting through piles of maps to find specific locations. It was a great challenge, armed with a scalpel and stencil I spent a few days searching for interesting and pretty maps to use for those individual and personalised orders. The process definitely improved my eye for composition and scale. But at the end of it, there is nothing better than seeing the map you cut out stuck onto a finished product and knowing not one other like it exists.
At the end of your internship you even get to make your own personalised product. I opted for the classic trio of circles, but they’re always open to new ideas!
The Bombus team really are amazing, after a few days I felt like I’d been there for weeks. They’re so welcoming and their passion for what they do is infectious. I can’t help but leave this internship with dozens of my own ideas! For me, a person who has never really had much experience in Art or Product Design beyond an Art GCSE, I have learnt so much about the simplicity of effective designs and the way that products can evolve from one simple concept into a whole array of inspired ideas.
So for those considering this internship, I urge you to go for it, there’s something for everyone at Bombus, whether you are a curious newbie like I was or an experienced student of Graphic Design, there will always be something new to learn, and of course, everyone will get different things out of it!