Artist gets boost from celebrations

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Walter Cha, Lifetime Achievement winner, with Lucy Grey from lead sponsor Trethowans and Mark Waldron, editor of The News.  Picture: Keith Woodland

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THE Queen’s Jubilee is helping to launch a Southsea artist’s business.

Alison Gardiner has designed and produced a range of crockery at her home studio to mark the Queen’s 60th year on the throne, and it is now being sold by all John Lewis stores in the UK.

Alison hopes that future deals with John Lewis will be in store.

Alison, of The Retreat, said: ‘It’s fantastic, and we’re now talking about other products, like for Christmas.

‘They’ve also taken two other mugs I’ve designed and are selling them alongside their Olympic range.

‘We’ve got a lot of work to do now, like designing advent calendars for Canterbury Cathedral, so we’re not resting on our laurels.’

Alison was trained in textiles and moved to Southsea in 1999 as her husband Alistair Gregory was in the navy.

He now works alongside her, concentrating on production and marketing while she designs.

She began designing and producing mugs for all the National Trust properties in the UK, which are still on sale in their shops.

But it was working with the Royal Household that led her to focus on the Jubillee.

‘I was making things to sell in the shops at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Holyroodhouse, like advent calendars, mugs, chocolate bars – anything that could have a design on it.

‘So because of that, because I’d been used to drawing coaches and horses, and that led to me doing a mug for the Royal Wedding and now the Jubilee.’