Peter Fagan is best known for creating the world-famous Colour Box cats and bears which were hugely popular in the 1980s and 90s
Born on 5 November 1941, Peter Christopher Fagan, the eldest of 5 children, was the artist of the family. His artistic talents began at a young age with his first school report, when he was only five, stating that he was “excellent in plasticine and should do well with his modelling”. Even today Peter still models using plasticine as his medium of choice of which to sculpt his excellent bear and cat pieces.
Born and bred in Essex but with deep Celtic roots Peter took inspiration from people, places and things to create his Home Sweet Home collection of cats.
Upon graduating from Colchester College of Art in the early 1960s Peter experienced a number of jobs including bus conductor. He taught pottery at Braintree College of Further Education and also worked as an assistant in an art studio where he was responsible for casting bronze sculptures for Coventry Cathedral.
He later, despite a lack of experience, became an exhibition stand designer.
In 1972 Peter felt the need for a change and with no specific plans in place, he sold his house and drove to Scotland. He travelled around for several weeks looking at properties in the Highlands but eventually travelled south to the Borders and ended up in Lauder where he ran out of petrol and ended up staying.
To earn a living Peter took a job working in a factory but began also taking private commissions of mainly relief plaques. Some of his work can still be seen in Lauder today, the most notable are four coats of arms which can be found in Lauder Church to celebrate its tercentenary in November 1973.
Earlier in the same year, whilst in a craft shop, Peter spotted some owl figurines cast in bronze. He thought to himself, “I can do that” and promptly went home where he set to work. In a short space of time, he had produced a selection of animal figurines which he took from shop to shop to try and secure orders. Plenty of shopkeepers did like them and in 1973 Bronze Age Limited was born.
In 1983 Peter went on to create Colour Box which became one of the largest gifting companies in the UK. Sadly Colour Box closed in 2000, however, Peter continued creating items for his army of collectors by forging links with Westminster Editions and Arch House Collectables in Tenby which was the sole UK retailer for his work. By the mid-2000s though, Peter was selling directly to his collectors with the help of the late Wendy Hewins who coordinated mailings, orders and events. Today Peter offers items for sale on a limited basis making them truly collectable. All orders and enquiries are looked after by fellow collector, Denise White.
Peter has never forgotten his multi-disciplinary artistic routes and has recently gone back to expressing his creativity through working primarily with paint, resin and clay, creating mixed media relief panels that explore the relationship between surface texture and colour. He has just recently launched Peter Fagan Art, a website dedicated to his more abstract work, peterfaganart.co.uk