Bryony Rumble is a prop maker who has worked over the past 12 years with Glyndebourne, Shakespeare’s Globe, Royal Opera House and built a spaceship out the back of the BBC. She’s in her 11th year of sharing a Bussey Building studio with 9 other creatives, and is looking forward to what the future holds.

What do you do?

I am predominantly a prop maker, but have slightly different titles for what I do depending on the job I’m doing and the specific area I’m working in (and the people I’m trying to impress!) Prop making covers such a wide variety of areas, but I largely work in soft props, puppet/ animal construction and costume props. It involves designing and buying/supervising too. Ask me again tomorrow!

Who do you share your studio with?

I share B3.2 with 9 other artists. The studio has existed in this unit since 2006, and was set up by 3 Camberwell graduates; Hannah, Gary and Richard. I joined in 2008, a year after I graduated from London College of Fashion. The studio currently has painters, theatre designers, a scenic artist, a graphic designer and a photographer.

How often do you get to be in the studio?

Not as much as I should do! I have been working full time at Glyndebourne in Sussex for the last 18 months, but I’ve been in a lot more since the Peckham Festival Open Studios, and intend to be there making and drawing for the next few months! I love the space so much, it is a real haven of light, warmth and creativity.

Do you ever work with any of the other Bussey residents?

I did briefly work with Jo Dennis for a morning! I was Art Directing a short film for the 48 hour Sci Fi London Film Challenge, and we used Safehouse 2 for one of the scenes.

Tell us about your training?

I trained at Norwich School of Art & Design for my Foundation year, and The London College of Fashion, where I completed a Diploma in Footwear Design & Construction, followed by a BA(HONS) Costume, Makeup, Technical Effects for the Performing Arts (Technical Effects pathway) indulging my love of working with leather – a segue into the next chapter of puppets, masks, creatures and costumes!

How did you get into prop & costume making?

Really from the degree course cementing all of my previous areas of interest, it was a real eye opener into the industry for me. I hadn’t always known what I wanted to do. I think if you ask any prop maker, Jim Henson’s Labyrinth probably planted the seed. I’d also like to think that David Bowie got me to where I am today. I was always designing and making costumes when I was younger; obsessed with shoes and haute couture fashion, so I knew I wanted to work with textiles, but I was also developing my fine art practice in a more sculptural trajectory and had no idea how to move forward after my Foundation. I found a way to explore all of those things further at LCF. When I graduated in 2007, I was already working with immersive pioneers Punchdrunk, and Jellyhead 3D, a character costume company making silly costumes for Harry Hill’s TV Burp and CBeebies (very opposite ends of the spectrum!). I just carried on freelancing, making connections, learning, developing and 12 years later I’m still enjoying the variety of work that comes in.

What is the most fun event you’ve worked on?

That’s quite a hard one, but a stand out project was working as part of the design team for Punchdrunk’s collaboration with Manchester International Festival and the BBC on The Crash of The Elysium, an immersive Doctor Who theatrical experience at MediaCityUK. That was a real adventure! We made a spaceship out the back of the BBC. There were Weeping Angels!

What’s coming up next for you?

I have just finished a job with a special effects company in Hove, making a mechanical prop for Colchester Mercury Theatre’s upcoming production of Cinderella. I’m currently working with Gideon Reeling and Kew Gardens on a half term festival. I have an endless list of projects for myself that I want to try and complete by the end of the year (optimistic) but I think I’m going to do a few courses, learn some more skills, and spend more time in the studio creating weird and wonderful things. Maybe more gingerbread men, as I don’t have enough of them.

What is on the Bryony Rumble playlist?

I can’t get enough of Gilles Peterson, Worldwide FM and his BBC 6 Music Saturday show fill me with so much joy. But when I’m not listening to GP, these are all old favourites:


Keep up with Bryony’s work on Facebook, Instagram and through her website.