Our names are Bev Shalts and Mike Petty, and we've worked together for more than 25 years. We solve creative problems with intelligent, custom-made solutions, and also have ready-to-ship designs available from our webshop. Everything is hand made by us.
We first met in the late 1980's, creating extravagant costumes and props for big West End musicals in London. It was high-stress work, and for many years we were creative, problem-solving ninjas who never slept! It was great fun, and we learnt a lot, but eventually the chaos, exhaustion and low budgets started to drive us crazy. Could beautiful things be created, without having to compromise? We wanted to try.
So after quitting our theatre jobs, and spending every penny we had on fine materials, we threw ourselves into producing our own creations. And they were an instant hit! We spent the profits travelling around Europe, selling more with each journey, bursting with inspiration and relishing the new skills we gained along the way.
Fast forward 25 years, and here we are. During all the growth and development, some things haven't changed. Everything in Tentacle Studio is still made by hand, by us, and we're still exploring ideas and creating unique things that don't exist anywhere else in the world. Our reputation has grown, and nowadays our clients include international celebrities, ad agencies and cultural foundations. Our permanent workshop is nestled just outside Amsterdam in the heart of the tulip growing area. It's still a real buzz when people have fun and get transformed by our creations, and we still love to travel!
Get to know us
The workshop is 10 minutes drive from Schiphol Airport, just outside Amsterdam. You are very welcome to arrange a visit, or phone for a chat about what you need. You'll get honest, expert advice and progress photos of your custom order in progress, so you can relax, knowing you will be happy with the finished result.
Our clients are very diverse: Christian Dior, Lady Gaga, Harrods, Delta Airlines, Hermes, TV companies, and stylists, magicians, museums, theatres, ballet companies, fashion houses, professional performers and amateur party beasts! Our work has featured in many magazines including Vogue and the New York Times, on TV and in many music videos.
Here's some more photos of us, and the studio in action...
Hey, you're still here! And we are still here too. So let's keep scrolling down to find out more ...
Bev is a classically trained tailor, but often works with high tech and stretch fabrics. After achieving her degree in Theatre Costume & Design, she initially specialised in creating costumes and headdresses for large musicals, then became involved in additional projects and quickly turned freelance. Bev is an expert in all things to do with fabrics, animal heads and masks.
A classically trained sculptor, Mike works regularly with wood, plaster, latex, poly foam and fibreglass resin. For many years he was head of the busy Props Department at the Haymarket Theatre. Having worked for the BBC and several award-winning designers, Mike has created sculptures and effects for many TV and theatre productions. Also an accomplished painter in oils, his work takes pride of place in private houses, hotels and government institutions around the world.
We couldn't acheive as much as we do without our network of specialist freelancers and other expert companies who work closely with us: sometimes at very short notice! Special thanks go to Eva, Herma, Marjolein, Yolanda, Katherine, Qin, Russell Gilbert at The English Editors, Helen, Rosie, Galiene, Els, Vittorio, Fukotex, Willem at Mawi Embroidery, and Krijger the Printers.
And if you want to hear our latest news,