The Evolution of a Cowbone

Apr 14, 2018 · 3 min read
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Fidgeters started out as a pebble.


I carried this pebble around with me everywhere as a comforting and reliable object. It was lovely and round, had a satisfying weight and gritty texture, and it fit right in the palm of my hand.

It gave me something to do with my hands when I was feeling restless and something to glance at when I was finding eye-contact tricky. I loved knowing that it was always there.

Eric was inspired.


I wanted to make Natalie an object that she wouldn’t want to put down. I wanted her to have something that she liked and would make her think of me, and I knew she liked the pebble, so I wanted to do something like that.

She said that what was great about the pebble, was how it fit in her hand, so if I wanted to replace that I needed to create something else that fit the hand.
I never drew the design of the Cowbone, I just went to the workshop. I couldn’t exactly picture it, either, I just felt the shape it was meant to be.

I took a piece of wood and I started sanding it with files that I measured against my hands to be sure they had the same size and curvature as fingers, so that the curves I was making would too.

I probably sanded for about 5 hours. I know because I went in before lunch and I stayed until the workshop closed. When it closed I quickly took a scoop of beeswax on some rough tissue and left, and I polished it as I walked along.

I remember working the wax into the wood and walking along, and it was cold and dark outside and I could smell the wax. It was great.


It was great! And it did smell lovely.

We liked the shape so much we wanted to try to reproduce it. I watched a million videos about the casting process, and we got our hands on the cheapest materials available to make a mould. Builder’s silicone and cornflour!

It was very messy and smelled extremely strongly of vinegar, but we managed to make a polyurethane resin copy and knew we wanted to keep going.

We’re continually refining our process to make the cowbone more beautiful and touchable. We’ve made plenty of goofs along the way, but when you’re working with such colourful and exciting materials, the mistakes have a lot of charm.

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Our Table of Misfit Toys

We started with a pebble, and now we have notebooks full of ideas to satisfy the world’s fidgeting needs!

We take from all sorts of influences — architecture, art, nature. We want to take the shapes, colours, and textures that we find pleasing and put them in your hands.

We love making these objects and we hope you love playing with them just as much.

Natalie Ayres


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