Sunderland’s wacky inventor showcases designs on hit US talk show

Dominic Wilcox on the Late Show
Dominic Wilcox on the Late Show
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A wacky Wearside inventor has showcased his fantastical yet functional designs on one of America’s biggest shows.

Dominic Wilcox, from the Elstob Farm Estate, near Silksworth, was beamed into the homes of millions when he appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

The former St Aidan’s School pupil talked the presenter through some of his weird and wonderful creations including a cereal crane and GPS shoes.

Dominic said: “I showed about seven different things from watch sculptures and my stained glass car, to a cereal serving head crane device. I’d never shown my work in the USA much at all and it was great to get it on the biggest talk show in the country.

“I always like showing my ideas to a wider audience than just the art and design world. I was a little nervous before the show but seemed to relax once I was actually on the set.”

Dominic’s creativity in blurring the line between art and invention has seen him work with global brands from designer Paul Smith and fashion emporium Selfridges to BMW and Jaffa Cakes.

He’s also had work exhibited in some of the world’s greatest galleries including Centre Pompidou in Paris and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

And he’s using his high profile in the art world to help inspire tomorrow’s inventors.

Dominic has teamed up with the Cultural Spring, an ongoing initiative to boost participation in the arts in Sunderland and South Tyneside, and will be hosting a series of workshops in his home city called Inventors!

As well as at primary schools, Dominic will be hosting the workshops at venues including Miss Tina’s Coffee Shop in Southwick and Souter Lighthouse over the half-term holidays.

Dominic Wilcox on the Late Show

Dominic Wilcox on the Late Show

“We’re asking primary school children to come up with their own inventions,” he explained. “Then I will pick out the best ones and work with local makers and manufacturers to make them into a reality. There’ll be a big exhibition showing all the ideas the children come up with and the final made creations in December.

“I’m looking forward to going around the primary schools asking the kids to draw and make prototypes of their ideas. I’m expecting some crazy ideas and maybe some great solutions to everyday problems. You never know, we could find the next great North East inventor.”

Dominic will also be hosting an event at Monkwearmouth Academy on January 15 called Inventors! STEAM Co. Day where several hundred primary children can take part in a day of creative thinking and activities.

It will also feature a programme of talks for parents, teachers, artists and business people, by local celebrities and others to showcase local creativity, community and education projects, which will be aired on the STEAM Co.’s arts charity YouTube channel.

Dominic with his stained glass sleeper car

Dominic with his stained glass sleeper car

•Anyone aged between four and 13 can send their invention drawings to inventors@theculturalspring.org.uk.

•For more details on the Inventors! workshops visit http://theculturalspring.org.uk/event/inventors/

Some of Dominic's invention sketches

Some of Dominic's invention sketches

Dominic's watch sculpture

Dominic's watch sculpture