Notable Positions Held

 
 



 

 
     
 

Editor, Mentor & Graphic Designer, Bombadil Publishing AB, Gyttorp, Sweden

I moved to Sweden from the UK in 2009 when I was invited to join an ambitious new startup company, Bombadil Publishing.   Bombadil was conceived as a youth to youth publisher, where young people (essentially up to the age of 26) could publish their work in the conventional manner in order for it to be sold through bookshops and other traditional fiction and non fiction outlets.  

Initially, I was a mentor and an editor, but as the company expanded to encompass more countries and another language (bringing Spanish into the fold alongside Swedish and English) my position evolved to be more creative; whenever anyone in the company needed some illustrations, a book cover designed, some copy or a new concept, the task would invariably fall to me.

One of my most successful legacies was the Bombadil Shorts Project, which I evolved, branded and developed from an original idea on the back of an envelope.   These quirky, leftfield videos (each one under two minutes) gave the company an instant presence within the online video communities.

Whilst I excelled in the creative department, I also stepped outside my comfort zone and successfully negotiated a book deal with the UN through the British Council in Geneva, and with the World Meteorological Organisation.


 

Prototype Engineer, BioCare Systems Limited, Suffolk, UK

Building on experience gained during the design and engineering of the Auto-fill bath, I became involved in designing and developing a variety of components that came together to form a hand hygiene monitoring system.   The UK Department of Trade and Industry lent their backing to this 6 month project as we completed construction in the lab and then undertook trialling on site in a care environment - an elderly persons drop-in centre in Merseyside.

The system comprised a badge, which was worn on the carer's belt.   After a set interval (nominally around 40 minutes) a green light on the badge was extinguished and replaced with an amber light.   10 more minutes and the amber light was replaced by red.   The only way to reset the badge to green was to wash one's hands - using a requisite measure of soap, water and paper towels whilst being present at the basin for a preset minimum amount of time.

The practical obstacles to be overcome in order to achieve this aim were enormous; a soap dispenser, a tap and a paper towel dispenser had to be capable of monitoring what was happening respectively, then they all had to communicate with a central control unit which would decide whether or not it was appropriate to reset the light on the badge.   All communication, including the badge reset was wireless and had to operate in an electronically sensitive environment.


 

Co-Founder, HighSeaKayaks.com, Sweden & UK

When I was living in Sweden, I became friends with a Norwegian called Steinar Gustavsen.   Steinar has built kayaks for many years and he was building his latest craft when I met him.   He duly finished his kayak and launched it, I tried it out and from that moment I was hooked on kayaking.   Before too long I started building my own, under Steinar's tutelage.

I have quite a lot of woodworking experience, but how to turn a pile of sticks into a kayak was a total mystery to me, although it turned out to be remarkably simple.   Steinar and I then wrote an illustrated guide to strip building with the aim of simplifying what can appear to be an extremely daunting task.   We also developed a series of form templates, which are a unique and very easy way of building a kayak from plans, far simpler than anything else that is on the market.

Kayaking is our first passion, but we set to and marketed our guide and plans through the internet where they reach a small and close-knit market of prospective and experienced kayakers.                    

 
 



 

 

design, content & layout John Parry