LEGO® Master Builder Duncan Titmarsh is the UK’s only LEGO certified professional and he clearly has a passion – as well as an amazing talent – for designing and building LEGO artwork and sculptures. We managed to persuade him to down bricks for a few minutes so we could quiz him about his fantastic job!
1. How did you become a LEGO Master Builder? Was it a childhood passion for LEGO that got you started?
Yes I had LEGO as a child and the passion carried on into my adult life. A lot of the skills I use today, I first acquired when I encountered LEGO as a youngster.
2. What was your most challenging build and what big build are you most proud of?
We installed a 12m tall Christmas Tree at St Pancras Station in 2012 and I enjoyed that build the most as it was our first very big build and the most epic build we’ve undertaken. It took eight weeks for four of us to build it and then a further two weeks to install, working every night as we had to keep the concourse clear during the day! In terms of challenging designs, we are always pushing the boundaries at LEGO and we recently recreated the engine of a Rolls Royce. It’s great to be able to work on such interesting projects and to create iconic buildings.
Duncan adding the finishing touch to the St Pancras Christmas Tree
3. Have you had any disasters?
Not really – although we did drop a model after building it, but that was only once!
4. We know kids still love LEGO, despite the draw of the digital world. Why do you think LEGO is still captivating children?
With LEGO bricks you can still create with your imagination. I think there will always be a place for LEGO and that parents and children alike enjoy the tactile nature of handling each brick to build models. There is such a sense of achievement when a project is finished and although it can be broken down and the pieces used again and again, it’s a tangible monument that can be passed around, photographed and shown off – that’s something you just can’t do with a computer game! I think parents are also mindful that LEGO can enhance skills in a number of areas too – it’s a strategic and logical process that involves maths (not least counting the bricks and working out what is required) and design. And, believe me, there is no more fun way to learn!
5. LEGO Friends is going down a storm with young girls (a bit of a shopping frenzy was witnessed in the Shop at LEGOLAND this summer!). Do you think we will see more girls building with LEGO? Perhaps a female Master Builder in the future?
Yes girls are getting into building more and we already have a female LCP (LEGO Certified Professional).
6. Your company, Bright Bricks www.bright-bricks.com has worked with an amazing range of brands and people. You’ve also produced some incredible builds – we loved the LEGO Olympic Stadium Model and the representation of the Olympic Skyline/East Village. Can you tell us a little bit more about these projects?
Each build is different and has to be approached in different way. Recreating the Rolls Royce engine was particularly tricky as it had to include moving parts. It took us six weeks to build and we even had to head over to the Rolls Royce factory in Derby to make sure our final creation was as accurate as possible. The Olympic stadium was just done for fun but definitely one of the most distinctive buildings we’ve worked on, ogled by global audiences of millions throughout the Summer. The east village was a live build so people could watch as we built – I love these interactive installations; it’s exciting to see the reaction of the public and their enthusiasm is so contagious!
The recreation of a Rolls-Royce engine in LEGO (amazing!)
The LEGO Olympic Stadium Model was built to celebrate the 2012 Olympics – it was the centrepiece of an interactive event where members of the public were invited to place their own minifigure into the seated area of the Stadium.
7. What’s next for Bright Bricks – any projects you can tell us about?
We have been asked to build another engine for Rolls Royce and we have just completed a large book for DK. Other projects are on the way but we are not allowed to say. I'm currently working on a live build at the Milestones Museum in Basingstoke.
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