Sunday, February 28, 2016

Incase you wonder where we have gone, we are over here at  But we will be popping back from time to time.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Simplify, simplify . . .

A pair of little tea tables in the morning sun, awaiting their next coat of oil. Self employment really just means that life and work become one and the same

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Why Create

Its the big question -  why create.  What is it that spurs us on to design and make beautiful things? Why does this drive bubble out of us?  Everyone will have their own point of view.  For me its an attempt to transfer that heart singing feeling you get when you see something that is just right, balanced and beautiful.  Using texture, pattern and colour I try to recreate that emotion and feeling.  I don't think I even get close, but I enjoy the attempt and the process.

Saturday, August 8, 2015


A good few years ago I used to draw things, especially with coloured chalks, and mostly trees. Time moves on and although sketching is still my preferred method of explaining an idea, and although I still love trees (they are a regular feature of our window displays at The Department), I haven't produced an actual picture for a long time.

Drawing is one of those arts that appears very simple and yet when you have a go turns out to be quite difficult. But given time, persistence and the right teacher, skills can be developed and lessons learnt and like riding a bike two of those lessons have stayed with me - seeing, and letting go.

It seems obvious that to draw something you copy what you see in front of you onto the paper, and yet so often I notice that what I see is actually the picture of that object that lives inside my head not what is actually there and so the first step becomes letting go, letting go of my preconceptions, my memories and past experiences, my idea of what the object is or ought to be and even my wish to make it that way and keep it fixed. All of it has to go, and only then can I see well enough to put the marks onto the paper.

"I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality."

Frida Kahlo

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Small decisions

Do you ever realise that you have forgotten something really obvious? Like where to go shopping.
Being the generation that I am, and having grown up in a city with all the anonymity that that entails it I have always just shopped at a supermarket. I mean why wouldn't you, they have everything you need and the prices are cheaper than anywhere else.
And yet over the last few years I have noticed more and more news stories that make me question that obvious choice. Reports of the power supermarkets hold over their suppliers, how they can dictate the price they sell their goods at and even drive them out of business if they refuse to comply. Stories of new technology that allows food to be kept on the shelves longer because it still looks ok, or new varieties that travel well but have less nutrients than traditional ones.
So one day Nicola went to our local butcher. And because there was someone there to ask, she did so. And yes their chicken is free range, so is the pork and the eggs and the beef is grass fed. They could tell her where everything came from as well as the ingredients in the sausages - because of course they make them themselves.
So now we buy our meat from the butcher. Afterwards I may still go to the supermarket but now buy a lot, lot less there and can choose what I purchase rather than taking what they decide to offer me.
It is perhaps not so surprising that I had forgotten all of this - given the massive advertising budgets that large companies have and the influence they have in parliament  to change our laws even to force small producers out, but I still feel daft for having been conned for so long. But I take hope in the fact that others are not so gullible, and as a designer maker myself I see proof of this everytime someone chooses something I have made over something from some faceless factory.
So if there is a point to all my rambling it is this - never stop questioning what you are told because the little everyday choices we make quietly can have just as much effect as marching on parliament.
Buy local, buy handmade.

Sunday, June 28, 2015


Porridge. Is there anything better on a frosty Sunday morning than a bowl of porridge ?
Not just for your body but for your mind as well - Nicola has mentioned letting our right brains run free but to do so I find I need space in my head, space free of the television, of facebook and of all the rest.
And it turns out that in something as simple as stirring porridge, that my mind is given that freedom.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Recently I have been wondering exactly what is a blog for, how does it fit in too Coulter & Coulter, what do we want to achieve with it?  The conclusion I have reached is inspiration.  A place to share what inspires us, why we are inspired and the results of the inspiration.

What's been inspiring me is listening to David Trubridge  on the need to create. it triggered one of those light bulb moments (no pun intended there) for me.  And reading this conversation by Neil Gamine on genre  The two very different things seemed to feed into each other.  Then I got to thinking why do we focus so much on left brain, where does it all start? Is it the way we educate our children?  Do we really need to catagorise so much?  Maybe its time to let our right brains run free.