A Brief History
I graduated in 1998 with a degree in Printed Textiles from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art.
Between 1999 and 2009 I worked as a stylist for Habitat and M&S, based mainly in London but laterly in my home town of Aberdeen.
From 2011 I have worked as a freelance stylist on various projects in independent shops across Scotland. This fitted in with my family commitments and I have worked on some exciting projects. I enjoyed the creativity of this work, however I wanted to concentrate more on my own designs rather than styling the work of other designers. With this in mind, I started to draw again, and taught myself how to use Photoshop. I also signed up for a refresher screen printing course at Peacock Visual Arts, and began to build up my portfolio of work.
Screen printing is the starting point to most of my current work. I love the element of surprise and instant gratification I get when a screen is pulled and revealed! Although my work often starts with a screen print, I do not regard myself as a “Screen printer” as such. I rarely edition my prints and prefer to work into my prints with paint, ink, silver leaf and other mediums to create a unique effect. Screen printing is the starting point to all of my work. The “peel and reveal” instant gratification that lifting a screen has is just the best!
I have been exhibiting my work since 2011, and even managed to pull together one exhibition when my third son was 8 days old! (Extreme Multi tasking was needed for that one!!)
In 2015 I started producing lampshades and cushions. Having a Textiles and Home Styling background, it just made sense for me to design my own range!
In 2017 a friend gave me a candle that she had made and poured into an old can that she had decoupaged herself. It was beautiful! This was the inspiration for me to try out my next venture – Candles. I wanted to design a range of candles that were a design statement in their own right, but were also beautifully scented and made with the best quality products.
In Dec 2017 I launched my new range of luxury, hand poured, scented candles.
2018 was another busy year..I converted our barn into a Studio, Workshop and Exhibition Space. It was an amazing space with loads of natural light, and I held some great exhibitions and pop up events from this space.
The barn however was prone to the odd leak, and I was forever mopping up little puddles.. This wasn’t a massive problem until Dec 2019. 2 days before I was exhibiting with 5 others for the NEOS Christmas Pop Up, after a solid 2 days of heavy rain, my barn finally gave in and had a massive flood..
What doesn’t break you…
When I walked in to the flood on that cold December morning I thought “Nope, this has broken me, I can’t go on!” I called all of my fellow exhibitors, and called it off. Later that day, I was on my way down to my village shop when I remembered a beautiful wee shop in the neighbouring village that looked empty.. I popped down to scope it out, and there was a “for rent” hand written sign in the window.
I called the number on the sign, explained my situation and asked if I could rent the space for 3 days..Although surprised at the “short Lease”, the landlord said YES! Everything was back on, and we went on to have an amazing Christmas Pop Up event!
The 3 Day event that carried on…
Ok, so here I was in a beautiful space, with a great retail space on the ground floor and an amazing workshop space on the first floor..And I didn’t want to leave! I asked the landlord if I could stay on for December, which he agreed to.. And then guess what..? I loved it so much that I decided that the old Boot makers on Station Road, Maud would be my permanent art home!
2020..A year like no other
I started 2020 full of excitement. After spending 3 months of sourcing amazing works from local artists, becoming an official stockist of my favourite furniture Paint, FRENCHIC, and painting everything in sight, on the 6th March 2020 I opened my doors for the first day of trade.
Amazing amazing amazing! My workshop area is on the first floor, and this will be the creative hub for not only me, but others who want to try something new..Workshops are open to the public for : Screenprinting, Candlemaking, Lampshade making, Arm Knitting, Book Binding, Frenchic Paint techniques, Upholstery and more.. Downstairs in my retail space is filled with a huge selection of FRENCHIC Furniture Paint, Art, lampshades and Candles designed and made by me, and a varied selection of jewellery, lifestyle and artwork sourced from various artists and designers across the country.
And then there was lockdown…
I was open for 6 days, and then the dreaded C word came along. COVID. Like the rest of the country I locked up my shop and lay low for a while! But shortly after this, the F craze began..Frenchic! It felt like the whole of the country decided to paint everything during lockdown from Outdoor furniture, to kitchens, to toilet seats…You name it, it got painted! I found myself selling paint contactlessly from my front door, and it went crazy! (But in a good way!!).
Shop Re-launch, third time lucky!
After almost 4 months of being closed, I finally re-opened my doors on Saturday the 4th July. During lockdown I added tea lights and diffusers to my candle range, re-branded my “Lampshade kits” and added “Screenprinting kits” to my range.
I absolutely love my workspace and shop and whether its a pot of paint or a one off piece of art work you are after, hopefully there will be something that catches your eye!