Painter and printmaker Wendy McCarroll Sandeman joined Coburg Art Studios in 2009 and exhibits her work at Open Studios in August and December each year as well as in galleries across East Lothian and Edinburgh. Working from sketches, photographs, found objects, memories and imagination, Wendy uses mixed media to build up layers of paint or print then draw into and/or scrape these back finding and losing shapes and wrestling a picture out of the process. Read our interview with Wendy below, ecploring her aspirations and inspirations.
Daniel Killeen creates paintings, jewellery and glassware inspired by the natural world, in particular Scottish landscapes. Daniel's pieces are both decorative and functional.
1. What is your favourite piece you've ever created?
I seem to be teaching myself new skills a lot of the time so I am often excited about the new thing i'm doing in the moment. But my favourite pieces are the black glass and gold bowls that I make. They are so fragile and I love the process of revealing the glass form when removing it from the plaster that thay have been fired onto. They are different each time and I love laying the gold
2. What is your proudest achievement as an artist/maker?
It's still to come...
3. How would you describe your style?
Experimental Expressive Explorative and Eclectic
4. What is your ultimate goal for your work?
If I knew the answer to this question I might not have a reason to work anymore.
5. What kind of things inspire you?
I look a lot to nature. Scottish highlands and islands mostly and I make a couple of research trips a year to the highlands and islands to draw, paint and think. I'm also inspired by other people's creative skills, motivation and seeing amazing things that other artists make.
6. What customer do you have in mind when you design?
Generally I'm excited about the shapes, designs, technique that im using at the time and I don't have an audience In mind. Its probably not a good business plan but I can't help following the flow of my creative tangents.
7. Is the idea of creative collaboration important to you?
Not particularly although I have worked with others and have found it to be as exciting as it is stressful... It can be amazing to see the results when different disciplines mix.
8. What has been the greatest influence on your artistic career?
I'd say it was when I met a glass artist who said 'why don't you try making that in glass' and he showed me how. Then I realised I could teach myself new skills with occasional help from friends and I'm still enjoying that journey.
9. Which is more important in your work- the process or the product?
I get excited about a new idea and enjoy the process of getting to the point of a final product. I tend to make things that have lots of different elements before there is a finished piece that makes the process longer and more enjoyable for me .
10. What is the most important lesson you've learned as an artist/maker?
Some one once said to me 'No one said being and artist was going to be easy!'
so from that I figured to say “Whatever it is that your doing creatively, take it seriously, always do it, adapt and do it to your best ability.”
James Donald is a weaver by trade, creating unique handmade scraves, bags and accessories under the name Pick One. He aso runs regular weaving courses from his studio at Coburg House, and is the proprietor of independent Edinburgh design and gift store Concrete Wardrobe.
What is your favourite piece you've ever created?
I think it would have been my first ever commission for Ann Sutton, who basically wrote the template for contemporary weavers … so to be recognised at an early stage in my career by someone I read about and studied at art school was recognition indeed!
What is your proudest achievement as an artist/maker?
That I am still going, still learning, still developing, expanding and managing to pay my mortgage! I’m also secretly chuffed that my woven work has allowed me to travel internationally, something that would not have occurred to me whilst at art school.
How would you describe your style?
Presently I would say it’s fairly graphic, my last collection was monochromatic with weave structures I had developed over a year or so, this years collection are combining these same graphic structures with pops of bright colour alongside areas of simpler weave structures. This year I’m taking a risk as I’m producing oversized infinity scarves and smaller big snoods … so there won’t be any scarves!
What is your ultimate goal for your work?
To keep going, to keep teaching weave classes from the PickOne Studio and producing relevant work, that would be hard to replicate for the high street, that folk want to be seen in.
What kind of things inspire you?
Fashion, colour combinations, Japanese aesthetics, 60’s/70’s ceramics (I collect!) travel is a great inspiration for me and it doesn't matter where I go to, I always come back to the Scottish land and seascapes for a real creative kick. I know it’s a cliche but its also a truism Scotland does provide a wide and varied range of inspirations, although I think the trick is knowing where to look.
What customer do you have in mind when you design?
It changes from collection to collection … but I tend to people watch and observe what folk in the street are wearing and how they put clothes together, I do look at various trend forecasting sites, magazines to see what and what not to do. I also think about what celebrity would wear a particular collection and take it from there …
Is the idea of creative collaboration important to you?
Very much so, for the past 18 years I have been collaborating with printed textiles designer, Fiona MacIntosh through the curatorship of our retail space Concrete Wardrobe, what started out as a pop up shop has gone on to be a space where we sell and promote Scottish based and trained designer makers. In 2005 we were voted for Scottish retailer of the year and we were up against Harvey Nic’s … we didn’t win, but to get a nomination was gratifying and further verified what we were doing. People forget that when we started with Concrete Wardrobe there was very little else on the market supporting independent Scottish makers … now other retailers have followed and its been a tricky balancing act staying true to what we believe in versus mass production, imports and shifting attitudes to shopping, selling and the rise of internet selling, not to mention dealing with banking horrors a few years back. I would never have been able to do any of this without this collaborative relationship with Fiona, so yes collaboration has been vitally important to me as a makers and a business person.
What has been the greatest influence on your artistic career?
Another shifting smorgasbord of delights and it would be very tricky to pin this down to any one influence, but its safe to say that the people I am surrounded by at Coburg, Concrete Wardrobe and my online community of weavers and makers who help to form my artistic and creative career.
Which is more important in your work- the process or the product?
As a maker, who survives off my own endeavours both should go hand in hand, but the reality is the product. When I do get the time to re examine and develop my process I get a real kick out of the development through colour, shape,scale and structure and how that translates into hand woven cloth, which ultimately has to be beautifully woven.
What is the most important lesson you've learned as an artist/maker?
Diversification. Diversification has enabled me to look outword and develop my practice through developing non woven product ranges, running weekend/evening weave classes and now developing week long speciality weave classes, mentoring, running Concrete Wardrobe etc … for me this has been a template to survival as a creative individual.