Category Archives: Creatively Speaking – Friday Interview

Creatively Speaking – Barbara Keal


I recently posted on felt designer Barbera Keal and her fantastical headwear… the envy of every child’s dressing up box. Barbara has kindly agreed to an interview to tell us a little about herself and her influences.  So sit back have a cuppa (and a slice of the chocolate cake below!)…Have a great weekend

How would you describe your work and style?

My work as a feltmaker mainly consists of tranformative animal headwear – hats. The hats feel very genuinely animal because they are made from animal hair (sheeps wool and alpaca fleece) in natural colours, I love this material and do all that I can to allow it to maintain its original qualities. There is a tension in the work between gritty realism and fairytale beauty.


What, where and/or who inspires you?

What inspires me is the desire to make work that can help a person feel more fully alive.  My local “Malling Hill”, part of the Sussex downs is where I most frequently experience that aliveness I want to share. Something about the hill’s plump gravity, the dumb meeting with a cow, the ecstatic rising song of the skylark gives me a sharp realisation of my place as one amongst the community of all creatures. It is also home to the sheep whose fleeces I used for my first feltmaking.

Barbara on Malling Hill

Which is your favorite personal project and why?

Oh, I don’t really have a favourite. Most of my years since graduating from art school have been spent making “live art”, within that context the making of the animal hats from simple to hugely elaborate has all been part of one rather ongoing project. If however I look specifically at my work as a feltmaker there are myriad works.The project which brought me to feltmaking was the making of a dress for myself from the fleeces of the sheep on Malling Hill. The skirts of the dress were huge, I used working horses to help me with the felting. In the end the dress was like a cave which could hold an audience of 10 people, to whom I sang wordless improvied songs through resonant clay vessels I had hand buit for the purpose. In another respect I was most deeply moved by making a felt shroud for my aunt, luscious soft white wool, a winter lanscape with a large white spirit dog running across it’s barren expanse.

Barbara and her Cave Dress

Barbara and her Cave Dress

What has been the most exciting point in your career to date and why?

I don’t know that I really have a career as such. Somehow that word implies a definite trajectory in a predecided direction. I came to feltmaking through the search for meaning and  aliveness that was, and still is my “art work”. Felt making and the animal “hats” in particular has taken me to some interesting places, places I never desired nor expected to visit. Shepperton Film studios, Kanye West’s London studio, Rockerfeller centre – New York, Paris, Somerset House or Nantes. All these places are extremely curious to see. I never made my work thinking of a career and even now regard the whole thing as a suprising journey. The most wonderful opportunity I have been offered was that of working together with my husband Richard to make a large installation for the gallery space in anthropologie’s Rockerfeller centre store, simply because it was so good to work together in such a sustained way on a large piece – A wall torn from our imaginations, made solid in wood, wool, slate and clay.






If you could have your work displayed anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be displayed?

On the heads of every person in London! I grew up in that huge impersonal city and would love to see it inhabited by a million animals for one day in winter. (Not that my body could rise to the challenge of felting all those hats!)


If someone were coming to visit your home town where would be the must stop place or places to visit (this could be a place, restaurant, cafe, etc).
Of course my Malling Hill! To meet the wild rugged sheep, look at the town from above and if they are lucky glimpse the sea on the horizon.

Describe your perfect day
A long, happy hill walk on a warm day – rain, cloud or sun. Singing, whistleing on the way and ending with a swim in the sea.

If you were to board Noah’s Ark and were told that you could take three things with you. What would they be? 
I must say I love the idea of being on Noahs Ark. Clay, felting needles and a guitar (i’d already be wearing my hat). I’m assuming I could get hold of some fleece on board!

Now as much as I love your work, I love cooking and am always eager to find out a new recipe… what is your favorite dish to cook??….Would I be able to ask for the recipe?..
Well, I doubt if I can offer a recipe you’ve never heard of but I can offer a mega cake challenge! Every year my eldest son Isaiah tells me what sort of birthday cake he would like – from an orangutan driving a dumper truck to alpaca’s grazing the Andes mountains. Here’s a recipe for chocolate and meringue Andes mountains with marzipan alpacas.

Choc cake:

10oz self raising flour

3oz cocoa powder

4oz brown sugar

4oz unbleached castor sugar

6oz butter

4 egg yolks

2 whole eggs

Rub butter into flour, brown sugar and cocoa, beat eggs and castor sugar add to butter and flour mix very well ( add a bit of milk if super stiff)

Heap the mix into centre of baking tin. Bake at 180.

Use the 4 egg whites to make a giant meringue to put on top. Here’s a recipe:

Once all has cooled whip ½ pint double cream the meringue goes on top of the choc cake.

For the puposes of brevity buy some marzipan and form it into alpacas of various sizes. Each alpaca can stand in a big drop of melted chocolate as it becomes nearly solid on the lower part of the mountain or in a dollop of cream at the top.

(BCD – This could take some time for me to create this one!!)



Tags: , , , , , ,

British India – New Collection from Bethany Linz


Before I begin my journey from San Diego to San Francisco, I thought I would keep you in suspense for a couple more days to share a little news from Sydney creative Bethany Linz, who’s beautiful work has featured in a couple of my posts. During my interview with Bethany (back in October) she mentioned that she would be releasing a range of wallpapers and textiles for Sparkk, and I am really excited to get a little sneak preview for you.

The collection, due to be released this month, is based on the theme of British India, and Beth explains why below.
bethany linz art

“The reason why I chose British India as the theme for my first collection was simply because I love all things victorian.

During the reign of Queen Victoria, Britain was discovering the treasures and culture of India, the Victorians as a result started to have a love affair with all things Indian and they began to decorate their houses with tropical plants and murals of exotic flowers and birds.
You wouldn’t think that two opposite worlds colliding together design-wise would work so harmoniously, but having bright green tropical foliage and exotic murals work so well next to the dark wooden furniture and victorian tiles.With this collection I wanted to capture that “new world meets old”, having a tropical collection whilst still keeping a classic British feel about it.”

bethany linz IMAGE 15 no logo

bethany linz IMAGE 9

Bethany Linz IMAGE 7

bethany linz IMAGE 5

Bethany Linz cusion stack 2

Calcutta wallpaper

bethany linz,V&A  interior

Bethany Linz IMAGE 6

bethany linz bedroom

Postcard 1 back

With winter making its way into Sydney, I could just see myself snuggled up with a little bit of an Indian Summer….let me know your thoughts…. meanwhile on with the colourful adventure.


Tags: , , , , , ,

Creatively Speaking – Coulson Macleod

Hannah Macleod & Mark Coulson

It’s Friday and time for another interview with one of the fab creatives that I have featured on my little blog.  Mark Coulson and Hannah Macleod, AKA Coulson Macleod kindly agreed to have a little chat, so grab a cuppa and enjoy. Oh, and if you are stuck for what to cook for dinner then they have some fab recipes which are perfect for us Aussies just starting to come into Autumn!

How would you describe your work and style?

Simple design that reflects our own taste. We’re not into overly fussy stuff. We also love texture, hence why we use a lot of reclaimed wood. The gnarlier the wood the better. If you buy a Coulson Macleod don’t expect shiny & new (apart from our paper prints, which have to be presented in a neat & clean style).

'Freeze Freeze Thou #A376F3


What, where and/or who inspires you?

Inspiration comes from everywhere. Magazines (our office walls are lined with shelves & shelves of magazines), blogs, & books. We also try to visit as many interior/gift shops as we can to get ideas on packaging & display ideas. Obviously shops are the best places to see what is actually being sold to your potential customers. Blogs are a place to immerse yourself in design trends, but it’s the high-street shop that will stock our art. We try to travel to towns across the UK to visit shops & combine it with an overnight stay in a boutique hotel (all in the name of research of course!). Recently we’ve visited Shrewsbury (amazing architecture) & Brighton (amazing restaurants). Trade shows can also be inspiring as you get to be the first to see the latest designs & trends. Although this does mean that you lose the ‘wow’ factor when you go browsing in shops as we’ve seen it all before.

Shrewsbury Square - Source

Shrewsbury Square – Source

Hannah I read a lot of travel writing. Totally admire the explorer’s fearless approach to life & their level of curiosity.

Mark I alternate between fiction & business books. The only problem with reading a great book in bed is that I then lie there all night with my brain buzzing with either the story or business ideas.

What has been the most exciting point in your career to date and why?

Being awarded Creative Business of the Year was pretty exciting. Selling a print to one of the richest men in the world was a buzz too. Sadly his PA said we couldn’t name him. Boo! But this guy could buy (& does apparently) any piece of art he likes. And he bought one of ours. This happened in the early days of our business, which meant we knew we were on the right path.

Do you have any major projects in the pipeline at the moment? Can you share these with us?

It’s not so much a project, but an order from a large department store chain in Switzerland has given us a big morale boost. They describe themselves as the Harrods of Switzerland. With 14 stores we can safely say we have Switzerland covered. It’s been a steep learning curve – suddenly we realized how little we knew about exporting, pallet shipments, & all sorts of boring legal stuff. Another growth spurt for Coulson Macleod & our collective knowledge.

If you could have your work displayed anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be displayed?


We always joke that our art is far better traveled than we are & ends up in homes all over the world. Some of the addresses that we ship to are pretty fancy (sometimes we spot our prints on the walls of swoon-worthy homes that feature in the press). So our art goes to places that we’ll never get to in person. We could do with more stockists in Australia (at the time of writing we only have one) so if anyone reading this can help…

What would be your dream commission?

An order from Kate & William would be rather beneficial. Anything Kate (Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge) buys has a huge impact. She has to support British made, so surely it’s only a matter of time before she becomes a Coulson Macleod customer.


Perhaps Kate can unleash her wild child (BCD)


…or perhaps a gift from Kate to Wills….


Describe your perfect day

We got married last summer; it was a perfect day. Wish we could recreate it every year. The sun shone (this in itself was pretty remarkable as it rained practically every other day). Surrounded by friends & family, eating amazing Italian food, drinking Pimms, crying happy tears & lots of dancing.


If you were to board Noah’s Ark and were told that you could take three things with you.  What would they be?

Presuming our three children were already aboard then it would be

Our collection of magazines that we’ve flicked through but not had time to read

Suncream. We’re totally paranoid about burning & spend all summer slathering it over the kids. European kids are all bronzed & healthy-looking, ours are ghostly-white from being covered in titanium dioxide.

A Kindle. We don’t own one, preferring the look, feel, & smell of proper books lining our shelves, but seeing as we can only take three things.

What is your favorite dish to cook?

We cook a lot, so it’s hard to pick out just one recipe. We have favourite dishes for warm weather, but seeing as we mainly have cold weather here, it would have to be sausages & lentils. It’s one of those super easy one-pot wonders that everyone loves. Plus it uses bacon & bacon reigns supreme. Serves four…

Sausage Bacon and Lentil Hotpot


8 x sausages

250g smoked bacon

200g Puy lentils (we tend to throw in more than this)

1 clove garlic crushed

1 chopped onion

1 tsp tomato paste

sprig thyme

1 bay leaf

1 litre chicken stock

Brown the sausages, fry the bacon until crispy then throw into one pot & cook until lentils are soft. Better if you can simmer for longer as the taste improves. Serve with crusty bread.

Polenta Cake


For pudding it would be polenta cake (our recipe is scribbled on a bit of scrap paper).

7 oz butter

7 oz sugar

8 oz ground almonds

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 oz polenta

zest of 3 lemons

1 tbs baking powder

Dust your cake tin with polenta (use extra polenta, not from the 8 oz). Cream butter & sugar. Add almonds, vanilla, eggs & polenta. Mix with zest. Add baking powder. Bake for 45 mins on 180. Serve warm with a big dollop of mascarpone.

Want to see more?

Coulson Macleod are exhibiting at the following venues in the UK for 2013.

Pulse (London Earl’s Court) 12-14th May.

Home & Gift Harrogate 14-17th July.

Top Drawer (London Olympia) 15-17th September.


Tags: , , , , ,

Creatively Speaking – Kerrie Brown

kerrie in store

Friday is with us again and that can only mean one thing, time for an interview with another fantastic creative in the world of design and interior design.  If you are looking to add a shot of colour, history and culture into your home then Sydney based designer Kerrie Brown is a must stop.  So grab your coffee, tea and a chocolate brownie and sit back and relax….

How would you describe your work and style?

My style has developed from my years as a set decorator and so is quite eclectic, like many film people I have a short attention span and so am constantly designing new ranges. I love things that are bold, colourful and playful so I think my work usually encompasses these elements.




What, where and/or who inspires you?

I’m inspired by so many people and things both past and present . At the moment I love the work of Yayoi Kusama and Aida Makoto … brought on by a recent trip to the Mori Art museum in Tokyo … so much colour, fun and wit ! They are both incredibly inspiring

Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama – Source

Aida-Makoto-Monument-For-Nothing -

Aida Makoto “monument for nothing” Source

I also thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I saw the new Comme des Garcons range in the Isetan department store again in Tokyo. It was all exaggerated kabuki style in mind blowing pattern and colour.Love , Love , Love … I think I’m turning Japanese !

Which is your favorite personal project and why?

My favorite personal project is always the current one … so at the moment it’s the development of my new printed furniture range .Just added to my website and on the cover of Real Living this month.


You have worked on a number of big name film sets. How did you get into this line of work?

I used to design clothes (many lifetimes ago ) and a friend asked me to design the costumes for her film… so I just fell into the film world and quickly figured out working with inanimate objects (furnishings ) was more fun than trying to deal with actors !

Were there any funny moments that you can tell us about?

I seemed to be laughing all the time when I was working in film but I’m not sure if it was because it was always funny … it was more like  a sense of constant madness …  there was a lot of “you want what” .. “your kidding right”? It was brilliant training though , nothing phases me now, customer requests are very tame by comparison !

You have been nominated for an Acadamy Award for set decoration on the film Babe.  What was that moment like?

I didn’t find out until mid morning the next day when a friend rang me , it hadn’t occurred to me it would be nominated . I was working on some crazy American TV series starring Robert Wagner it certainly made me popular with the American crew for a moment and then It kind of picked up momentum as it sank in ! It was amazing to me , when I got to L.A, how seriously the American’s take the whole thing …  but great fun … going to the awards .

What has been the most exciting point in your career to date and why?

So many exciting things .. landing any job overseas is always very exciting , being nominated for an academy award was exciting , realizing I have a new career in textile design is exciting……

 Do you have any major projects in the pipeline at the moment? Can you share these with us?

Nothing I can talk about just yet … but will definitely let you know when reality hits !

If you could have your work displayed anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be displayed?

That’s hard … the Mori Art Museum , (this weeks choice , sticking with the Tokyo theme ) as it would mean I was uber cool , smart , original , amusing and fascinatingly interesting !


Source Timeout Japan

What would be your dream commission?

To be commissioned to design the soft furnishings  décor for a boutique hotel, .. anywhere !

If someone were coming to visit your home town where would be the must stop place or places to visit?

ARTBAR at the MCA always fun, Wednesday evening at the Art Gallery of NSW…  love night art , The Camelot Lounge in Marrickville always a winner !


Describe your perfect day.

Any day that isn’t boring or involves doing accounts !

If you were to board Noah’s Ark and were told that you could take three things with you.  What would they be?

My macbook pro , ipad and iphone and my glasses and some kind of solar panel to recharge the batteries … is that more than three ?

Now as much as I love your work, I love cooking and am always eager to find out a new recipe… what is your favorite dish to cook?

Sorry I can’t cook anything … no affinity with that art at all … sad to say !


Tags: , , , , , ,

Creatively Speaking – Louise and John Wakefield – Beware the Moon


When I posted on the father and daughter duo that make up the UK based funky wallpaper company Beware The Moon last year, I should have realised that their interview would be anything other than as colourful and fun as their work ….  So grab a cuppa and sit back and enjoy…….

How would you describe your work and style?

John – Anarchic, perfectionist.

Louise – Erm… incongruous, lunatic, absorbing, mischievous

What, where and/or who inspires you?

John – Imagination and Nature

Louise – Ooh where to begin – experiences inspire me mostly, things we go through and feel, I’m seeking inspiration in the metaphysical all the time, in the way that there’s something going on back there and it’s gloriously chaotic and irrational.  For instance, I’m loving the undercurrents of excitement, anticipation and anxiety that precipitate Spring here in Europe – people are bursting out of hibernation and declaring love left, right and centre!  It’s been a long winter and we are soon to be blessed with vitality, it’s a palpable tension right now and inspires all sorts of crazy behaviour and ideas. I don’t know if it’s because of computer screens and all the endless advertising (and probably years of looking at the world through a lens as a photographer) but i find I’m not so visual anymore, I crave inspiration in things ‘further out of sight’.  I walk a lot around the city and in the parks and I’m actively working on my ‘long–view’ (for the sake of my eyesight) and looking up: it’s amazing what you can see when you walk around a city looking up!   And I’m especially into water and watery things lately – I’m taking my mum to Budapest this weekend (our first holiday together), and we’re going to spend all our time basking in the mineral thermal springs.  I’m absolutely obsessed with feminine cleansing rituals.

Which is your favourite personal project and why?

John – Whatever’s on the drawing board – it might have something to do with a ‘Cross’ right now.

Louise – We did a bespoke colourway of the Ostrich design for a lovely lady – it came out beautifully in a subtle matte grey and I was really impressed with the whole process – and her conviction!  It’s always inspiring when someone knows what they want and they follow through on a big statement – she put it all the way through the hallways in a Georgian house

Question 3 - Bespoke Ostrich-1

Question 3-Bespoke Ostrich-2

Your mission statement says you are “taking over one downstairs loo at at time”.  Who’s downstairs loo would you most like to take over and which wallpaper would you use?

John – The Queen’s

Louise – The Queen – the downstairs loo somehow epitomizes British culture (sort of closeted, private, occasionally cold but with a humorous disposition ) and I reckon the Queen would be grateful for a velvet skulls loo…although I doubt she has ever seen the inside of a downstairs loo to be fair

Question 4-Downstairs Loo

What has been the most exciting point in your career to date and why?

Louise – Well I’ve done so many obscure jobs I wouldn’t know where to begin in terms of my whole career (John hasn’t even attempted to answer this one!) but the highlight of Beware the Moon has to be the photoshoots we do – they are always a treat, pulling themes and friends together with no budget, shooting guerilla-style with massive time and location pressures (not something one would associate with wallpaper photography!) I tend not to think about it all too much until about a week beforehand, then I ring round ask if everyone’s free, find a date that works and make a nice lunch, see what happens.  I particularly loved shooting the lovely Jude in the early shots of the Skulls, She and Ostrich design – he was a fantastic model, and the themes seemed to just unfold effortlessly – Denial (Ostrich), Desire (She) and Death/Rebirth (Skulls) and actually went on to shape the brand really.

Question 5-She Desire-2

Question 5-Ostrich Denial-1

Question 5- Skulls Death-Rebirth-3

And falling in love with a client, that’s a highlight – one who put Skulls all over his tiny flat – who knew wallpaper could present such stories !?

Do you have any major projects in the pipeline at the moment? Can you share these with us?

John – An animals wallpaper

Louise – We’re about to launch the wallpaper version of the Animals border . It’s pretty epic, it took John a year to design: 52 Animals in total, each one took about a week to draw by hand.  It was a real challenge because he wasn’t sure he could even draw like that anymore, but it’s absolutely stunning, he’s a legend really.  We’re using a new method to print it for Beware the Moon – gravure – which is exciting, we’ve just had the plates cut.  It’s an old technique and as close to photographic as you can get with traditional rollers, which will help to keep the detail of the drawings.  It’s been a long time coming this one !

Question 5-Animals-2

Question 5-Animals-1

If you could have your work displayed anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be displayed.

John – The Pentagon, because of those walls

Louise – Well it’s going to sound a bit cute, but to be honest I actually love to see our work in people’s homes, there’s just no greater satisfaction than that – I often ask people to send us pictures for the scrapbook and it’s my favourite gallery of BtM images by far  It’s quite a privilege at this stage of the business – we’re still so tiny – that we get to have such direct contact with clients and their projects, and that we don’t have heards of PR to go through to see the end results of what we do.  Residential projects (as oppose to commercial/designer projects for instance) are incredibly heartening.

Question 7 Scrapbook-2

Question 7-Scrapbook-1

I can honestly say I don’t really have any ambitions outside of that – being on the walls of peoples homes is where it’s at.  BUT actually, come to think of it I do agree with John – The Pentagon would be a dream job – pretty cool done entirely in 3D Jam Jars or Quantum Foam

Question 7-Jam Jars 3D Foil-1

Question 7-Jam Jars 3D Foil-2

What would be your dream commission?

John – An expensive one!

Louise – Ha, I love John’s answer to this one [he and I work at opposite ends of the country by the way so we don’t get to confer on much!]….my dream commission would be a Lincrusta version of the Skulls for an enormous lobby in a grand hotel somewhere by the seaside.  It’s an elegant traditional technique that works a lot like plaster, is incredibly expensive but incredibly beautiful.  And unbelievably to me, it actually originated – and is still manufactured – in a village, Heysham, where I grew up (and near to where John now lives) which I only found out recently when looking into Lincrusta after seeing it in a fancy restaurant in a New York magazine shoot !


If someone were coming to visit your home town where would be the must stop place or places to visit?

John – Morecambe promenade – on a fine day the view across the bay is the best in the world.

Morecambe Promenade West England_preview

Louise – Walk everywhere in London – it’s actually fairly small in the centre and giving yourself an hour to get somewhere by foot instead of 20 minutes on the underground can be a real treat.  Walk into Soho, have a nosy around, scan the guitar shops on Denmark Street, drop down through the West End and walk West along the river past Parliament and get on the water taxi at Vauxhall (much cheaper than a tour boat), go East to Tower Bridge and have a walk around the East End.  If it’s a nice day and you’ve got kids go down to Brockwell Park in Brixton.  Pass by the skate park on Stockwell Road whilst you’re down that way, and have a coffee and some toast at Rosie’s Deli Café  – I worked there whilst I was setting BtM up and it kept me sane, I loved that job).


Brockwell is a wonderful real-life urban park with a great adventure playground, BMX tracks, tennis courts, green bowling, rolling hillsides and large lido (outdoor pool).  For the ladies: something a bit more grown–up on a hot day head to Hampstead Ponds for a swim – words cannot describe the beauty and sanctity of the Women’s Pond there.


A walk with the oaks, deer and parakeets in Richmond Park in the South-West is breathtaking.

Describe your perfect day

John – One without worry

Louise – I’d sort of have a double life so…wake up to the sound of monkeys in the jungle at about 5am, make a coffee and walk round the garden watching things wake up and listening out for hummingbirds.  Do a bit of work and get things wrapped up by lunchtime (close of business UK) and hitch to the beach for a swim, maybe a surf if the waves are small and forgiving.

If you were to board Noah’s Ark and were told that you could take three things with you.  What would they be?


Louise – A guitar (some spare strings); a selection of delicious essential oils; a parsley plant.

Now as much as I love your work, I love to cook so what is your favourite recipe?

John – Chilli Con Carne (recipe is top secret!)

Louise – Lettuce Soup!


It’s my staple and really good for eating light in the evening, or for bulking out with ‘toppings’ at lunchtime.  People pretty much expect it now when they come to my house.  I don’t have a recipe as such, but you just sweat some chopped celery and a bit of something oniony (spring onions/red onion/white onions – whatever’s in the fridge), handfuls of fresh parsley (or coriander if you like) and then top it off with veg stock to suit the amount of people you’re cooking for (I usually use Bouillon powder) – so you’ve basically got a tasty watery broth.  Spice it up with some chilli and slices of ginger if you like.  Then finely shred some lettuce, add and simmer for 10 minutes – make it as thick/lettuce-heavy, or as watery/brothy as you like.  Add finely sliced mushrooms too or anything else you want to see floating around in there.  Meanwhile, prepare some individual bowls of toppings: I usually have yoghurt; fresh parsley/coriander/herbs; chopped walnuts or almonds; shredded carrot (in a bit of lemon juice); sliced red peppers; spring onions; sliced avocado; sometimes boiled black beans, whatever you like really.  Serve the soup, and stack the toppings – finish with the yoghurt, nuts and fresh herbs.  Bloody delicious

I hope you enjoyed… have a great weekend, meanwhile on with the colourful adventure…..


Tags: , , , ,

Creatively Speaking – Moya Delany


A few weeks ago I posted on Melbourne designer, Creator and Artist Moya Delany.  In between a busy work load and a stifling heat wave in Melbourne, Moya has kindly agreed to be interviewed and divulge a little bit about herself, work and style… as well as a quick an easy prawn dish.  So sit back, grab a cuppa and enjoy.

How would you describe your work and style? 

My work is varied as I studied sculpture and I crossover mediums a lot. I had a fashion accessory business for ten years now I’m working with lighting. My style is a fresh and colourful mix of old and new.


What, where and/or who inspires you?

I am completely inspired by Christo Gillard. He is a super talented Interior designer and DJ who I often work with. His sense of style is unparalleled and he has the most incredible resource library in his head.

Which is your favourite personal project and why?

At the moment I am loving working with these flags, some of them from wrecked warships and some from the 1800’s, they have so much history about them. I loved working with rare feathers in my accessory days too.





What has been the most exciting point in your career to date and why?

There are so many but a client was wearing one of my feather pieces at a Hollywood party and had Whoopi Goldberg and Goldie Hawn fighting over it trying to rip it off her !!



Do you have any major projects in the pipeline at the moment? Can you share these with us?

I am working on a sculpture exhibition which is pretty major and I expect will take a year to achieve.

If you could have your work displayed anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be displayed?

The Louvre The Guggenheim


What would be your dream commission?

I’d love to make some giant sculpture for one of the new freeways being built.

If someone were coming to visit your home town where would be the must stop place or places to visit?

My brothers club, “Survivor” is pretty crazy and Ichinee restaurant on st Kilda beach for great Japanese food

Describe your perfect day

Feeling healthy, a swim in the morning, getting good work done, catching up with a friend, cooking and eating a good meal

If you were to board Noah’s Ark and were told that you could take three things with you.  What would they be? 

Moisturizer, the bible and a guitar

Now as much as I love your work, I love cooking and am always eager to find out a new recipe… what is your favourite dish to cook??….Would I be able to ask for the recipe?


I love to cook prawns with fetta, tomato and dill sauce. Bit of garlic, bottle of passata throw in feta, dill and season – easy !!

I hope you enjoyed, have a great weekend… meantime on with the colourful adventure…..


Tags: , , , , , ,

Creatively Speaking – Brendan Young and Vanessa Battaglia


Photographer Max Jamieson

I recently posted on the amazing faux cow hide rugs created by design duo Young and Battaglia. As I delved in to a little bit more about the duo’s background I found out that they are based about 10 minutes from where I grew up as a child in a small town called St Neots, Cambridgeshire… Unfortunately being in Sydney they are no longer just round the corner, but I was fortunate enough to have Brendan agree to an interview (through the marvels of technology) about their amazing work… So here we are, Friday is here,  time to grab a cup of tea and a slice of home made soda bread (see below) and sit back and enjoy…..

How would you describe your work and style?

I think someone once described us in the past as “shabby chic meets punk who had a love child in the baroque era”…? but we simply try to create thing we really like, and that may change over time. I would describe our approach as playful, and currently we are very interested in the feeling of history in old objects and interiors. Trying to find new ways of capturing the poetry of the things we love using new materials and techniques.

Mineheart_Poem_Plate_Small copy

Mineheart Poem Plate

What, where and/or who inspires you?I know my partner Vanessa gets inspired by the big city, she loves New York, London and Tokyo… but I’m more of a country boy. I love the countryside and I need space around me to think.

What has been the most exciting point in your career to date and why?Now is the most exciting time for us. Since we started working together in 2003 we have done so many fun things and learned so much, but it feels like everything has really come together this last year or so. We founded the mineheart brand to produce our design and collaborate with other designers, and that gives us the freedom to experiment and try things that we couldn’t before.


Spaghetti Chandelier White

Do you have any major projects in the pipeline at the moment? Can you share these with us?

We are currently working on the design of some larger pieces of furniture for mineheart, including wardrobes, chairs and sofas. We are very excited about these as they will be the first furniture pieces in the range, so it’s a totally new adventure!

If you could have your work displayed anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be displayed?Our work is really meant to be used not so much displayed, I would be happy just to know that our work is in peoples homes around the world and that they enjoy living with them as much as we enjoy creating them!

White Bookshelf Wallpaper

White Bookshelf Wallpaper

  1. What would be your dream commission?

Not exactly a commission but, one day we hope to build our own house, it would be amazing to design every corner of it and make it exactly how we want it. It would integrate eco-friendly technologies, natural materials, super insulation and solar panels etc… and doing the interior is the part I’m looking forward to most of all!

Y&B home interior

Y&B home interior

If someone were coming to visit your home town where would be the must stop place or places to visit (this could be a place, restaurant, cafe, etc).We love food, we have two favorite places we regulary love to go. One is in the Green Man pub in Granchester, we have a Whippet crossed with a Border Collie calle Lili, dogs are allowed, so we often take her for a walk in the meadows there before having some lunch, the menu is amazing and it has a really relaxed atmosphere. The other place we can’t keep away from is the Tudor Thai restaurant in Fenstanton, even if it wasn’t owned by my mum I would still eat there all the time. Tom Yum soup, spicy fish cakes, duck red curry… making myself hungry, might have to go there later!

If you were to board Noah’s Ark and were told that you could take three things with you.  What would they be? Our dog Lili, then… in the past I would have said a sketch book, but recently fell in love with the ipad, and maybe my tool box to make things with!



Now as much as I love your work, I love cooking and am always eager to find out a new recipe… what is your favorite dish to cook??….Would I be able to ask for the recipe?Vanessa does most of the cooking at home, she makes a delicious soda bread.



Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C/Gas 6.
  2. Tip the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl and stir.
  3. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk, mixing quickly with a large fork to form a soft dough. (Depending upon the absorbency of the flour, you may need to add a little milk if the dough seems too stiff but it should not be too wet or sticky.)
  4. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly.
  5. Form into a round and flatten the dough slightly before placing on a lightly floured baking sheet.
  6. Put lots of seed (pumpkin, sunflower and sesame) on a wooden board and roll the dough on it.
  7. cut a cross on the top and bake for about 30 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped and cool on a wire rack

I hope you enjoyed, have a great weekend, meanwhile on with the colourful adventure…….


Tags: , , , , , ,