Conception

My name is Debbie Coull. I live in a rural Scottish village and work as a Building Surveyor. I began my woodturning journey in 2018 when I bought a second hand lathe and tools. I had absolutely no idea how to use any of them and no knowledge of woodturning, just an utter determination that I would figure it all out. Probably not an ideal way to learn. Like most novice turners, I started in a small unheated garden shed, arguing with lawnmowers and bikes for space, and a very questionable electrical supply; an altogether grim experience allowing no opportunity to experiment and develop my ideas. Finally, we built me a workshop; heating, lights, power, water....SPACE! Bliss. I love to colour and embellish my pieces with metal inlay, stains, colour, texture, carving and piercing. More often than not this is to conceal a defect, as I only ever seem to have sad bits of wood to work with; this does however make me inventive. I often wonder if my work would look differently if I had nice bits of wood. I remember my Uni Lecturer’s perennial response when I showed her a piece I’d just messed up. She would say airily, whilst flapping her hand, “just make a feature of it darling!”, still makes me laugh to recall that, but at least I finally know what she meant. I attained a Degree in Design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (1984); specialising in Silversmithing and Jewellery. I feel those early influences come through in some of my art; they certainly influence my approach to design. My designs/ideas can come from absolutely anywhere, with often the most innocuous thing sparking an idea; wood grain (usually the grotty bit of wood’s defect), my mood, those weird thoughts just before I fall asleep, and most often a shape, texture or colour I might have seen whilst going through everyday life. I will rake in skips for wood, or that curious thing that someone threw out that might just come in handy, anything can spark an idea. Instagram @badlybehavedelm

- Debbie Coull

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