Back by popular demand! This August, the Craft Scotland Summer Show will be coming to bustling Edinburgh, as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Showcasing the best of contemporary Scottish craft, our Summer Show explores the work of selected makers and allows you to treat yourself from an affordable selection of handmade jewellery, textiles, homeware and more.
Get to know the makers with our behind the scenes Summer Show blog series; learn about their process, their inspiration and what's on their Summer Show shopping list.
Today we are chatting with Niki Fulton of Unifiedspace.
Hey Niki! Tell us a little bit about what you do?
Remember when you were little and you drew patterns with felt pens, well that's basically what I do. I create patterns for specific products - tight repeats for mens ties, larger looser patterns for silk scarves. If it's for homewares, I like to keep the design very simple.
How did you become a maker?
I studied Geography, opened a restaurant, specified commercial interiors, sold artworks and then created colour palettes for a paint company. Finally I realised I just wanted to make patterns! A career path that appears diverse but actually each job was about observation, colour and form.
Tell us about your favourite piece?
My favourite piece that I've made right now is the 'Breton Signal' print which I've applied to a silk scarves, linen ties, lawn cotton hankies and linen pocket squares. A classic Breton stripe - railway signal fusion, designed to bring energy and movement to a seaside classic. As a child living in Edinburgh I looked forward to Tonky Claude, the Breton Onion Johnny arriving on his bike laiden with strings of onions. We became great family friends and visited him in Roscoff every summer where he taught us to cockle, winkle pick and shrimp. It was a magical time and Brittany holds a large part in my heart.
Tell us about your making process?
The idea is my favourite part of the process. I never actively think of a design, I am literally taken by surprise when a visual image just appears in my mind - then I set about recreating it. I can normally trace back to where the inspiration came from and it's always from an experience. The hardest part of being a maker is promoting and selling my work - in my dreams I would have a team to do that part!
What motivates you to get into the studio?
The more experiences I have whether on an evening walk in the Pentlands or listening to a play on the radio, (and even bad experiences) motivates me as they give me a constant stream of ideas and I am literally addicted to creating patterns so I never dread going into my studio.
Where do you go to recharge your batteries?
Being in the wilderness or beach combing on a Scottish white sandy beach with my family is my idea of perfect relaxation. However, if I've just got an hour or so, as soon as I walk through the big cool sandstone pillars of The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art I am instantly soothed.
What piece of craft would you love to have in your house?
I aspire to own a Gilly Langton necklace. I love her colour palette and her strong, minimal designs.
Find Niki Fulton and Gilly Langton at the Craft Scotland Summer Show
Friday 5 to Sunday 28 August 2016
Mon-Wed, Fri-Sat: 11:00-18:00
White Stuff, 89 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 3ES