Gary Wood. Blog. 27/7/17. Waller and Wood
An exciting recent development in my work resulted from a meeting with a company in Bradford-On-Avon called Heaven Scent, who make a wide range of ethically sourced products including soaps, candles, reed diffusers and body products. Heaven Scent are the first company to create a natural alternative to a paraffin wax candle, over 24 years ago. They developed a unique blend of plant wax that burns cleanly and effectively, infused with fine fragrances and essential oils.
I discovered through talking with them that in addition to making a range of their own candles in glass containers, that they could fill containers made by other companies. I took them a range of different sizes and shapes of my pots, chose some scents and had these samples poured. The results were very good, the aromas beautiful; they smell amazing even when they are not lit! So now I am working with Heaven Scent building up a range of candle pots to sell in our gallery. When the candle has burned away you can clean out the residual wax and use the vessel in your home – cups, bowls and more besides. I am planning to do individual candles and also boxed sets for gifts, especially around Christmas.
Carole is also collaborating with them on a range of organic soaps wrapped around with her painted canvas and glass candles in a sleeve of painted silk all with Christmas in mind even though it is still July – but the samples are filtering onto the gallery now alongside a lovely collection of bags and pencil cases painted on canvas and combined with real leather. Carole is working with Charlotty also nearby, in Trowbridge to design and make these with her fine sense of colour and craftsmanship. Find the first of the bags on her website here.
We have titled this new range of ours: Waller and Wood.
On my first visit to Bath I happened to stumble upon One Two Five gallery and loved the unique style as soon as I walked in. As I am currently studying Decorative Arts at Nottingham Trent University, I have a real passion for Craft and surface pattern design which is why I was so drawn to Carole’s painted garments. After contacting her, she invited me to do some work experience and this is what I’ve been up to…
Carole invited me along to one of her workshops where I got to see her studio and some of her amazing work. I got to have a go on the heat press with transfer dyes and Carole showed us a range of samples she had collated which explore the possibilities with the heat press (and there are a lot!). There was a great energy in the studio and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the lovely ladies who were also at the workshop.
I had the opportunity of visiting a hotel where Carole is currently working on a commission piece, it was truly fascinating seeing the versatility of Carole’s paintings, one day she would be painting a commissioned coat and the next painting panels for an installation piece. Being able to visit the hotel of the commission meant I could visualize the context of the paintings.
However, as I was Carole’s assistant for the week I had the daunting task of helping cut up her beautiful painted fabric into perfectly measured panels… after measuring, measuring and re-measuring with our hearts in our mouths we finally got through the dreaded task.
We began looking at product development and wrapping organic scented soap and candles in a creative and unique way, we did so by using a strip of Carole’s painted fabric to cover the soap boxes which serve as a dual purpose, once the soap is un-wrapped the fabric can be used as a bookmark; making it a perfect item for gifting. Being part of this process has been enlightening as we’ve explored packaging in an innovative way, as well as showing how Carole’s work can be used in a number of decorative ways.
Day Four –
During my time with Carole I was working alongside Simone, a student from Italy on an English language course whilst doing work experience with Carole. Together we worked on screen-printing Cotton bags and the bookmarks with Carole’s prints for the soap. We also printed buttons on the heat-press ready to sell in the shop.
I helped with uploading garments onto the Carole Waller website, this involved navigating around a new website set-up and providing product information such as measurements. At this time Carole was holding a sale in the gallery so we had to synchronise the gallery sale items with the garments online.
Carole arranged a photoshoot outside of the gallery on the abbey green on a beautiful sunny day, she was promoting her new printed t-shirts for her social media. Simone and I tagged along with some of his Italian friends to model the t-shirts on the green.
The experience with Carole has been really exciting and I’ve gained an insight into what it takes to run a creative business; besides a lot of hard-work and the ability to juggle numerous jobs at once there is also a lot of satisfaction and pleasure that comes with discovering new ideas and work.
Izzy & Simone