Monday 31 January 2011

Anne Doble

Copy (2) of CULLEN BAY AUG07 1Anne Doble

Q So who is Anne Doble?
I am a self-taught designer-maker, running my own business, Artinkulate, from home. I have arrived at this place in my life via the long way round, you could say. Having gone straight to Boots the Chemist from school, I was a Dispenser there for several years, and then worked my way up to Sales Manager. Having spent about 24 years with them I was suddenly made redundant. With 12 weeks to find a new job I ended up working in Operating Theatres, initially washing, sterilising & packing the surgical instruments, then going to Uni & doing a Diploma of Higher Education in Operating Department Practice, which was mainly working as an anaesthetic assistant.

The next part of the master-plan was that I should have a nervous breakdown in 2007, after which I found that the only thing I was able to do was to work for myself doing something in which I had some natural ability. Enter Artinkulate!



Abstract Bar: Layered melted plastic.


Q Where in the world are you?
I live in Portknockie, a picturesque former fishing village in NE Scotland. I was born in Ealing, West London to a Scottish mother & an Irish father, so I’ve always considered myself to have well & truly Celtic blood coursing through my veins. My mother’s immediate family, the roots of which are in the Rothes / Mulben / Cabrach areas, were from Elgin. Though brought up in London, I always felt as if I was just treading water & fully intended to move myself up here as soon as I had the opportunity. I now feel at home. About 2 years ago I decided to try & make a living from my natural aptitudes instead of trying to reshape myself to suit the conventional employer.

 COASTAL SILVER SHELL ON PINK Silver Shell: A melted design using a shell charm & a tiny pearl.


Q What made you choose the materials that you work with?
I mainly use a product called ‘Stampbord’ on which to create the designs. The designs themselves are created using any combination of: pigment & dye inks; acrylic & watercolour paints; mica pigments; melted plastic; fibres & anything else I can think of to create the effect I’m looking for. I make it up as I go along, so no one can tell me I’m doing it wrong!

I chose Stampbord because it has a chalk surface, which is perfectly smooth & accepts the inks & paints I use beautifully. The chalk also allows for greater versatility than plain paper or canvas, in that, once the ink is dry I can etch it off again to create white highlights or patterns within the design.

The melted plastic is another medium I love to use. It’s so versatile & the colour possibilities are endless. I find I can convey the mood or message I intended surprisingly well with this medium.


COASTAL AURORA BOREALIS 1 Aurora Borealis: an example of inks which have been etched into to create my mountains & moon.


Q What other materials would you like to work in?
I think that Polymer Clay will be the next addition to my creative portfolio. I never fail to be amazed by what it can produce in the right hands. From what I’ve seen & read about it I feel it would suit my creative style perfectly. I can’t wait to get some tuition & get started!


HEARTS PATCHWORK STILL WORKING Patchwork Heart: Made by re-melting off cuts of plastic into a new shape.


Q Where do you get your inspiration from?
My somewhat twisted thought processes come into their own in this area! I’m a very visually inspired person. My mind tends to convert emotions & other intangibles into
images & colours.I’m constantly inspired by the ever-changing sea & skyscapes with which I am surrounded up here. As I’m walking Elsie, my little Westie, along the coastal paths, I’m converting what I see into melted plastic or inks! I use words a lot too; to title my work; for words & phrases that are an intrinsic part of a
design; for children’s poems which I incorporate into the Name Plaques I make for them.I love words, etymology, quotations etc.

My brain doesn’t seem to simply accept a word as it was intended; rather it hears many permutations of that word simultaneously & creates a new meaning for it or twists into another word entirely. For example, I was working with the radio on in the background & a song called ‘Red Sails in the Sunset’ came on. Without even trying, my brain presented it to me as ‘Red Snails in the Sunset’ & a whole series of new designs was born! It can be a subtle nuance that someone places on a word which leads me off down another path, a song, an advert, an overheard conversation, a mispronunciation, anything that I can hear or read really. I just love the unexpected nature of this process, the not knowing when or where my
next glimmer of inspiration will come from.


FACES FADED DREAM  Faded Dream: An experiment with inks & embossing enamel.

Q Do you create your work in a studio base or a home base?
Both! I have a home studio, with a sea view, which is always inspiring.

Q Crafts in the 21st Century – what does this mean to you?
The increased emergence of artwork from people like me, who are naturally creative, but not necessarily professionally trained. The possibilities & opportunities for us seem to be increasing all the time, & may I say, thanks in no small part to the type of work that Tash Goswami is doing here with her Blog. (Thanks Anne!)

Q How do you sell and promote your work?
have my own website (, but I primarily use Craft Fairs, House parties & word of mouth. I also have albums of work on my, Artinkulate Keepsakes Face Book page, LinkedIn, & on sites like Central Station.

ANIMALS SNAILS RED Red Snails in The Sunset

Q What is your typical working day look like?
If I’ve got quite a few orders to complete, I would start mid morning & complete most of the initial stages, break for lunch (if I remember!) or at least have a cup of tea & a biscuit, then resume work, to either continue the groundwork or complete the finishing touches to the morning’s work. If it’s a warm, sunny day I might even stop for a break out in the garden with an ice cream! When I decide I’ve done enough for the day, or am at a convenient stage to stop, I’ll pack any unnecessary equipment away & take little Elsie, who has been waiting patiently ( or otherwise!) under my workbench, for a walk. Then I go indoors for the evening & think about what I might be able to find to eat.

MUSIC TREBLE CLEF Treble Clef: Inks & mica pigments sprayed over a template, then selectively embossed for a holographic effect.

Q What is your working style?
Relaxed yet organised! I have to use planning lists to survive. If it’s not on a list it’s probably doomed!

Q 3 words of advice for an aspiring Craft artist/maker...
Self-belief against the odds
Keep an open mind



Coastal Rocks: inks & watercolours which have been etched into.


Q Who is/are your favourite artist(s)/maker(s)?
I like Jo Heckett’s work in porcelain keepsakes & trinkets & Alita Porter’s (Doric Dragons) imaginative polymer clay creations.

Q What music do you listen to?
My passion is for vintage reggae music, from the 70’s & 80’s: Dennis Brown; Gregory Isaacs; some Bob Marley. The music is so all encompassing & hypnotic, especially if you lie down near the speakers & feel the music through the floor! I also like ‘old’ soul music: Marvin Gaye; Stevie Wonder; Sam Cook, that sort of era.


Portsoy Harbour: one of a set made for a local Café (behind the red door!)

Made from a watercolour drawing which I’ve cut out & applied to the background.

Q 3 likes and dislikes?
I like to be made to laugh, to be in the company of dogs (I just love them to bits!), & I am also quite partial to Galaxy chocolate.
I detest smoking, liver & celery.

Q What do you do to relax?
My relaxation activities include: listening to my music; losing myself in a good period drama & meeting friends for coffee, cake & catch-ups


Seahorse Fossil: A melted plastic design, using an inked up charm

SPIRITSpirit: I made a base of several layers of embossing enamel. Upon heating it a ‘face’ emerged, so I added some hair to accentuate it.

This is the kind of serendipity that I get very excited about!


Anonymous said...

love the work. Didn`t think i would, melted plastic, what? But what lovely results! Coastal rocks is particularly attractive. Brave thing to have chucked it all in and change direction, few would have the courage.I am full of admiration.

Anonymous said...

As you know Anne, I love your work. From your wonderful, tiny, tiny, paintings to your words, which never fail to make me smile.

blanasteele said...

cool stuff