LIZZIE COULTER – The short story
Drawing, painting, printmaking and making all sorts of art has always been part of my life. I was encouraged to be widely creative by a mother who was a talented designer; there was no other option than going to Art College when I left school. I always wanted to study silver-smithing and jewellery, but was persuaded to opt for fine art, studying sculpture, printmaking and painting to M.A. level, mainly at Leicester but with a short period at Chelsea.
I then taught for 30 years and loved combining very successful teaching and artistic careers. After recently studying silver-smithing and jewellery I find myself interested in recycling, upcycling and updating jewellery using a mixture of old and new items and techniques. It’s fun to create a Fork Torc out of an old silver dessert fork and a real joy to be able to restructure an old set of semi-precious stones, a set of pearls or to make a "new" necklace using some beads from a broken necklace and that one remaining treasured earring or a pair of earrings from the bowl of a spoon. I began making jewellery using the name Belziadeth, a name I was given by friends at art school and then used by my tutors. I am lucky to have my workshop, the Atelier Zabeth – another play on my name - in our barn, but in winter the large kitchen table often beckons!
I am a working painter, still make prints and can actually say "come up and see my etchings" and mean it! Work from my exhibitions and private commissions is in collections in British Columbia, New Zealand, Australia, France, Spain, Italy and Corsica. It was a great honour to have work accepted for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions in the 1980s. I work best with the natural world but also admire the built environment. Inspiration comes from a myriad of things past and present. Tone and texture, the effect of different lights on surfaces, through tree branches, the patterns of breeze on water, the effect of water on a beach, the laying of a hedge, the tones and textures of fruit and vegetables, the local landscape. It all inspires and filters into my jewellery designs, my printmaking and painting, and very recently, my new adventures with silver clay.