Today I am chatting to Eleanor from Denman&Gold. Like everything thing else, it has been a while since I have done a post like this, and this one in particular has been a long time coming! Eleanor and I originally spoke at the end of last year but I am very happy to be able to finally share a few snippets about the beautiful creations that her and her partner, Russell make, and about their lives living and working together in Dorset. Eleanor has also very kindly provided a beautiful large hand embroided pouch and a necklace to giveaway to one of my followers. So I thought now would be the perfect time to bring back my aquietstyle hashtag, so if you would like to enter, please share an image over the month of December, and tag #aqschristmas. As always interpret as you would like.
Eleanor and Russell have been working together under the name Denman&Gould (taken from their surnames Goulding and Denman) since 2014, they have a strong interest in natural materials and a focus on slow design, which led them to establishing their practise in visual art, contemporary craft, furniture and design.
Tell me a little bit more about Denman&Gould?
We are a multi disciplinary studio creating individual pieces of crafted objects, furniture, textile design and art work, selling and exhibiting throughout the UK. We have a mutual background in the Visual Arts and founded Denman&Gould in 2014. Both individual and collaborative projects are created in our beautifully converted church studio in Dorset.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Art. People who are dedicated to their creativity in whatever way that is expressed. I have a real resonance to the quietness and simplicity of Scandinavian art and culture. I love the strange, strong quality of light that is unique to the North which you can really see in Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershoi’s paintings. Growing up on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales, I have always felt the importance of looking to the sea and the meditative states it's infinity brings.
How do you find working with your partner?
Russell and I work together mostly on decision making in terms of design or how to realise projects we’re working on collaboratively and individually. We have just collaborated on a new exhibition where we both explored the theme ‘Protect and house’ a lot of our thought process is explored together although the mediums we use are very different, the work sits well together. Although we have very different skills, I would say Russell is more deliberate than I am, I am more of a risk taker - most of the time it’s is a good balance to have between us. Russ focuses on the detail and I look more to the bigger picture.
How does having a child influence your work?
We have a daughter called Gwen who is 4.
Part of the reason we wanted our lives to be so closely connected to our studio was so that Gwen could be a part of it with us. She spends a lot of time at our workshop and even has her own workbench! She’s very creative and has a really good picture of what we do at work and knows a lot about the things we make and how they are made. It still makes us smile when she tells people that we work in a church!
We found out I was pregnant with her on a filming trip to the Arctic circle, so she’s kind of always been part of our work!
You moved from Brighton to Dorset fairly recently, what initiated that lifestyle change?
We moved to our church studio in Dorset so that we could centre our lives around our creative projects and dedicate ourselves to those things.
We love nature and we definitely have more of a sense of being closer to the seasons living quite rurally. Our home and studio is a 5 minute walk from the woods and a deer park we feel very lucky to have that on our doorstep.
Gwen was also a big consideration - she has a very special life here where we get a lot of quality time together.
What challenges, if any have you had to overcome to do something you love?
Deciding to take a risk and start our own business has been very challenging and stressful at times. It can be a challenge maintaining a healthy partnership in life as well as work. We have tried to develop some boundaries to help us keep our home life separate like trying to keep work to ‘work time’ and arranging meetings between us to discuss projects etc during work time (Unless we’re really excited about something!).
We also made a decision not to have Wifi at home so that we have more quality time together and with Gwen. We definitely read a lot more now!
xciting plans for the future?
We are excited to be curating a series of events at our studio which involves holding a space that can support meaningful connection. We are interested in providing a cultural resource in an area where there is limited resources for this. I am also working on curating a Womens' creative collective group called
which had been really interesting to develop and grow.
You can find Denman&Gould here:
And don't forget to join in with #aqschristmas to be in with a change of winning the beautiful Denman & Gould prize.