Painter, Jewellery Designer, Owner of Coppermoon Boutique in Belfast city centre, and a Board of Trustee member at Belfast Print Workshop, it’s safe to say Karen Daye Hutchinson is one hard-working lady. Intrigued by her many roles, I’m excited to find out more about Karen in this month’s Inspiring Woman feature.
How would you describe your professional life to date?
I would say it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride through lots of different events and stories.
I’ve been quite lucky with my artistic practice, enjoying many great opportunities; and I have met a lot of very interesting people.
I speak to people every day about art and creativity and I am an ambassador for Northern Ireland arts. I have exhibited and attended many international exhibitions around the world and I can say that we have many spectacular innovative and creative people here.
What does your position at Belfast Print Workshop involve?
I am a Director and Trustee of Belfast Print Workshop which involves managing and overseeing all aspects of the companies function. We are a registered Charity that provide a studio and printing facilities for its member artists. We have had a large cut in funding from the Arts council this year which in a positive way has allowed us to restructure and move back to our core function to continue to provide a centre of excellence and equipment for artists to pursue their printmaking practice.
How long have you been painting and what do you love most about the medium?
I have been painting and printing since I was a young girl. I can remember painting portraits in my bedroom and picking up my brushes and paint on long sunny summer school holidays; going for a long walk into the mountains or forest to paint. (Feels like a dream, maybe I imaged it was a sunny day…and I was really too young to go on adventures alone, so I must add that my brothers usually came along to carry the lunch).
I love painting and printing, and I am a bit of a scribbler. My time in the studio with some great music can be quite magical.
You currently create silver jewellery under the name Ghost & Bonesetter, how would you describe the design style?
I have always designed Jewellery and commissioned others to create my ideas for Coppermoon. Ghost & Bonesetter was a dream and natural transition and opportunity to control the whole process. Using traditional forging, hammering and etching technics the unique pieces are influenced by history, storytelling and music.
I love raw design, hammer marks, coloured metals, spontanious drawings and etched line.
Coppermoon is one of my favourite independent shops in Belfast but for those who have never visited, explain what they can find in your store.
Coppermoon a lifestyle boutique all about self expression, specialising in items designed and handmade in Northern Ireland. We’re proud of what we do and love supporting small business and creative individuals. Our passion for design means we are always excited about the latest thing to come into the shop and thrive on finding beautiful and interesting new designs for our customers.
We strive to do things a bit differently from the ‘high street’, working in close collaboration with our designers to create products and a shopping experience which will delight our customers.
How do you go about sourcing products for Coppermoon?
We look at the work of new graduates and the creative areas of national and international trade fares; keeping a close eye on the Art Colleges and graduate programmes offered by Craft NI.
What do you love most about running your own business?
Talking to customers and sharing the excitement of translating their ideas into a tangible product.
What do you find most challenging about running your own business?
There are always challenges, having the ability to multitask as an Artist, Woman in Business, and Mother, keeping up with trends and in touch with customs and how they buy.
Ghost & Bonesetter and Coppermoon will go international, with new e-commerce websites coming very soon.
Who or what inspires you in your work?
Experience, Literature, Poetry and Music.
How do you like to spend your down-time away from work?
I do manage a lot of fun time with my children, and now that they are young adults luckily they love to do the same things. I run and go for really long walks particularly with the David Hanna Fitness Team; with whom I recently completed a couple of half Marathons (and got lost up the Mourne Mountains in the dark on New Years Eve…he said he was a Marine!) Best fun ever!
Do you have a motto you live by, and if so what is it?
The point of the journey is not to arrive.