New Designs and Their Subliminal Roots

I’ve just finished some new designs and was asked ‘why pears?’ The answer is easy, the simple organic shape of a pear is beautiful and a perfect form to celebrate a simple line of colour. No fuss, no interference, just a very pleasing shape. I hope you agree.

Red Pear Mug

Pear Mug in Red designed by Niki Fulton.


But it has just dawned on me that I was heavily influenced. I’ve been living underneath an enormous pear tree for the last twenty years. It produces clouds of white blossom in Spring which literally stops people in their tracks.


pear blossom

By September hundreds of small green pears fall from a great height (thirty metres or so) smashing into pulp on impact with the tarmac below attracting rabbles (had to look that collective noun up) of butterflies. The pears are small and hard and gather such a speed that it actually becomes quite treacherous reaching my front door!

Pear Mug Green

Pear Mug in Green. Design by Niki Fulton


So walking underneath a pear tree every day seems to have seeped into my psyche and appeared in my designs. So that’s where it came from.

The pears have also made their way onto Fife Linen which can be ordered by the metre from Printed & Co , an exciting new venture which fully launches on the thirteenth of February at the Kalopsia Collective Gallery with a taster on show this Friday at the launch of The Facility .

Pear Drops, tan

‘Pear Drops, Tan’ on Fife Linen. Design by Niki Fulton. Available from Printed & Co.

Pear Drops

Pear Drops on Fife Linen. Design by Niki Fulton. Available from Printed & Co.


So realising quite how influenced by our surroundings we obviously are, I had a closer look at a design I’m currently working on called ‘Vaki Rocks‘.

This was a purely spontaneous random design… or so I thought.

I have a stunning piece of Lewisian Gneiss in my bathroom. In my eyes it’s one of the most beautiful things I have and the fact that the rock is over three billion years old and has therefore been around for longer than any animal, it’s pretty mind blowing. I look at my ‘random’ design and there I spot my beloved rock. I certainly didn’t set out to paint a rock, I just went with the flow.

Gneiss & linen

Chair & rock

Vaki Rock Collage

‘Vaki Rocks’ print on Fife Linen design by Niki Fulton

This revelation also backs up my theory that children’s toys should be beautiful/interesting objects because between the ages of 0-5 our brains are even more receptive and children often handle toys for hours and hours, turning them over in their hands, feeling them, and viewing them from every possible angle. I doubt great lumps of mass produced plastic are ever going to have such long term positive influences on us as a beautifully carved timber toy or a piece of nature found on a walk. Timber toys last for generations and need not be an expensive option as they can be small, beautiful, robust and more importantly, kept. Surely if our surroundings are having such a big impact on us we should pay attention to what we use, even if it’s an every day object. This is one reason why good design is so important. But over to you,

Can you spot any subliminal influences in your creations?



9 thoughts on “New Designs and Their Subliminal Roots

  1. I love both of your new designs – they’re simple and organic and soft (if that makes sense!) You’re so right about being influenced by our surroundings, whether we realize it or not. I find this comes out a lot in my dreams – I’ll often wake up and wonder where the heck a crazy dream I had came from, and then I’ll realize that it was based on something that’s happening in my life at that time.


    • Oh, thank you so much Kelly, hugely appreciated. It’s funny you mention the word ‘soft’ as I totally agree and had in fact used the word soft in my first draft but changed it at the last minute. Yes, I know what you mean, I can trace snip-its of dreams back to events too.
      How are your new plans going? I hope you are carving out an exciting year for your creative talents?


      • I recently finished doing my first-ever dog painting, and I think I’m hooked! I’ve already got another dog painting started – so I think that maybe this year, I’ll be branching out with my art 🙂 Also, I picked up a bunch of cool painting mediums yesterday, which I’m excited to do some experimenting with. So I think 2015 is going to be a very artsy year for me 🙂


    • Oh gosh, Betsy, that is a brilliant comment to wake up to on a Sunday morning, thank you! Kindred spirit with my gneiss, I love that! Funnily enough I found the rock while on a very long walk in one of the remote places I have ever been to and there was no way I could have carried it back to our base so my son kayaked round the headland and transported it back in his boat for me 🙂


  2. Your mind is a place where beautiful and clever ideas flourish. I know your tree and your stone, but can’t ever imagine coming up with something so stunning just by being around it so often. But I have to agree that we are heavily influenced by early exposures. I will be sure and give the most beautiful objects I can find to my future grandchildren. 😉


    • Oh my, Kellie, you have such a lovely way of phrasing compliments, thank you so much. Well exposure to your food and recipes has heavily influenced us all – Sam drinks your turmeric milk at uni and we’ve just had kimchi on rye for breakfast 😉


      • Ah, thanks. I hope the turmeric keeps Sam in good nick. We both know the wonders of kimchi though. Btw, today I am making some multi-coloured garlicky sauerkraut to eat in a few days’ time. I’ll let you know if you need to be making that too! Hope to see you very very soon. Texting in a mo. 🙂


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