Scott and Anna Malyon founded Coppertop Croft, their rural design company, in 2018. Anna is a visual artist from Inverness and Scott is an IT consultant from Dumfries and Galloway.
"We decided to combine our skills and experience in design and technology to bring something new to the retail and tourism market. The design company has begun in part as a response to our interest in quirky objects and interiors. this, together with our passion for quality, functionality and sustainability and our love of a good story is what informs our vision."
Coppertop Croft's designs are based on Anna's original ideas, drawings and Lino prints — carved blocks, inked and printed. The couple collaborates on concepts and story boards, and designs are finalised through digital production.
All production is done in the UK and, where possible, all products and packaging are made with sustainable materials.
Take a look at Coppertop Croft's products on Peg & Patch.
In the spotlight
As part of our 'meet the maker' feature, we put our makers in the spotlight to to learn about their work, hear what inspires them and get the inside scoop on their upcoming work. In October 2019, Anna took the spotlight. Read the interview below.
What led you to designing your own products?
I’d been working as a visual artist (painter) and was keen to explore other avenues for more commercial design work. I had studied printmaking and had not used it much in my practice, so I saw an opportunity to combine my printmaking with my love of design. My first collection was the official NC500 range of products. They were designed in response to my desire to bring something quirky and alternative to the gift and tourism market.
How does Scotland – where you live and work – influence your designs? Do you have a favourite place in Scotland that inspires your designs?
Scotland is in my veins and hugely influences my work as a result! I lived in Sweden for years and, whilst it was an amazing experience, I had a heart-felt yearning for home. As a creative, I have taken a lot of inspiration from both Scotland and Sweden where my motifs are typically Scottish but my approach is influenced by the scandi style. I’m from the Highlands and have a strong connection to many places along the west coast, as well as Skye and the Outer Hebrides. Inspiration is everywhere though and half the battle is learning to edit and focus!
What do you want your brand to represent?
Our brand is about quirky organic designs based on my block-printed illustrations and motifs. I’m not into precision as I see the beauty in the imperfection – the Wabi-Sabi – and want to create designs that bring joy.
Our design-led products are useful and functional items in the main but sometimes just decorative because that brings joy, too! We believe in using UK-based manufacturers and we care about our impact on the environment, so we use sustainable and traceable materials and keep our packaging to a minimum, too.
How do you approach your work: do you work to a schedule or is it more fluid?
The wholesale part of the work is something I am new to and there have been some steep learning curves. Much of my time is dealing with the administrative side of the business and I have been putting systems in place to make that whole process a smoother operation. I am also trying to establish a daily creative practice as I think this is so important for me. I continue to paint and exhibit, too, as this is an aspect to my practice I want to continue.
I have a young family and my studio is at home so there’s always going to be a certain amount of fluidity but writing lists and working to schedules and deadlines are an important part of my work.
What are you working on now?
I have recently finished my Christmas 2019 designs and have other collections in different stages of development. I am also currently building my design portfolio with a view to developing commission and licence-based work. I am keen to expand the business and have a couple of exciting projects on the horizon – watch this space!
If you like what you’ve read, have a look at the Coppertop Croft products on Peg & Patch.