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In the Booth with Ruth – Carly Rumbol, Artist

Due to a chance meeting, my blog is temporarily out of retirement! I stumbled across a stunning, intricate and bold hand-painted table online that was even more special when I saw the artist, Carly Rumbol, was donating a portion of the sale to Sands, a charity that supports women who’ve suffered baby loss. Once I saw all the other beautiful items Carly creates, I wanted to showcase them here and get to know the artist.

You use the name Butterscotch, is there a meaning behind that?

The short answer would be that there was no specific meaning behind it originally. The Butterscotch part came from a brainstorming session for business names with my husband. I went with Butterscotch because I wanted a name that was different from the generically named craft businesses that were around at the time.

I started with Butterscotch Creations in 2010. Then my business evolved into furniture painting through a discovered love of vintage styles and furniture, and I changed to Butterscotch Vintage.

In more recent years the furniture painting market has been heavily saturated in my local area, and because of a back injury I had to reduce the number and size of items I was painting, therefore I branched out into new areas and made a name change to Butterscotch Home.

It finally feels like the name fits my little business. The Butterscotch part of the name now means a lot to me, as it reminds me of the one man cheerleader in my life who has always encouraged me to follow my passions.

How did you first start hand-painting furniture, did you already have a background in art? 

I absolutely loved art at school but never felt like I was particularly good at it. However, I’ve always been creative, and I cannot remember a time that I’ve not had some kind of craft creation on the go.

After my daughter was born, it was not financially viable for me to go back to work, but I knew that I would never be truly happy if my sole purpose was to keep house and raise the children. I needed more, and one day whilst browsing local selling pages on social media, I came across a vintage blanket box. I bought it on impulse and after much research, I painted it and simply fell in love with furniture painting. It was just so satisfying, to take an item that could otherwise have ended up in landfill and upcycle it to give it a new lease of life and purpose. I’ll never forget the buzz of that first sell, and it wasn’t long before I was renting my own section in a local vintage shop.

How would you describe your style and what inspires you? 

When I first started painting, I really liked the shabby chic style – pastels and florals. Then as this trend faded, the hand-painted furniture market became saturated in my local area, and I was starting to struggle with ongoing back issues, so I took some time out from painting to focus on other things and became a qualified Bio Sculpture gel nail technician.

Nail art is much like working on a tiny canvas, and as much as I enjoyed creating intricate mini designs, it didn’t last very long as Covid hit just as my little nail business was starting to take off.

Not one to be satisfied with not being able to contribute to the family, I raided my garage for furniture still awaiting a makeover and inspired by the bold colours and styles of the nail art and the hundreds of nail art inspiration pins I had saved on Pinterest, I started painting in a more modern, bold and colourful style. Sometimes it can be the furniture itself that inspires me, especially if it has carvings, trims, or different sections.

Are there particular types of furniture or furniture from a specific era that you most enjoy working on?

I prefer vintage furniture as it is built to last and has more interesting features than modern furniture. I absolutely adore ornate pieces as there are so many ways in which they can be painted and finished for a more dramatic and unique statement piece. 

You also create abstract art, can you tell me about that, what inspires your pieces and what materials you use and how?

Most of the abstract artwork I have created is inspired by the beautiful landscapes of the Isle of Wight, one of my most favourite places to visit.

I love your handmade Goddesses and feminine figurines. How would you say feminism or being a woman influences what you make? 

I have met lots of female crafters and small business owners throughout my Butterscotch journey, and as my business evolved and my social media presence slowly grew, it became very apparent that (on Instagram especially), there is a real strong sense of women supporting women. I am one of many women who gave up their career / took a career break to raise their children, but we are all so much more than wives and mothers. I wanted to embrace the strength of the mother who is blessed with carrying a child, with a keepsake that immortalises this challenging and beautiful journey – this led to the creation of the mum-to-be goddesses.  

Then I came across a mould for Venus, the goddess of love, and I really admired the classic style and the fact that I could modernise what is essentially a miniature representation of ancient sculpture with a splash of colour, or paint, or shiny foil leaf. Most of my customers are female and they have always been my intended target audience as I believe women are generally more appreciative of handmade items and small businesses. 

In addition, I have been incredibly lucky to have some strong female influences in my life – growing up my maternal grandmother was the true matriarch, the definitive heart of a huge family, strong, stubborn, and kind. Then there was my Aunty P – another tenacious, independent woman, who loved to create gift cards and spent many a happy afternoon mooching around craft fairs with me. She encouraged me to start selling and accompanied me to my very first craft fair as a seller. My husband was also raised by an incredible and resilient single mother, and I will forever be grateful that she raised her son so well.  

Losing both my Aunty and my Mother-in-Law was devastating, and I honour both of them with my determination to make my little business successful, as I am so privileged to be able to do a job I love whilst also having the freedom and flexibility to run our household and be there for our children – something that neither of them had the luxury of. 

Jewellery is something else that you make too, do you have any other tricks up your sleeve that I don’t know yet? 

I think those who know me well would say I can never not be doing something, and sites that I frequent such as Pinterest incite so much inspiration, I’m not sure I could ever say for sure that my little business won’t head in another direction in the future. When creativity is in your blood it’s almost like a compulsion to discover new avenues to unleash that desire to create.

What would you say you most enjoy working on at the moment? 

My little buddhas have been incredibly popular and I really enjoy the whole process of casting, gift wrapping, and posting them. I still do a happy dance every single time I get an order.

For the future is there anything new in the pipeline or something that you hope to begin? 

I am always browsing for new moulds to expand my goddess range and I can confirm that I finally found two that I can’t wait to experiment with. They are very feminine and pretty and will be the perfect addition to my range and style as they can have hand-painted elements. My husband has also suggested a Star Wars themed item (to reach out to a male audience) but that is still in keeping with my overall style and products, so I am hoping that works out too! 

Where can people buy from you?

I currently receive most of my orders through social media, FacebookInstagram and Etsy, but I hope to venture back out to local craft fairs later in the year. 

Are there also other places you can be found online? 

Not just yet but there are plans for a website soon. 

About Ruth Jacobs (296 Articles)
Author of Soul Destruction: Unforgivable, a novel exposing the dark world and harsh reality of life as a drug addicted call girl. The main storyline is based loosely on events from my own life. In addition to fiction writing, I am also involved in journalism and broadcasting, primarily for human rights campaigning in the areas of sex workers' rights, anti-sexual exploitation and anti-human trafficking.

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