bottled glass

About Del...

Always a maker Del entered formal art education as a mature student. He gained a first in the BA (HONS) Sustainable Design and Practice at the University of Derby in 2003. He then spent 3 years at Banks Mill Studios in Derby establishing his practice. He now works from his studio-workshop near the city centre.

In his degree studies he explored and developed his commitment to reusing materials. He identified transformation as the corner-post of his creative activity, with form and function fundamental to his design approach. The items he makes always retain the origins of their materials and show clearly how the transformation to a new item has been achieved.

"The seeds for my making were sown in early childhood. Just after the Second World War ‘make do and mend’ was the way of life, and this became my norm. On my father’s allotment, and through contact with many other ‘makers’, I witnessed a creativity. This left me with an ‘eye’ to look at discarded material and a desire to make something from it.”

He combines this need to remake, with a fascination for the repetitions of life. Repetition is the root of everyday life. We get up every day, breathe, eat, work, play and sleep. Repetition encompasses conformity and also facilitates diversity and originality.

“For me a collection is an outward expression of repetition. In a way my work ethic is about creating collections. Each piece becomes part of a large collection, and although unique, carries an identification of being part of a group of works. Each vessel can be seen to have been made from a certain number, and type, of bottles. The choices I make, and the processes of fusing and slumping, create a uniqueness which stops any match with others in the set.”

He follows this path in other creative work he does in collagraphic printing, collage and sculptural 3D items.


Del Coombs - Designer Maker