Hello from Salty Seas
About eleven years ago, myself, my wife Karen and our daughter Sophie, went on holiday to Exmouth for the first time. We had been to Devon many times before but for some reason, we had never been to Exmouth. I still don't really know why the place has such a hold over us but we go there every year now. Some of the reasons may be the long morning walks on the estuary when the tide is out, the fantastic clean beaches which seem to run on for miles, everything you need is within walking distance and of course, last but not least, some of our favourite cafes and pubs. So what has this to do with Salty Seas?
Well, just along the coast is a place called Budleigh Salterton. There isn't a sandy beach and it doesnt take you long to walk around the town but what is does have in abundance is charm. Walking around the few galleries, indulging in the amazing ice creams, camera in hand walking on the beach taking pictures of the weathered timber boats, stacked up lobster pots with brightly coloured fraying ropes, rusted gears on boat winches, this was when I wondered if I could turn a passion into a full time business.
Initially, it was just the idea of selling photographs that appealed. Not just the usual beachscapes but more interesting and gritty subject matter to try and capture the lives of local coastal dwellers, people whose livelihoods relied on the coast and a passion for finding interesting and hand drawn typography.
I have been taking coastal photographs since I was a teenager and have amassed quite a collection. I have over the years had small exhibitions of my photography and attended just a few local craft fairs to try and see if there was a market for my work...
Alongside the photography, I also started making driftwood sculptures just over 30 years ago. Inspired by seeing someone making wooden models whilst on honeymoon in Spain. I liked the tactile nature of them especially using driftwood and other found ephemera to make them. I had plenty of driftwood already stored away from countless trips to the coast, so used some of my photographs as a reference to recreate the look and colours of some typical British seaside buildings.
These have proved to be hugely popular and has spurred me on to create different wooden products such as wooden plaques featuring the shipping forecast and seaside memories, along with typographic map county signs.
Some items that I made a few years ago have proved to be our most popular products. Our range of map pictures grow more successful every month, due to the fact that I can personalise them and design more or less anything you want. I have always had a fascination for maps which started when I used to collect old London Underground maps and the typeface used is still one of my favourites today. The amount of information, range of colours and sheer scale sometimes, is fascinating. From just using maps of Great Britain, we now can design them using locations from around the world. So have a look around the website and visit our shop to give you an idea of what we can offer...
Mixed Media Designer
David's career as an artist and designer really started in the mid 1980's, when most Graphic Design was accomplished with a drawing board and a set square. With computers in their infancy, type was either set with Letraset or stencils. With an accompanying education within the engineering factories around the back streets of Birmingham, which is now the famous Jewellery Quarter, a genuine desire to make objects grew stronger.
Throughout the next two decades, came a willingness to try new art and design techniques from glass etching, silversmithing and toolmaking to pyrography, screenprinting and letterpress.
The latter proving an instand attraction to the seemingly natural flowing forms of letters and type in general. With the technological changes, this made it easier to experiement with designing and hand illustrating type, which was used in his own design practice, DJM Design. The breadth of work included branding, packaging and general design practices for a range of clients around the UK. After the turn of the century, a new desire for acceptance and thirst for more knowledge took over. First accomplishing a Foundation Degree in Graphic Design, then a BA Hons, also in Graphic Design and then more recently an MA in Creative Design, all gained through Staffordshire University. During the last few years whilst studying, he was accepted on to a business start up scheme run through the University, to expand on a chosen idea to grow a creative business. This was the start of Coastal Dreams which would eventually become Salty Seas...
Salty Seas is really the culmination of several years of soul searching to try and turn a genuine love for the coast into a creative outlet. It is also a collective of several art and design skills with his photography, typography, illustration and crafting expertise, all joining together to celebrate the Great British seaside.
So please join us on this excting journey of discovery, as Salty Seas grows over the next few years....
Follow the links on this website to our social media outlets and also our growing Etsy shop....
Wish You Were Here