Working as a makeup artist by day and a homewares designer by night, Ashlea Cooney often jokes about how different her two gigs are. “One moment my canvas is a beautiful face and it’s all very glamorous and the next, I’m covered in sawdust and paint!” But that said, she wouldn’t have it any other way.
With her own homewares brand, Copper&Co, Ashlea creates timber coasters, placemats, serving planks and wall art; an idea she arrived at after brainstorming ideas on what had never been done before. “When I started Copper&Co, painted pots were all the rage and I thought, I want to do that! I wanted to recreate something that most people had in their homes but weren’t that excited by. I knew I wanted to work with wood and the first pieces I made were the coasters. I hadn’t seen anything like them out there and there’s nothing like that feeling of creating something original and unique. Such a buzz!”
Loving timber for the fact, “you never know what you might get,” Ashlea uses all types, depending on what’s on hand at the time. “It’s lovely working with such a beautiful and natural product. I use many different types of wood, but I must say I do love pine for its light colour, which helps the colours of the paint pop!”
Having always enjoyed painting, Ashlea uses bright colours and graphic designs to transform bare timber into original pieces of art that you can put to good use. All handmade, the design process may seem simple, but a lot of time and effort goes into each ware. “Once the wood is picked out, it’s then cut into the different sizes depending on the product. After that, each piece gets sanded by hand and sealed. I then come up with my designs and paint them by hand. Once that’s complete, each piece is signed and sealed for the final time and ready for sale. I take a lot of pride in creating quality items!”