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Why the Name Ink & Brayer?

Why the Name Ink & Brayer?

Welcome to The Ink & Brayer journal.

To kick off I want to answer a question that I get asked frequently. Why did I choose the name 'Ink & Brayer' for my home interiors business?  

 

A brayer rolling out ink ready for printmaking.A brayer is a roller that you use in printmaking to roll out ink.

I began Ink & Brayer at a very tumultuous time in my life. My husband was extremely ill with cancer, and Covid lockdowns had just hit NZ. I had been working as a designer and illustrator in the New Zealand souvenir industry. With the borders closing, no new product was being developed. I needed a new job that allowed flexibility so I could support my husband's fight for his life, and my children as they struggled with the shock of potentially losing their Dad and the changes Covid brought.

Having worked my entire life as an artist and designer, I decided to create a website selling art. I decided I would pursue a long-time dream of printmaking for my own craft, but until I had the time to invest in my own art development I sold other people's art. I loved pattern, so I also sourced some beautiful and vibrant textiles and made cushions to pad out my online store offerings. 

NZ interior designer Bren Sutton

The cushions sold well, so I began visiting local textile and design houses to source more fabric. The quality and breadth of offerings astounded me and I was absolutely in my element. Among the exquisite prints, patterns and weaves of the many design houses of Auckland, I found my happy place. The tactile nature of textiles was a welcome contrast to the computer aided design I had been doing, and ignited a passion that has changed the course of my career.

The Ink & Brayer interior studio

While I may still work with printmaking art one day, I anticipate it will be married to fabric, perhaps using the craft to design motifs and patterns for interior textiles. In the meantime, I am developing my online home decor store, where I focus on my passions and strengths - textiles and soft furnishings, interior design, and decor for the home. 

I am thrilled to say my husband survived against all odds. I've contemplated changing the name Ink & Brayer to something more interior-decor related; but it reminds me that life is unpredictable and it's important to follow your heart and be open to life's opportunities — flow with it and see where it takes you. I could never have anticipated this career change, and I've never been so passionate about my work. I adore my humble home studio and being able to work with tactile weaves and beautiful home decor products. Life is strange and wonderful.

Bren Sutton at the Ink & Brayer studio

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