Parisian born, Isabel Coulton, grew up in the bohemian art world of 1960’s France. Her grandmother was a talented painter in oils, her grandfather painted, collected works of art and discovered the now famous Bernard Buffet, whom he exhibited in his Champs Elysee gallery. Her home was a fusion of French avant-garde and the practical quiet beauty of early carved furniture, her English father’s passion, later to become his speciality. Her mother, Lydia Corbett, (nee Sylvette David), once Picasso’s muse, now paints in her own right, drawing inspiration from the great master and exhibits in London’s Maddox Street. Isabel’s love of carving must surely come from her early years, leading her away from painting towards a very traditional and meticulous skill.
After two years preliminary studies in art, the City and Guilds of London Art School alone offered the grounding that she needed in carving and allied subjects. During her studies, Isabel supplemented her knowledge and income by working at the King’s Cross Workshops, 1984-86, before being accepted for a full time position at Thomas Restorations in little Venice in 1987, working mainly for Partridges of Bond street. Here she honed her skills, everyday experiencing the work of Robert Adam, Chippendale, and Thomas Hope. Today, having made her home in Devon, Isabel now enjoys new designs and commissions. Always in love with the traditional styles, she now seeks to fuse the old techniques with new fervour and thinking to enable her to carve with depth, intricacy and feeling.