Cal Scott : Hooper Hart

Cal Scott is the artist owner of Hooper Hart, specialising in hand-painted wooden framed dioramas depicting imaginary scenes from around the British Isles and beyond, all with a modern Folk Art flavour. Because every piece is individually painted, printed, and assembled by hand, each one is completely unique.

Since graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 1997, Cal has worked with various media including ceramics, graphic design, textiles and collagraph printing. Following advice from one of Scotland’s leading craft organisations, she made the decision to concentrate on one thing, and for the past five years, her focus has been her wooden framed dioramas.

“I started screen-printing in 2015, and quickly settled on printing on plywood as I loved the texture of the ink on the bare wood surface. In 2016 I joined a studio in Glasgow where I learned how to prepare vector drawings and use laser cutting machines, which enabled me to develop ways of using plywood further.  

“I made my first framed dioramas for a large group show at The Bield in Perthshire in 2017, and the response was so positive that they became the focus I’d been looking for. My work is influenced by analogue animation and illustration, particularly the work of pioneering silhouette animator Lotte Reiniger. 

“I love the way a whole immersive world can be created by the careful painting and placement of a few flat pieces of wood! It can magically transport you to another place, and I try to capture an element of that in my work, using storytelling, folklore, and local wildlife as a starting point for each design.

“I moved to Perthshire in 2022 and while visiting my sister Ceri White’s studio in Creative Exchange, I discovered the FGIC, and the fantastic kit they have to offer artists.

“Having a basic knowledge in laser cutting helped me get started right away, and Scott has helped me with the odd technical query. I still use an external laser company for volume – I’d never keep up with Christmas stock otherwise – but I can now work to perfect the designs myself and turn out smaller jobs with precision and control.

“I can also take my drawings, which I still do at home, and use the more advanced software and drawing tablets at FGIC to create the vector files I need to laser cut.  I break each scene down into layers – trees, cabin, waves, sky – to build the impression of depth.  I have a good idea of what will work as I’ve been doing this a while now but when it comes to new ideas or details such as engraving, I can now try it a few different ways to make sure it works before committing to a larger run. This saves me a lot of both time and expense.

“I’ve been using the equipment at FGIC for about 18 months now and it has allowed me to evolve as an artist and to develop my technical skills. And I’ve recently tried the UV Printer which prints onto any flat surface, sealing and drying as soon as it’s done. This is fantastic for merchandising as it gives a really glossy finish.  

“You can only get to the place you need to be by navigating through the options and finding the one that suits you – and having the flexibility to use this great kit right here in the Creative Exchange is wonderful. 

“As well as the obvious benefits to the business, I have found my creative network has broadened just by way of being in the building. Many of the people here use the art space or are interested in it.

“Finally, I can proudly say all steps of my process are carried out right here in Perthshire; something that is really appreciated by my customers.”

Cal Scott : Hooper Hart
Cal Scott is the artist owner of Hooper Hart, specialising in hand-painted wooden framed dioramas depicting imaginary scenes from around…
©  Perth & Kinross Council (2024) All Rights Reserved