Advent 2017

German Protestants made chalk marks on doors or lit candles to count the days leading up to Christmas during the mid 19th century. Today children often open the Advent Calendar and as adults it is easy to forget the excitement that these gave us as a child.

Our family loves the build up to Christmas so I would like to share with you an advent calendar that will hopefully bring some magic and memories back. Each day up to and including Christmas Eve I will be posting a new door for you to open that reveals items from my collection of Christmas ornaments, decorations and ephemera.


December 1st

Vintage chenille Santas with composition faces, Japan, circa 1950’s. Toilet brush Christmas tree, c.1950’s.

December 2nd

Homemade wreath using assorted vintage glass baubles, dates mixed.

December 3rd

Vintage assorted Christmas boxes. Brush and papier-mâché Santa, Japan. Brown B. Shackman Dachshund Nodder, South Germany. Dates unknown.

December 4th

Hard white plastic running deers. Made by Rosbro Plastics US, c.1950’s.

December 5th

3ft Angel Pine aluminium Christmas tree. Walter Grafton & Son Ltd, Eltham, London, c.1950’s. Assorted plastic bells, dates mixed.

December 6th

Vintage Zoo with selected lead animals. Mica pinecone cone snowman playing a trumpet.

December 7th

Putz house with brush accent trees, Japan, c.1940’s/1950’s. Vintage haberdashery glass shop cabinet filled with assorted vintage baubles.

December 8th

Two candy containers, a venetian dew covered snowman, marked foreign, c.1940’s/1950’s. Plastic Santa in sleigh, US, c.1950’s.

December 9th

Antique Spirit of St. Louis Christmas ornament with spun glass wings, free blown glass body, wire wrapped, metal wheels and Dresden trim. Germany c.1900.

December 10th

Folk art goat standing inside a composite fence. Goose feather tree. c.1910-30.

December 11th

Celluloid musical, wind up carousel. Japan, c.1950’s-60’s.

December 12th

3ft Angel Pine aluminium Christmas tree. Walter Grafton & Son Ltd, Eltham, London, c.1950’s. Glass teardrop icicle ornaments, c.2010.

December 13th

Four vintage Russian blown glass Christmas clip on ornaments. Rabbit playing a drum, snowman, clown playing flute and a chick. c.1950/60’s.

December 14th

Vintage wrapping papers, dates mixed

December 15th

Made by Panaura these perspex shells with foil interiors came in a variety of shapes and colours, c.1960’s.





Spotlight: Sara Kulman


Parkside Gallery talks to Sara Kulman about making, materials, working with her husband and her current exhibition.

Artist Sara Kulman makes up one half of the team behind Brummagem: Lost City Found. Her unconventional route to becoming an artist (is there ever a conventional route?) brings a refreshing take on processes and materials.

I caught up with Sara to discuss her exhibition and fascinating approach to making objects.

Chris Ansell: Your exhibition, Brummagem: Lost City Found, draws on Birmingham and its brutalist architecture. Have you always felt a connection to the city?

Sara Kulman: I grew up in the suburbs in the 60s and 70s so Birmingham was always an exciting place to visit. I would go to the eye hospital, go shopping in Lewis’s then be driven through the Queensway to visit relatives. I always loved the journey.

When I got home I’d use my brother’s construction toys to recreate and reinvent my own functional but fun buildings and structures, my own city.

Recently, I’ve been discovering more about Birmingham and its architectural history but it will always be my memories and my love of the shapes, colours and textures of the city that inspire me.

Read the full interview at:

Parkside Gallery – Spotlight: Sara Kulman


Brummagem Lost City Found

Brummagem: Lost City Found was a joint exhibition by Andrew Kulman and Sara Kulman it offered a personal reflection on the city and its changing landscape through a series of prints, paper sculptures, artefacts and photography.



AK&SK.Savoy Buildings & Lancaster Circus

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Press Releases and Blogs


DLUXE Magazine

Greater Birmingham Chambers

I Choose Birmingham

Parkside Gallery: Blog

Parkside Gallery: Exhibitions

Parkside Gallery – Spotlight: Sara Kulman

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Andrew Kulman and Sara Kulman invited two young college students Lewis Moulton and Noah Kulman to exhibit examples of their work alongside their own. Lewis and Noah are both students at Birmingham Metropolitan College Feed Studio. The work shown is a selection taken from their end of year group exhibition entitled ‘Pinpoint’ held at the Jubilee Works.


It’s worth noting how the architecture of the city continues to fascinate a younger generation of artists and designers.

Daruma Clip

Daruma Clip

Stencil Flower Card

Decided at long last to use this purchase rather than just admire and keep them in their box.

A dozen of these little clips come stored in a matchbox and are made from recycled card. Display postcards and small images without causing damage.

Made by Pyloneer.


PAVO Peacock Shoe

This project is an extension of the newspaper shoe that I made for a friend.

Newspaper Shoe

A visit to NY inspired me to find the ‘best’ paper suppliers. At Kate’s Paperie I chose Lama Li Handmade Jazz Fabric Paper in Granite. This flexible paper has the appearance of leather on one side, fabric on the reverse and evokes strong animal qualities. Once home it brought to mind a sheet of handmade marbled paper brought in IL Papiro Florence, 1985. The design of this is aptly called Peacock (or Bouquet) Pattern and is the most popular and famous pattern in marbling. It’s colours, browns intermingling with olive greens,  brought to mind a peahen. I began to see how both papers could work together and I set out to create a shoe that had the grace and beauty of a peacock.

PAVO Peacock Shoe

It is never my intention to create a replica when I begin a new project but rather produce an essence of the original idea through colour, texture, layer and pattern.


The marbled paper is the main focus, it’s pattern suggesting the contour feathers with fine cuts to emphasise the barbs. An under layer, was made from the Jazz Fabric Paper. Layering papers soon became integral to the design, adding textures but also mimicking  the layers of feathers, it also creates movement.


The plan was to create a heel with the tail feathers standing proud and upright at the back, but the prototypes were not as I wished and I could not afford to make mistakes. I settled for a flat design with the magnificent peacock tail built up from different papers. I added a velvety vintage crepe paper in turquoise bought from Hopkinson 21Nottingham, to add vibrancy.






Forest Crown

Woodland Forest Crown

This is made from a simple origami technique that is often used to make bracelets. Scaled up it creates a lovely crown.

I used a variety of vintage Child Education posters from the 1960’s and 70’s to construct this crown. These posters have a nice flexible quality to them making them perfect for this project. I was given a large pile of these, and whilst some of the illustrations are excellent others are not so and it is these which I have used. I chose posters with woodland/forest themes and colours. Once folded the illustrations disappear and in their place new designs, made from random selections, appear creating something quite magical.

Our Menagerie

‘a collection of captive animals, frequently exotic, kept for display…, a precursor to the modern zoological garden’.

 “establishment of luxury and curiosity.

I was fortunate to purchase this unique vintage toy zoo, which came with a nice selection of lead animals. It provided me with the perfect backdrop to display our collection of animals and related ephemera that represent the four corners of the earth.


Sponsored Head Shave


Sponsored Head Shave. 10th January 2015

A slight diversion from my usual posts but I am using this opportunity for my son to express his thanks for all those who have sponsored him for his Peru trip 2016.

On Saturday, 10th January 2015 I shaved my dad’s hair. This was to raise money for my upcoming trip to Peru in the summer of 2016, in which I will be helping the local communities.

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