Alex Garnett is an independent designer who produces quirky fun ceramics with an emphasis on originality like all our designers. A self-taught ceramicist and experienced prop maker with a passion for visual art, he prides himself on products hand made in the UK. Perhaps his main forte is subverting mundane everyday items into unique, quirky collectibles.
Graduating from Goldsmiths in 2003, Alex co-founded the design studio MIXKO. In 2010 he established himself independently under WWW.ALEXGARNETT.COM where he continues to produce visually striking work ranging from interior design to fashion accessories and modern sculpture.
Past clients include Bloomberg, Dirk Bikkembergs, Fiorucci, IKEA, Paul Smith and Top Shop. His work has also featured on The One Show and Noel Fielding’s “Luxury Comedy” series. Read more
Flora Wallace is a designer and maker who explores narrative, meaning, and place through ceramics. She engages directly with the landscape by taking impressions of surfaces and textures of places themselves. As in the making of chutney, her work attempts to capture aspects and qualities of seasonal moments and specific points in time and space. She is currently working on a series of seasonal vessels, these vessels come with a guide to the british flora in an attempt to encourage the user to forage.
Dogs provide William Rolls with enormous scope for experimentation and exploration. Playfulness and joyfulness, movement and freedom are important elements in the characters that he produces. The clay creates the characters in his work whilst he influence structures, forms and surface finishes.
Every clay has its own strengths and weaknesses and brings unique qualities to each piece. It is important that each dog has a unique personality – either in form, character or technical application. He aims to capture the spirit of the dog without over finishing so that the final piece has inherent character and distinctiveness.
Most of his work is fired to stoneware so is durable. William finishes his work with slips, underglazes and oxides. His work is informed by research from real life. He says that he sketches dogs at every opportunity, as he wants to try and understand their anatomy, personalities and interactions. He has found that making time to do this has really helped his creative practice and culminated in the work he is currently producing. Every piece is unique.
Faith Mercer’s work explores the beauty of life and its regeneration after death. She is inspired by the hidden miracles of the microscopic world of pollen and mould spores. As an Artist, her intention is to develop distinctive and tactile work, which combines traditional craftmanship with unconventional techniques and original ideas. The importance of individualism and free thinking is the main focus of her art work.
Nature has always been at the forefront of Samantha’s inspiration. That burst of life and energy you experience when you walk through a bed of flowers or meadow are elements in which Samantha hopes to portray within her own work.
Hand building is very much Samantha’s passion for the unique qualities she can achieve from this process. Her organic, bulb-like forms make a bold statement on their own but also work together to fully express the immeasurable experience of nature.
Samantha’s knowledge of colour and glazing has really helped aid her in her work; the more expressive glazing techniques not only compliment the forms but also make them vibrant and distinctive.
For Samantha Ceramics is unlike any other art form and she feels most creative and comfortable when working with clay.
A Staffordshire based designer, Lisa Slinn has a passion for Illustration and Ceramics. In combining the two she has created a collection of work that shows her idiosyncratic illustrative style and her love of 19th Century British ceramics. Her dishes are highly decorative pieces of art that playfully fuse images found on traditional British tableware with contemporary ceramic design. The inspiration behind her work came after visiting the V and A for the first time this Spring and spending three days sketching their ‘Made in Industry ‘ tableware collections.
“ I became fascinated by the way 19th Century designers used gold lustre brushstrokes to create Renaissance inspired curly edges and floral motifs that we would now associate with china found in our great grandmas best cabinets. I played around with creating my own versions of ornate handles but painted them flat onto the surface so that they would look like they’d been placed on at the last minute. In complete contrast to the hours it would have taken hand painters back then. I mean for my pieces to have a fun feel and to reference Museum China ware but for them to also have a contemporary twist”.
After graduating from Loughborough University with a first class honours degree in 3D Design, Laurie set up her studio at her home in Loughborough where all of my work is now produced. The home she shares with her husband, her two children and dog Beanie.
The inspiration for the work she produces comes from the intrinsic beauty she sees in the natural world. She praises her good fortune of a pair of tiny tour guides who find wonder and amazement in the smallest of things, like a pebble in the woods or a shell on the beach.
Her ceramic work has adopted an organic aesthetic; she embraces any imperfections and purposefully introduces irregularities within the making process to make each piece completely unique. No two pieces are identical.
The most recent collection consists of mixed media jewellery and home ware, made from combinations of silver, gold, ceramic and textiles.
Laurie has applied traditional processes like knitting and weaving into uniting the materials in my jewellery. By interlacing silver and gold chain with mohair and silk she has developed beautifully tactile pieces, that feel wonderful when held or worn.
The miniature bowls are slip cast bone china that have been infused with silver and wrapped in textiles.
Jasmine classes herself as a contemporary ceramicist, illustrator and artist. She creates evocative illustrations of animals in an expressive, free hand style. They are influenced from her environment and the fables and mythical stories she was told as a child. She then translates her 2D work onto the ceramic bodies of her animal figures, which act like a 3D canvas.
She likes to take a fresh approach towards industrial processes, creating batches of animal figures using slip casting with earthenware clay, very much like the traditional Staffordshire Flat backs prevalent around the 1800’s in Stoke-on-Trent. Even though the base of each figure is replicated she tries to give them each an individual character by exploring surface application techniques such as scraffito with coloured slip. She then layer up a variety of glazes and over glaze enamels to hand paint illustrations onto the figure and to finish she adds gold lustre to highlight certain areas and give a luxurious feel to the piece.
The concept of Abigail’s work is to draw the audience in and trigger their response of wanting to handle the pieces, creating an individual narrative to each form.
Being deaf all her life, it has caused her other senses to become heightened, especially touch. As a result, her work is informed by textures that she experiences in the world, and it is this different way of experiencing the world that she would like to share with us all.
Due to technological advances, our sense of touch is getting lost. The touch senses are being reduced to keyboards and touch pads. Increasingly, interactive and stimulating art pieces are becoming more common, appealing to other senses, not purely sight.
Abigail loves to be tactile with objects around her and get her own narrative from them. Remembering what the object felt like stands out to her more than seeing it behind the glass. Ceramics opened the doors to another world. Clay and plaster is essentially a blank canvas, allowing the maker to manipulate it in many ways.
Organic forms inspire her and to achieve this, she uses tights and other organic inspired materials to create varying ranges of surface textures.
Upcycling; making useful and attractive new products from items commonly perceived to be rubbish, is now a big trend. Amelia Parker’s truly unique designs take this idea a step further by adding London and history into the mix.
The range features jewellery, accessories and print all made using fragments of clay smoking pipes carefully selected from the foreshores of the River Thames in London. Many of these fragments date back to the 1600s. They are used exactly as found, eroded and coloured by time and tide, and have not been trimmed to size, altered, or enhanced in any way.
The jewellery is made using specifically-chosen fragments which are graded by size, colour and shape to create attractive arrangements. Closely-matched ‘pairs’ become earrings or feature within symmetrical designs, and interesting single fragments with unusual shapes and patinations are selected for centre-pieces, unisex chokers or single drop pendants. Cufflinks and keyrings are also available.
Hand-made leather wallets and holders for smart phones, cards and spectacles, are created from old clothing and remnants and, as per the jewellery, every item is totally unique. Each one features a ‘trademark’ Amelia Parker clay pipe fragment toggle attached to a split ring so that keys or charms can be added.
Greeting cards feature Clay Pipe Pete and Smokey Joe on old maps of London (available as larger prints on request). More images for the printed range are in the pipeline(!) and these include London landmarks, animals and a clay pipe alphabet for personalised items.
Laura Bird is a London based potter and illustrator mainly producing functional ware as well as decorative vessels and vases. All the pieces are created exclusively by the artist with each one being made by hand and hand painted so no two are ever the same. The style is always very playful, often with the use of bright colours and usually featuring an array of interesting characters.
There is a strong emphasis on decoration and the pieces tell a story through the illustrations and patterns used. The whole range is created from stoneware clay making everything extremely durable for daily use and even when unglazed they have the ability to hold water. The philosophy of the work is to produce ceramics that can be used in every day life which contain an element of fun as well as being little pieces of art. Hopefully bringing a smile to someone’s face every time they are used.
It’s the juxtaposing of the material that intrigues and forces a more detailed investigation enabling various experiments to produce an outcome. Jane’s inspiration is gained from her own surroundings and elements that exist there, including the natural world in the form of flora, fauna, minerals and rocks.
These interests are invested in the transformation of these elements into objects that emulate some of the qualities through wide testing of materials including clay, resin, silicone and metals. Added to this is the elemental aspect of people’s behaviour that surround her, their role plays, manipulation and desired goals.