Meet the Maker
Anyone who follows me on Instagram will probably have seen my recent posts for Joanne Hawker's 'March Meet the Maker' Instagram challenge during March. This year was my first time taking part in the challenge and it was so great to have a little daily prompt to get me posting more and sharing more about my work and my studio. It also made me realise that while I might share these things readily on social media, I rarely tell these stories on my website. So here's a little glimpse of who I am, where I work, and how I got started in ceramics.
WHO I AM //
I’m Steph - a ceramics Designer/Maker based in Dundee, Scotland. I hand craft minimal, graphic ceramic jewellery and homewares that are easy to wear and live with. Each piece is slipcast and then hand-drawn (yes, really!) by me. I’m not a natural in front of a camera but here I am matching Pam - the palm - in my studio wearing my favourite dungarees and a Grid Necklace. My ceramics business is a one-woman show but at least Pam is always around to keep me company. Until I forget to water her...
WHERE I AM //
Dundee - the city of ‘jute, jam, and journalism’. It's a funny little city full of character and creativity on the banks of the River Tay – an incredibly silvery expanse. My studio is in a Victorian jute mill in the city centre which has been converted into artist studios called Meadow Mill. It's an amazing space with double height ceilings, huge windows, and a great community of makers – there's a whole world of creativity going on behind each door! There's also a gallery and project space on the top floor where I host ceramic classes which looks out across Dundee, the Tay River and hills of Fife.
This little pot is a a hand-drawn, contemporary reimagined version of the classic ‘Dundee Marmalade’ ceramic jar. Legend has it that marmalade was invented in Dundee by accident when a ship full of Seville oranges took shelter in the port during a storm, which seems fitting given our recent wild weather! So that’s jute and jam covered, if you'd like to help me out with the journalism by featuring me in your publication then I'd love to hear from you .
HOW I STARTED //
Ceramics was a bit of a tangent for me! I originally studied Illustration at Art School and made work that was very different to the work I make now – I made a lot of soft sculptures of giant, interactive comfort foods and done a lot of screenprinting. It wasn't until after I graduated that I started working with ceramics. From the moment I picked up a lump of clay I was completely enthralled! I love that I can start with a ball of what is essentially mud and turn it into something useable. I get a total kick every time I open the kiln and see the work inside, and I still feel incredibly proud and amazed to think that I made it with my own hands.
This pie was part of my Degree Show at DJCAD way back in 2012, and below are some of the first ceramics I made - little pinched dishes which were the starting point of my brand aesthetic.