And interview with ceramicist and jewellery designer Alice Shields. Alice talks about inspirations, her new range and how she spends Sunday!
Some of you long term SEED followers may realise that we featured Alice Shields back in 2014 where we talked about her lovely designs and inspirations. As we’ve watched Alice’s work develop and enjoyed all of the new pieces arriving into the shop we thought it was high time we interviewed her again! Alice’s work is always charming, colourful and lovely. I have a particular fondness for her recent range of ceramic jewellery and was eager to find out more about the process behind it.
-How would you describe your jewellery and home ware to somebody who has never seen them before?
My collage range of jewellery and home wares is inspired by my love of colour, form and mark making. I like colour and simple forms and layering up areas of textural information (I polish each porcelain necklace and brooch so they feel lovely on your skin). Both my jewellery and home wares are fresh, contemporary with a tilt to mid century design. Perfect for Spring and Summer.
-How do you think that your style has developed over the years?
My style has definitely become more minimalist. I am far more interested in colour and form. I enjoy creating abstract shapes using block colour and thinking about structural compositions.
-What are you finding inspiring at the moment?
Ooh from lots of things. But I think I’d have to say mainly the urban environment. I like looking at horizontal and vertical compositions in architecture. A lot of shapes I see go into my work. I’m also a bit of a fan of mid century colour palettes and furniture.
-What would you being doing if you weren’t an artist?
I would love to be a bee keeper.
-What is your favourite book?
I’m not sure I have a favorite book. But one book that stuck with me from a few years back is Martha and Dann by Doris Lessing. It’s a tale about a brother and sister who live in a dystopic future and are environmental refugees. It’s beautiful and tragic and slightly too close for comfort. It’s a warning to humanity about the dangers of climate change and that is at stake both environmentally and culturally.
-How do you spend a typical Sunday?
If I’m not working, hopefully outside in green space with a thermos flask, a boiled egg for sustenance and a view. Followed by an evening at The Wardrobe Theatre in the Bristol watching comedy or theatre with some friends.
-What are you working on right now?
I’ve just started my MA in Ceramics which I am doing part time. So a lot of my time and focus is going into study and exploring ideas. Within my own practice I will be spending most of the year promoting the new collage range.
-Do you have anything you wish you could say to yourself five years ago?
Don’t leave your tax return to the last moment.
-Finally, any advice for aspiring artists?
(Get an accountant!) Take risks. Say yes to things. Network. Always, try to personalize emails/letters when you’re introducing yourself to a potential new client. It show’s you’ve taken the time to find out about them. If you can, contact them the old fashioned way with a handwritten letter and maybe pop in a sample. In a world of constant spam emails, I think clients find it quite refreshing. Be prepared to work hard. But have fun and keep a small amount of time for yourself. You have to keep yourself inspired too.
You can view our range of Alice Shields work here.