In October last year, we welcomed two new early career ceramicists onto our Starter Studio programme: Sophie Lester and Bethany Stafford. These artists have joined our two year programme which offers them the opportunity to develop their skills and creative enterprises in a supportive environment, access to shared workspace and equipment, technical and mentor support, business advice and occasional commission and exhibition opportunities.
Sophie joins us from Nottingham Trent University, where she gained a first class BA Hons Degree in Decorative Arts. Her work focuses on iconic landscapes in British industrial heritage. She travels the country documenting and gathering inspiration to translate into pieces that communicate the richness of ceramics, and question its historical and cultural significance. Sophie's work focuses on iconic landscapes of British industrial heritage. She uses symbolism in her surface treatment to create rich sculptural pieces, pots and tableware. Her 'soft fascination' series focuses on 'the effortless attention or meditative state induced by natural rhythms and patterns, proven to be psychologically restorative.'
Bethany also joins us straight from her Decorative Arts Degree programme at Nottingham Trent. Her work to date is influenced by the Brutalist architecture. Her sculptural blocks recall the simple geometric forms and are rendered in beautiful colours. They are held together by elastic bands, allowing the user to explore composition, material and colour.
Find out more about Beth's work here.
The Starter Studio Programme for Ceramists is delivered from a large purpose built, eco-designed shared space at Manor Oaks Studios. If you work with clay and you are looking to further your skills and professional development, this may well be the opportunity you are looking for. Please go to our Starter Studio page to find out more.