’Portrait of a Maker & Crafter’, is a new series featuring our friends who are part of the Cockpit Arts family here in Holborn. Here they share their creative journeys and inspirations and the connection with making things, things which build a narrative and an emotional resonance.
Tell us how you ended up in ceramics here at Cockpit Arts?
I came to Cockpit Arts on an award which entitled me to a free studio space for a year (2017). It enabled me to re-launch my ceramic career after a 20-year hiatus. It’s now my home.
How did you come about your beautiful signature?
I’ve always created with flowers but it was when I made the shift from earthenware clay to porcelain that my work really took off. Porcelain can be really intricate, delicate and also strong and stone-like. It has helped me and restricted me!!
What or who inspires your work?
The matriarchs in my family – mother, grandmother, great grandmother... all strong women and incredibly talented gardeners. I channel thoughts and memories of them as I’m working.
What is the best thing about being your own boss and least favourite?
Being able to work when I want and how I want is magical. But there is fear and loneliness about being your own boss that’s why being enveloped in the creative community at Cockpit Arts is crucial.
Tilda Bracelet The Walks at Grays Inn Gardens Vanessa’s studio
What are your favourite go-to spots in London?
Victoria Park in East London
Gray’s Inn Gardens (only open during lunch hours)
Royal Opera House (anyone can take a look inside now it’s been opened up)
Delphine wall pieces Tilda Ring and Bracelet in Driftwood
List three words that best describe you?
Patient, compulsive and sentimental
What is your favourite piece?
My DELPHINE wall piece – especially in black stoneware (it comes in creamy white porcelain too) as it has a soft velvety look and often people feel the need to touch it to make sure it’s fired clay.
You can view more of Vanessa’s work here.
Photography by Alun Callender, Vanessa Hogge and Ejing Zhang Studio