meet steph of steph liddle ceramics
WHO ARE YOU? TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF!
I'm Steph! Designer/Maker. Ceramic lover. Pizza eater.
WHAT DO YOU MAKE?
Ceramic jewellery and homewares. With an eye for colour and pattern, I draw on my background in Illustration to create contemporary, graphic ceramic jewellery and homewares. Focussing on minimal shapes, combined with bold patterns and a limited colour palette, I create pieces which are easy to wear and live with.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED AS MAKER?
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.
WHAT MAKES YOUR PRODUCTS THE BEST?
Each piece is imperfectly unique. Slipcast using Parian porcelain clay, the pattern and illustration on each piece is hand-drawn with a brush using underglaze, meaning no two pieces will ever be exactly the same. Once they're fired, they're polished by hand to create objects with a silky smooth finish which are a joy to hold and interact with.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR WORKSPACE
My studio is in a Victorian jute mill which has been converted into an artist studio complex. 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.
TELL US ABOUT WHERE PEOPLE CAN FIND YOUR PRODUCTS?
You can find my ceramics on my online shop at www.stephliddle.com or they can be found in brick and mortar shops across the UK. I've no stockists outside the UK (yet!) but I do ship worldwide from my website so no need to feel left out if you're not in the UK!
WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
I'm based in Dundee, Scotland. It's a funny little city full of character and creativity on the banks of the River Tay – an incredibly silvery expanse.
WHAT HAS BEEN MAKING YOU EXCITED LATELY?
I've just ran a 4 week beginners ceramic course called 'TILE // PINCH // SLAB // COIL' and welcomed a lovely group of people into my studio to learn how to make their own ceramics. It's been a great experience and I've really loved sharing my skills with others – it's amazing to see what everyone creates each week, and see everyone personalities emerge through the objects they've created.
IF YOU COULD LEARN A NEW SKILL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I've always fancied learning to play the cello! I love the deep, somewhat mournful sound.
COFFEE OR TEA?
Tea! I drink far too much of it. Unless it's the weekend, then I'll make a cafetière of coffee to accompany my lazy breakfast.
ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?
Night owl. I'm awful in the mornings – every day feels like waking from a long hibernation.
WHAT DO YOU WATCH OR LISTEN TO IN THE BACKGROUND WHEN YOU ARE MAKING?
I listen to BBC 6 Music when I'm in the studio most days, I like the routine it provides. I also listen to a lot of podcasts when I'm working – I like that my hands can do one thing while my brain does another. When I'm teaching classes I like to make a little curated playlist to help set the mood – Haiku Salut, Errors, and Bon Iver have featured heavily in my most recent classes.
SHARE 5 FUN FACTS ABOUT YOURSELF.
- I once made a lasagne the size of a single bed! It wasn't edible, sadly, it was a soft sculpture but you could get inside it and cosy up inside the layers. It now lives in my mums loft, rolled up inside a black bin bag.
- Each and every mark on my ceramics are hand-drawn with a brush! People often think they're machine made as they're so precise but it's all done by hand.
- I'm obsessed with food. Cooking it, eating it, drawing it. Everything. I'm also vegan, and I think they definitely go hand in hand.
- I have a pretty distinctive laugh. And by laugh, I mean cackle. I have a cackle. A big cackle.
- My face has a mind of it's own – I can try as hard as I like to hide my true feelings but my face will always give me away. And usually I am completely oblivious to it's actions.