Wednesday, 12 November 2008


Kate McCulloch - Katie Mac Ceramics

Coastal inpsired ceramics that incorporate scenes from the shore using my own blend of recycled paper and stoneware clay

Money spent on A HEAT GUN is never wasted.
I recently bought one, the best money I've spent in a long time. My studio space is getting colder and colder by the day - it helps relieve the stress of very slow drying clay

Favourite living artist?
Kurt Jackson - I love his coastal work, he's very inspirational to me. I adore how he catches the moods of the sea using mixed media, colour and texture. He seems to easily capture the different moods with plenty of movement.

Favourite historical artist
Ansel Adams - His landscape photography is stunning, he was such a pioneer in his field, developing the zoning system to capture the contrasts to give a well balanced photograph. His compositions and choice of views are wonderful. He's the reason I own camera equipment and take time to capture the beautiful things that surround us.

When/where did you first want to do what you do?
I first got my hands on some clay when I went on a field trip to a local potter's workshop (Sarah Fuller, she just happened to be my best friend's mum!) on my childhood island of Antigua in the Caribbean. I loved the feel and what she could do with it. I didn't really consider it until I went to the University of Plymouth to study 3D Design and by the end of teh 1st year I knew I wanted to join the self employed potter community.

What place in the world has inspired you?
At the moment, Northumberland. I was born in this beautiful county and always find myself heading back there. It's such a wonderful place, such a variety between the different coastal areas, all the history that surrounds it and the fact that you can walk along a large expanse of beach and not see a soul. I feel closer to my absent relatives and feel a sense of peace when I'm there. If I happen to be lacking inspiration or just need some time away I grab some clothes, camera equipment and a sketchbook, get in the car and drive for hours to a family friend's. I spend a couple of days on the coast, visit places I went when I was younger and get myself focused again - it never fails to inspire me. It's amazing the variety of magnificent places we have on our doorsteps (especially the coast) but they are rarely considered for visiting, especially anything 'up North'.

Who would you say buys your work?
I would say those who are looking for handmade work that doesn't look like it's been mass produced or 'clean cut'. Oh, and those who like the colour blue, the sea or anything coastal related.

What's on your pinboard?
To do lists, mix of maker/gallery business cards, photos of friends, postcard from Boston & one of the Angel of the North, a hockey timetable, a invigilation rota for a gallery and a famous quote my Mum gave me.

Where or what is your studio:
I'm part of a studio group called InBristol studios, based in Barton Hill, Bristol. Kerry Russell, Tracey Graham and Sharon Bishop are there too. My studio space walls are covered with photos that involve the sea so far I have shots from Antigua, Northumberland, Westonbirt Arboretum and Wales. I have one blank wall left that is looking very tempting. Sound wise it depends who is in the studio - but I have to have some sort of music on if it's through headphones or on the stereo - but I definetly can't work in silence, reminds me too much of a library

Surprising Activity/Hobby:
Not sure if it's classed as surprising but it's my most enjoyable hobby, Hockey - it's a great way to keep fit and socialise (it gets lonely being all creative) plus you have the satisfaction of hitting a ball very hard, and the risk of getting hit with one (I seem to be getting a bruise every week). A great stress buster. I had a couple of years away from it but I've recently joined a new team so it's great getting to know new faces plus, it breaks up the routine during the week.

One word for feeling of work : engrossing

Would you rather be doing something else?
No. Anything else would feel like I'm wasting the creative talent that was passed on to me. Don't get me wrong, it gets hard, stressful and I wonder why I'm doing it. Then I ask myself one question "would you rather be doing the 9 to 5?" and that get's me back in to the groove

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