Behind the ‘gram with @AlexSickling
This week we spoke to illustrator and in her words ‘wonky pots’ ceramic maker, @alexsickling.
This week we spoke to illustrator and in her words ‘wonky pots’ ceramic maker, @alexsickling. Having collaborated with Anthropologie, had her work stocked in the Baltic long enough to become a best-seller, and her ornaments even catching the eye of kids – we wanted to know what her story was, as well as her top tips for those who, perhaps, would like to take up ceramics as a wholesome hobby.
I first started making ceramics whilst in my second year of studying Visual Communication at Leeds Art University. As one of my modules, I started exploring with clay, and fell in love with the process as it allowed me to adapt my illustrations into something more tangible.
Then as I started creating more out of passion, I began selling both my ceramics and illustrations online and at local markets. I’ve been doing this since 2012, and still work from my home studio in Gateshead.
I’m really interested in folk art and also love visiting art galleries in whichever city I find myself in. I also regularly take part in an amazing market called the DIY Art Market and find so much inspiration from other makers and illustrators there.
Although I’d say that a lot of my work is based on my love for animals. I actually have a small cockapoo called Olive, so most of my work focuses on dogs at the moment – which I definitely wouldn’t say is a bad thing.
I think one of my main highlights is working with Anthropologie on various occasions. So far, I’ve created a farmer cookie jar, alpaca-shaped pots and an elephant ornament for them. I was also really happy when I found out my work was going to be stocked in The New Craftsmen, London, too.
On a more local level, I have also sold my t-shirts in the Baltic art gallery, which I’m really grateful for. I made them the Bill Murray t-shirt specifically to be sold alongside the Brian Griffiths exhibition from a few years ago.
Despite all of this, I think my main career highlight would be that I get to make wonky pots and ornaments for a living! I really appreciate the support over the years from everyone that’s enabled me to keep this going as a business.
Oh, I’d definitely recommend getting into ceramics as a way of just relaxing and zoning out!
I’d maybe start by playing with air dry clay (Scola on Amazon is good!) just to experiment with techniques that allow you to have fun with modelling. If you’re stuck for ideas, have a look on Youtube are as there are plenty of tutorials.