The Adorned Article Fine Handcrafted Sterling Silver and Gemstone Jewelry

Monday, September 12, 2011

Artist Snapshot-Seaurchin Ceramics and Sculptural Jewellery


Porcelain Dish 100-365 Dish a Day Project by Seaurchin

Meet Lisa Stevens of Seaurchin on Etsy, a mum,  model-maker for Aardman Animations and sculptor extraordinaire. Lisa was generous enough to take time out of her very busy schedule to answer some questions for us-so prepare yourself for a truly fascinating read! Click on the link above to visit her gorgeous shop, drop by Flicker and have a look at her amazing A Dish A Day 365 Project or join her on Twitter!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself 
I am Lisa Stevens, 36, married, mum to a six year old boy and two year old girl who keep me very busy :) Before becoming a mum I was one of the senior sculptors for Aardman Animations, sculpting plasticine puppets for feature films such as Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit - Curse of the Wererabbit, which, apart from being immensely satisfying, was great fun. I hope to go back to it sometime.

Porcelain Dish 37-365 Dish a Day Project

How did you first get started sculpting /what most appeals to you about it?
Sculpting...I guess I sort of fell into that! I have always been creative, but found that I enjoyed all aspects of art and craft, so I found it hard to focus on one discipline. I studied Theatre Design at college, but after a trip to the Aardman Studios, I put all my effort into securing a job there. Whilst there, we had the opportunity to study a further craft in evening classes and again, as the sculpture class was full, I ended up in ceramics. It was a great loosening up exercise after the detailed, tight, and sometimes stressful day to day sculpting at work. Since leaving work, I have found I can earn a small amount of money from my ceramics, and every little bit helps ;) I love the texture of clay and I am obsessed with surface texture, which I find relaxing. Glazing, especially when working with glass or metal oxides can be unpredictable and I love opening the kiln to see what treasures await! I am often pleasantly surprised (seldom disappointed) by what I find.
Porcelain Dish 123-365 Dish a Day Project by Seaurchin 

  Can you walk us through your creative process?
My creative process.... I'm a bit of a ' let's make a start and see what happens' type of person. I don't make sketches and I often don't know how the piece will turn out. I make beads and bowls in batches, which I bisque fire. Sometimes pieces need a sand, which I try to avoid as it is a tedious job, especially the pierced pieces...the holes need to be tidied before glazing. As the pieces are small, I paint glazes on rather than dipping, but that gives me more control. Sometimes glass beads are added to the pieces, which melt during firing. A few pieces will be fired once more at a lower temperature with metallic lustre's or fused beads of glass.

Porcelain Dish 85365 Dish a Day

Of all your work-which piece is your favorite right now and why?
My favourite pieces are usually the latest pieces. I love the pieces with glass in them; there is so much depth to them. I also love the very thin, textured pieces of porcelain which have such wonderful translucence and luminosity when held up to the light. I have 'lighting' on my to do list... It is a very long list though. Right now, my favourite piece is a low dish, only out of the kiln two days ago. It has loads of craters filled with seawater-like glass and a sandy body. There are random piercings around the edge as the craters get smaller.

Porcelain Dot Pendant-Green Gloss by Seaurchin on Etsy

What inspires you to create and how do you keep motivated when you find yourself in a creative rut?
I feel ill if I don't have time to create! I try to do a little bit of work every day, with my favourite part being the texturing....but I do love the glaze firings. I have so many ideas on my to do list, although I often find I start something I hadn't thought of before when I actually get my hands on the clay. I wish I didn't have to sleep! I really would work all night if I could. So far I haven't had a creative block....mostly I find I am inspired just by the clay in my hands. Lucky I guess!

Porcelain Dish 25365 Dish a Day Project

How have you handled the business side of being an artist?
The business side is the part I find difficult. I find it hard to focus on a particular idea and stick with it, which means I tend to make one-off pieces. I would rather make a series of pieces which I can re-list once sold. I am trying to do that with my new 'dot' cabochons and pendants. What I think I am good at, and I sincerely hope I am, is customer service. I answer questions and ship parcels as soon as I can and pack my pieces well. In over a thousand sales, I have only had one breakage...and I've learned from that!

Porcelain Pendant Turquoise and Ivory Feathers

  Do you have any advice for artists wanting to start their own business?For artists wanting to start their own business, Etsy is a great place to start. Just getting your work out into the public domain is a great way to see what works, and what no-one has an interest in. Do what you love, price pieces realistically, be polite to customers (even behind their backs on Twitter!), join networking sites and generally engage with other crafters and artists. Oh and one very important point, if you're selling on line. please take good, clear photos!

Charity Listing Porcelain Dish 36-365

  Is there anything else you want people to know about you?Anything else I want people to know about me? ideal job, although I don't think it is done this way any more in the digital age, would be a forensic sculptor, recreating faces on skulls. Slightly morbid, but absolutely fascinating! 
Porcelain and Glass Black Current Coral Flatback

Porcelain Dish 47-365 Dish a Day Project by Seaurchin on Etsy
Porcelain Pendant Cobalt Chrysanthemum


Pamela Bates of Mercantile Muse said...

amazing work- so beautiful,thanks for sharing!!!

TheAdornedArticle said...

Doesn't she make the most gorgeous things? I'm a huge fan! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Sarah said...

These are all so beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

Broad said...

I hope so! Great article though. I went though the whole list!!!Thanks for the list.Glass Offices