Hello! My name is Scott and I am a product designer and ceramicist based in Glasgow. I currently have a small studio that I work from in the city centre and like of a lot of creatives, have another job for extra income too. My day to day studio life involves my own ceramic and other works, completing commissions and freelance work for a number of brands and of course completing all of the admin and paperwork that goes alongside being a self employed creator!
I was actually born about half an hour south of the city and after graduating, Glasgow felt like the right choice to move to as it allows me to be close to family but still have that city life. It has always felt like home to me and I would highly recommend giving us a visit if you haven't had the chance already! In terms of architecture, design and culture I think that the city provides such a unique mix for its creatives to draw from -as well as being so close to some iconic Scottish countryside landscapes.
How did you get started?
I studied Three Dimensional Design at university in Aberdeen, which allowed me to explore a number of different practices that I usually would never have had the chance to. For the first two years of the course we were able to sample classes based around numerous different materials and specialisms but I was immediately drawn to both the Product Design and Ceramic elements on the course. Being a very traditional and primitive material a lot of the time I was very interested in how I could use clay in a more contemporary and controlled way.
After graduating I decided to rent my own studio and have been here for about two years already! It had always been a dream of mine to go out on my own and after applying for jobs for a couple of months after uni I decided it might be best to try that earlier than planned. I am hugely grateful for the advice and support I have received so far and I’m looking to move from strength to strength and slowly build a business.
Can you describe your creative practice and processes?
When I first started to find my design aesthetic and decide what I wanted to do for my graduate collection I really wanted to hone in on what I considered to be ‘good’ design, and the type of design I wanted to see in the world. I had already been interested in both minimalist and brutalist design from an early point, and how certain nations like Japan and neighbouring Scandinavian countries were considered at the forefront of design. Scotland has always had a rich history of design although many stereotypes are of more traditional and dated styles, I wanted to look at how to create contemporary and updated pieces for the modern individual.
At the moment I have a collection of ceramic objects and I am currently working to manufacture a number of other items in differing materials such as metals and textiles. Like many other designers, I am becoming increasingly interested in how to manufacture and create in as sustainable a way as possible and would love to be able to produce more eco-friendly works or items made from recycled materials.
What have been your most exciting projects?
I would count myself very lucky to have been involved in some exciting projects up to this point, including bespoke pieces and helping clients with manufactured collections. One that really helped me understand the process of creating and finalising a new piece would be the limited edition trivet I produced for design studio Local Heroes (@localheroesdesign) for their ‘Made in Glasgow’ exhibition alongside the European Championships being hosted in Glasgow in 2018. To be commissioned to create a new piece from scratch and be able to exhibit it alongside so many designers and makers far more established and recognisable than myself was really wonderful. I would say that alongside the excitement of the project and exhibit itself is that I learned just how important the social aspects of the industry would be -to talk, to listen and to learn from those who have been in your position before.
What do your materials mean to you?
I would say that often a lot of materials are undervalued in their raw form. With my ceramics, I looked to utilise the aspects of parian clay as I am able to leave it unglazed and therefore able to have final pieces that are just pure and unaffected clay. The natural imperfections of the material are visible, which add a warmth to objects and remind you that the piece you own is unique and handmade.
I do often think about the perception of materials and their value too, I think that all of us can always be more aware of the objects we are buying and what sort of impact our possessions have on the planet. Buy less and buy better is a saying that I often hear and would love to think that I abide by it to some extent, and supporting independent or local makers and business is often a much more unique and enjoyable experience compared to the high street store anyway!