Meet our first artist in residence, whose latest work is a love letter to our very own stretch of coastline, as a way of re-focussing her connection to this ancient corner of Cornwall.
Written by Eve Hunter-Mann
Q&A With Grow & Bloom
Meet the artist
Founder of Grow & Bloom, Kate, is an artist and designer based at Krowji Studios. Her work combines illustration and ceramics, two mediums that help showcase her unique language and colour palette. She has created work for various clients since graduating from Falmouth University in 2020, local and across the country. She also regularly sells and showcases her work at ceramic, illustration and art fairs where she is able to interact and build better relationships with her customers.
1) What inspires you and your work?
Shape plays a big part in my work; I use it as a language which has developed over time and from piece to piece. I tend to find inspiration from lots of different sources like exhibitions, marks in nature and from my travels.
2) How did you get into ceramics?
After graduating from Falmouth university with an illustration degree in 2020 I wanted to shake my work up as I had felt a bit lost during the height of the pandemic. I opted for a 10-week course in ceramics as I had loved learning it at college. After this, I caught the ceramics bug and have loved learning ever since. There is always something new to discover and I love that I will never know everything about it!
3) What colour/colours represent your work the most?
I use nearly every colour there is, I love finding new underglazes depending on the illustrations I am creating. At the moment it’s a lot of orange, lemons and limes! There is a lovely jade green I recently picked up and it’s my new favourite.
4) Who is your biggest inspiration in terms of artists/ceramicists/illustrators?
I love the work of Matisse and I definitely take a lot of influence from him. His later paper cuts are simplistic and beautiful and I love reflecting this in my work with the use of strong shape and colour. A ceramicist I always follow along with is Polly Fern, her ceramics are a great base for her illustrations and I am always excited by what she creates.
5) What will you be working on during your residency?
During my residency I have three new clays I want to try out, being in a new space with new inspiration will hopefully spark some new ideas! I also want to explore the more sculptural side of my work, something I haven't worked on much since working on functional wares.
6) Which materials do you mostly enjoy working with?
Clay always. The possibilities are endless! However, in my freelance work I use my iPad to create my illustrations. I definitely want to get back to traditional mediums though.
7) Do you have a favourite piece?
My favourite pieces to make are the soap dishes, I love seeing them being used in people’s homes and they are such a lovely form to make.