Creative Alex designs future in Potteries
Studying ceramic design in the heart of The Potteries was a natural choice for Alex Allday, who specialises in creating surface pattern designs for tableware.
Following a first degree in 3D Design at Loughborough University, Alex enrolled on a Masters in Ceramic Design at Staffs and graduated in July 2015.
“The course that the University offers is unique,” she says. “There is nowhere else that can compete with studying ceramic design in the heart of the ceramics industry, and with living a commutable distance it was the perfect opportunity for me.
“The course, and art and design faculty as a whole at Staffordshire, has a great reputation, really good industry links and offers fantastic facilities.”
Ceramics in action
Alex set up a studio at a creative hub in Burslem with two fellow Staffs graduates, Jasmine Simpson and Jade Simpson.
Visitors to their Tame Studios workshop at the restored Middleport Pottery will be able to watch them in action and buy their finished work.
The friends are also planning to hold ceramics workshops at Middleport to demonstrate a range of skills, techniques and processes, as well as working with fellow creatives based at the historic site to hold events and exhibitions.
“Providing these workshops will enable us to promote ceramics within the area and get more people interested and involved in it,” says Alex, “as well as the opportunity to promote our craft and what recent Staffordshire graduates have to offer.
“As there is a great community of makers based at Middleport in the creative business units, we all plan to collaborate to put on events and exhibitions to promote our work and craft within the area.”
As well as building up her own business, Alex has done freelance work for Churchill China, designing new surface designs for a collection of mugs.
She is also making a name for herself at events around the country, and won a showcase award at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, presented by the craft shop from Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre, where she also held a solo exhibition.
“Studying MA Ceramic Design at Staffs has played a huge role in getting me to where I am now,” says Alex, who has fond memories of the University’s annual art and design shows. “I’m extremely passionate about ceramics and surface pattern design and it has taken a lot of hard work, drive and determination to get to this point and gain the opportunities that I have.
“The last two years at Staffordshire have enabled me to realise and develop my own approach and style to create distinctive ceramic and surface pattern design collections.
“Staffordshire also exposed me to an extensive range of both traditional and more advanced digital skills, techniques and processes, provided opportunities working on live briefs with a selection of companies within the industry as well as invaluable knowledge for continuing and developing my practice professionally once I’d graduated. It has definitely opened the door to many opportunities.”