Meet Your Maker: Abigail MaryRose Clark

I seem to have a soft spot for porcelain lately. My last interview was with a porcelain pottery artist and today I have a porcelain jewellery artist. Please welcome Abigail MaryRose Clark of StayGoldMaryRose. Abigail's stunning bracelets, pendants, rings and brooches are all made from reclaimed vintage ceramics such as teacups and plates. She has been creating and selling her work since 2004 and last year began selling her teacup bracelets in Anthropologie stores across the US and UK. As an antique china lover myself, I adore everything that she makes and am always looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next. To top it all off, she's a super sweet girl, lives in an old Victorian schoolhouse near the ocean, and has recently taken to calling me "Poppet"!

WHO are you? Tell me a bit about yourself and your work.
I am Abigail. I am a Northern-born girl living in the South of England, right by the ocean. I have never been able to keep my hands still for more than 10 minutes. I never took Art GCSE [General Certificate of Secondary Education]. :)

WHAT inspires you?
Making/drawing/designing/collecting/documenting is pretty much my life. I am obsessed with the history of British-made objects, especially the heritage of British china and British tailoring/fashion. I love vintage illustration, Ernst Haeckel and James Audubon; colours and shapes in nature; kaleidoscopes and symmetry; old bygone processes and communications such as playing records, sending letters, using typewriters, drawing and painting with pencils/charcoal/ink, taking photographs on 35mm film, polaroids, screen printing/ lino printing; music; books; film. I could go on forever.

WHERE do you work? Describe your workspace.
I live in a beautiful old Victorian building that was once a school. My workshop is one of the old red brick outhouses in the courtyard. I have one workshop where I make all of my noisy ceramic mess with my machines and another that I use for designing peacefully, packing, drinking coffee, typing and pondering.

WHEN do you feel most successful? frustrated/insecure?
I feel most successful when I have a collection or a design taken on by a company/shop. I thrive on seeing a range of my jewellery on a website or in a catalogue such as Anthropologie. It's a lovely feeling seeing something that was once an idea in your head or a scribble on a page in your scrap book become a piece of jewellery selling around the world.

I feel most frustrated when I see my designs or my maker friends' designs being reproduced or copied.

WHY do you do what you do?
I think I would go insane if I couldn't make. It is a release. It has become a slight obsession. I have found a way to vent at least some of the images and ideas that constantly swim around in my head. I see objects as having their own life and purpose and if I see it being discarded or thrown away, then something in my head decides to change that. I guess some people call it upcycling.

HOW do you do what you do? Describe your creative process and/or your typical work day?
I make a lot of mess. Working with china is a messy process. I am blessed to have a great workspace and a lot of friends and contacts who work in the ceramics industry. I don't really have a typical day, as it all depends on the orders I get. I love days when I've finished my orders and can just experiment in the workshop to create new pieces.

FINAL WORDS: Anything else you would like to add? Advice for new artists or entrepreneurs?My advice would be to go with your instinct. If you have an idea, then run with it, even if people aren't so keen on a design/idea. Don't give up on a project, always finish one, even if you come back to it years later. Be as professional as possible and be honest. Don't copy. Be original and you'll do well.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Abigail. I wish you the best of luck going forward, although with such talent and passion, I don't think you'll need it!

If you have any more questions for Abigail, fire away in the comments below. Also, be sure to visit her Etsy shop, blog and facebook page. She actually has a special promotion going on right now for 30% off your next purchase for "liking" her facebook page!

No comments