Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.
Studio location: Karen, Nairobi.
Describe what you make: I make ceramic forms from rich Kenyan clay. The forms are hollow sculptures with beautifully glazed fractal patterns on the surface. Repetition gives me a sense of calm and my works imitate geometric forms found in nature.
The most important thing you’ve designed to date: My work has been such a personal healing journey that each piece is as important as the last. I’m constantly learning from the process, which can be unpredictable. I’ve had some of my favorite works completely destroyed, which has taught me to let things go. It’s in this process that I’m continuously growing.
Describe the problem your work solves: My working process has been incredibly healing. Whilst sculpting, I go into a meditative state creating repetitive patterns and it gives me a sense of calm. I’m continuously being tested and pieces can collapse, break, crack, and smash. It’s when things go wrong that I’m forced to take my work in a direction I’d have never normally gone. Instead of giving up, I look at the broken pieces and think how I can use them in different ways. Amongst many other things, my work has taught me patience and persistence.
Describe the project you are working on now: I’ve spent almost two years working on a body of work for a series by renowned auctioneer Simon de Pury, called de PURY Presents. For the online exhibition, I created 20 unseen sculptural works titled the Fractal series. He inspired me to scale up my work. I had to grow into a new shell and step out of my existing comfort zone. I moved into a larger studio and invested in a bigger kiln. My works cracked more than ever before and I had to re-learn how my glazes behaved on bigger surface areas. I’m so proud of this body of work.
A new or forthcoming project we should know about: The selected works are on view on Simon’s online platform and at my studio upon request from Nov. 22. All of these works are unique and are available for sale.
What you absolutely must have in your studio: I work in silence a lot of the time when I’m mixing glaze as it requires my full attention, but when I’m sculpting, I love to listen to podcasts and I must always have a bottle of drinking water next to me and my 15-year-old yorkie, Lilly, is always by my side. I’m very lucky that my studio is in my garden so it’s very peaceful, which is important when I’m working.
What you do when you’re not working: I either like to stay at home, get cozy on the sofa and watch a series, or I love to go out to see friends. If I have the opportunity to get away, then I find peace when I’m by the ocean, especially on the Kenyan coast where I spent most of my childhood either walking on the beach, surfing, swimming, or snorkeling. I also enjoy gardening, flower arranging, and interior design.
Sources of creative envy: I am inspired by David Hockney.
The distraction you want to eliminate: Most definitely my phone. I need to get better at putting it away and on airplane mode when I’m working. As soon as I hear a ping, I check it and five minutes will pass where I’ve totally gone off track and find myself scrolling on Instagram or responding to messages.
Concrete or marble? Marble.
High-rise or townhouse? Townhouse.
Remember or forget? Remember.
Aliens or ghosts? Aliens.
Dark or light? Light.