Let the work of this interior designer-turned-ceramicist fuel your creative fire

Staying at home in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis have you feeling like your inventive spark is snuffed out? Now's the time to ignite your inspiration: here's an excerpt from our bestselling title, Tom Morris' New Wave Clayin which Ashley Hicks explains how artistic ingenuity can come from the unexpected.

Interior designer cum dilettante turned ceramicist Ashley Hicks is under no illusions about his clay expertise. ‘It’s all a terrible cheat, really – they look like ceramics but have none of the skill required,’ he says, describing the shining technicolour totems he produces out of polymer clay.

Hicks explorations into ceramics came about when he was designing the home of a French client in London. She was perturbed by having to climb so many stairs in her new townhouse compared to the ‘pretty passage’ in her old apartment in Paris. Hicks decided to liven up the journey with a large-scale resin tower of jewels or, as he calls it, ‘a string of giant candles’. Thrilled with the result, Hicks soon began making them out of polymer on a mantlepiece-friendly scale, inspired by coral, sculpted flames, smoke and gemstones.

The great thing about working on a small scale and with inexpensive materials is that you feel very free to invent

The towers are made at home and ‘fired’ in his kitchen oven at 110℃. What they lack in classical ceramic techniques, they make up for in visual impact. Hicks has swapped mineral clay for synthetic compounds and glaze for acrylic and takes utter pleasure and pride in the creative freedom it allows. ‘I honestly just enjoy myself making stuff up as I go along. The great thing about working on a small scale and with inexpensive materials is that you feel very free to invent.’

ashleyhicks.com

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