Inspired by... blog

16 April 2013

Inspired by Crafts Lives with ceramicist Kate Malone

Last week we ran our ‘Crafts Lives’ event to show off some of the amazing oral history interviews with designers and makers in our collection. We have been collecting them as part of the National Life Stories project for over 10 years, and we have over 100 recordings. Each one is very in-depth with 8 – 10 hours of interviews covering everything from family background to work processes and inspiration.

Ceramicist Kate Malone’s interview is in our collection, and to bring it to life, she came to talk at the Library about her work.


“I aim to be at the same time both very serious and quite silly, simple and clever, adult and child. My aim to broadcast a sense of optimism through my work, to touch the emotions…”

Her work is inspired by nature and life forces, and she frequently features imagery such as pineapples, asteroids, fish, pumpkins and vessels in her work.


She leads an amazing, creative life, whilst also having a good head for business. She’s travelled extensively (she mentioned India and Japan as places that have influenced her) and has had studios in various places, including Barcelona and Provence.

However her main studio is in Hackney where she lives with her family (including a very cute dog) where she works with her team of five.

She talked a lot about the importance of having a great team to support her and passing on your skills. She takes on new and aspiring ceramicists to teach them the trade, and they in return help bring fresh ideas to her work.  Many of her pieces of huge and incredibly time-consuming, so to make them is a real team effort.


Image: Brighton story wall

Her work includes studio pieces which she sells through her art dealer, glaze research, large scale architecture projects and public projects in schools, hospitals, parks, and so on. She sees the role of public projects as providing an importance service to the local community.

You can see how Kate works in one of her video diaries on YouTube below:



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