We've got a new 'Studio Talks' post for you - and boy is it a good'un. This week, we're venturing into the world of ceramics and learning about the two hands behind FICH ceramics, aka Fi Chappelle, from Oxfordshire.
During her time at Plymouth College of Art, Fi discovered clay and the process of throwing - her love for it continued past graduation, until she was able to set up her own home studio.
'The process [of using your hands] makes each piece unique and an extension of me. I always leave subtle marks that tell the story of how each piece was made, giving each one their own fingerprint.'
When did you realise you wanted to start your own business?
I had a full time job working as a mentor in a behavioral unit for children, so the time I had to throw was limited to either after arriving home from work or at the weekends. Also, it was commissioned work which meant there wasn’t any space for my own development and creativity. After work all I wanted to do was sit down, do nothing and relax! My life started to feel like it was lacking creativity and I felt like something had to be done about it.
When there is a difficult decision to be made my family do the ‘rocking chair test’. This is where you imagine yourself sitting on your rocking chair when you’re retired and old and reflect on the things we may have regretted the most during our lifetime. I think one of my main regrets, if I had continued on the path I was on, and not pursuing my creative career when I had the chance to, would have definitely been the top of my list. When I made the decision to change paths, it was made easier for me because I was also in the fortunate position of not having lots of outgoings, therefore it was the perfect time to develop my business, so I felt it was now or never!
How do you approach the design process; what is your starting point and where does your inspiration come from?
I would mainly describe myself as a maker, because I love the making process, therefore I use this as a method to explore ideas and to see if they work or not. I also find that if I design the piece before-hand I feel restricted, so I would rather make a prototype and alter it on the wheel as I am throwing. For me, having a physical object in front of me, makes it easier to see whether it’s either a matter of needing to change the dimensions slightly or to just scrap the idea completely.
The inspiration for my style of my pottery originated from the material I use; I love the surface texture of clay, once it is fired, and I wanted this to be exposed, therefore having the piece half glazed was perfect. Colour is another one of my passions and I found that this style shows them off beautifully. The FICH colour palettes are inspired by the seasons and are carefully selected to compliment each other but also they can be stand-alone pieces.
How would you describe your work?
Contemporary, simple and elegant.
Who would be your dream collaboration?
My dream collaboration would be Kitty Mccall. I absolutely love her patterns, the colours she uses marry together perfectly.
What should we look out for in Spring/Summer 2018?
There will be a new colour palette, more craft shows that you come and see me at and a new range of pieces for your home….
Hello and welcome to our little corner of the internet. We are a British Design Studio, based in Manchester. Established in 2017, we are passionate about understated design, high-quality products and simple interiors. The blog is our sketchbook and your resource to feel inspired. We hope you like it!
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