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Featured Artist of the Month – Faye Munroe

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Faye Munroe is in her second year as a Fellow with Digswell Arts at The Farmhouse, Stevenage.

1/ How would you describe your current practice (e.g. materials, techniques, themes, key questions, approach)?

My current practice centre’s around the exploration of colour and form found in the urban landscape. Inspired by the architectural shapes and structures, I combine different clay bodies and stains to create varied textures within the clay surface.

2/ What are you working on at the moment (forthcoming exhibitions, events, workshops etc)?

I am currently working on my new collection and in the process I have begun to introduce metals within the clay surface to create a different dimension to the ceramic structures.

Coming up on the 17th & 18th October is the Farmhouse Open Studios which will be another opportunity for me to show my work to the public, having already shown for the first time during the summer at Art In Clay at Hatfield House.

3/ What are your plans for the coming year?

My plans for the coming year include working on producing my own colour palette and exploring different structural shapes for the new collection. I am excited that I will be launching my new website in the coming months plus there are plans to collaborate with a surface pattern designer on an exciting project. Alongside this I will continue to show my work in exhibitions and galleries.

4/ What is the question you get asked most about your work and how do you answer it?

The question I seem to be asked the most is: “How do you produce your colours, are they glazes?”

I reply to that question with no the colours are not glazes… I colour the clays (usually porcelain) myself with ceramic stains separately and then owing to the method in which I work, the clays are blended together on the ceramic surface, giving the impression that they have been painted by hand with a brush.

5/ What or who inspired you to be an artist and why?

I’ve always enjoyed making and was very fortunate to grow up amongst very talented artists and makers, who themselves never really had the opportunity to take it any further. Through encouragement and support from family and friends, I enrolled on to a Visual and Creative Studies Foundation course in 2004. It was during this time I was introduced to clay as a medium and I feel like I have never looked back.

6/ Which artist do you most admire and why?

I feel it would be unfair to have to choose just one artist as there are many whom I admire and respect for different reasons across art and design but there is one who does strongly resonate with me and that person is Eva Zeisel. She was one of the first female ceramic designers and I find it fascinating that she was still designing when she was 100 years old. She was a woman who was so ahead of her time and constantly evolved her style and practice. I really like the artistic playfulness found within her work and even though she was best known as an industrial designer, I like it how she declared herself as a “maker of useful things”.

7/ How has your relationship with Digswell Arts Trust strengthened your practice as an artist?

Being a fellow of Digswell Arts has enabled me to continue my creative practice after leaving university. Being based at the Farmhouse studio is great as I am fortunate to have a large studio that has granted me the space to work in and fully engage with my craft plus I have access to a kiln.

Alongside this I feel very fortunate to be part of the group of artists and designers that are based at the Farmhouse. We are like an extended family and incredibly supportive of each other on a personal level as well as professionally. We encourage each other to achieve the best we can in our individual practice and career but we also work extremely well as a group, whether that is when we have exhibited together in exhibitions or worked on smaller projects like organising Open Studios.

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