British-based Lydia Hardwick is an up-and-coming ceramicist to watch, with hand-crafted one-of-a-kind designs inspired by the patterns and motifs found within ancient artefacts. Working intuitively with clay, her appreciation for symbology, geometry and history is evident in her stunning vases and platters. We caught up with the British artist to talk about all things Lydia Hardwick...


Do you have any favourite areas of your studio?

This is an area of the studio that I reserve for displaying finished pots. The sideboard was something that my parents inherited, and then they gave to me a few years ago. I like having a clear space where I can properly look at things or live with them for a while.

What inspired you to start creating ceramics?

Halfway through my sculpture degree, over a decade ago, I had the opportunity to spend a month in another department. I chose ceramics, and never left! I didn’t realise it at the time, but I really needed a material to be my starting point. These days there are so few ceramics courses left at universities and art colleges that I feel very lucky to have had this serendipitous encounter, it probably wouldn’t have happened if I’d been studying today.

Could you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the pieces you'll be making for Couverture?

I’m inspired by objects made by communities that attribute great expressive power to visual things. These objects can range from simple Anglo-Saxon pots in my local museum in Southend-on-Sea, to ancient Peruvian featherwork textiles. The pots and platters that I’ve made for Couverture reflect these interests.

Could we see some of the materials you use? Where do you source them from?

This is a photo of my rather disorganised looking shelves - believe it or not everything has its place! Most of my materials are purchased from UK based ceramics suppliers. Here, you can see an assortment of raw materials, oxides and glazes.

We know you paint your ceramics by hand, making them so special. Please can you show us your design process?

I use a number of surface techniques to decorate my pots, combining methods such as inlaying, sgraffito, using resists and painting with slips. It is a bit tricky to explain all these processes in writing, so here is a video of the sgraffito process - scratching back through layers of slips to reveal the clay body underneath.