Ana Bridgewater designs and creates ceramic candles and porcelain lampshades in London. "There´s something magical about this material, it is part of the Earth and has a natural beauty that I love".
We interviewed Ana to find out more about Abalon UK:
How and when did you want to be a maker and how did you start to realise that aim?
I was very young when I realized that I loved to make things, manipulating tools and deconstructing machines. When I was 5 I could create estrange paper origami’s from scratch but also magic potions, I used to mix up all the products that I could find in the house to see how they would react. This used to piss a lot my mum.
Who did you learn from, who inspires you? What or who were your early influences and how has your life/upbringing influenced your work?
My career started when I was 18 and ended 10 years after, so I spent quite a long time learning how to design and how to make art, two opposite worlds in my opinion. My mentor in sculpture -and how to make with my hands- is Nino Barriuso, he teach me how to make my tools in wood and metal, how to make a complex mold out of plaster and well everything that I know about modeling and making. My inspiration can come from a small tiny stone with an amazing shape on the beach to a huge sculpture like the David of Michelangelo. I also try to go to every international art event, museum and galleries exhibitions that I can as I found contemporary art very inspirational. I love The Tate Modern and also galleries like Perrotin in Paris and The Spertine in London. One of my favorite artist of all times is Luisa Bourgeois, and one of the most inspirational art critics was Rosalind Krauss.
What currently inspires you and which other artists do you admire and why? What can you tell us about your current artwork, for example, do you explore any specific themes or subjects?
My work starts when I dream, although my esthetic isn´t like Dali´s Surrealism or the onirims of Chagall is more eclectic. I´m the generation of the -in between-; when I was growing technology changes where taking over and I was adapting to them as fast as they where launched; for example my first drawing class was in a computer, I learn to use vectors and to make digital brushes but this is not affecting the fact that I love nature and I care from it. Nature inspires me, I like the water and how this liquid transforms. Technology can be usefull to make things better, I don´t overuse it, but I think is very usefull.
What is your chosen medium and what are your techniques? Tell us a bit about your process and what environment you like to work in?
I love the liquid state of ceramics. I like to understand how earth is transformed into ceramics. Is magical. Now I continue mixing material but this time I know how they will react to different temperatures, is all about that, controlling the energy. I love to work in my studio and I do a normal office timetable, well this is the theory but in reality is that I have to work much more.
How has your work developed since you began and how do you see it evolving in the future?
I have evolved my work into a full time job. There´s no much artistic glamour in it, but is honestly my dream come true. Is really a hard job but allows me to control my time and project myself into a better, more environmentally friendly business. I see myself one day finishing some interactive projects that I keep aside of the business that involves life, cybernetics and light.
Which book would you recommend as inspiration?
I can´t just name one. I liked No-Logo from Naomi Klain, this book is her Thesis, and is about how important is to know how and who make things, making us responsible of our choices. Another book that I liked is an essay written by Tanizaki that is always on my desk called in Praise of Shadows about Japanesse esthetic. But if I have to just name one book this will be The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. I love this timeless guide of living.