About the Artist and the Designs
Lead designer and creative director behind Watson & Wells Designs, Gemma Hudson-Findley is a Milton Keynes based, multi-disciplined artist in the United Kingdom who has been practicing for over 6 years in areas such as ceramics, illustration, sculpture and photography. During this time Gemma has also worked as a full-time art and design lecturer, run local clay workshops as well as completed a Higher National Diploma in Art Practice to refine her skills and develop her own artistic niche.
With a life-long interest in nostalgic aesthetics it was inevitable that her creations for Watson and Wells Designs would be influenced by looking back at historic art practices to mirror or reimagine a vintage style. Looking at her most recent stoneware collection available, Gemma draws inspiration from traditional Japanese design such as Kintsugi and Mokume, and the Chinese clay marbelling method Agateware (a method orginally recorded as far back as the Tang Dynasty!) to create one-of-a-kind bud vases and framed wall tiles. These peices of pottery echo the decorative Japanese and Chinese influences but with a contemporary redesign they are reminiscent of planets or sedimentary layers of rock.
When Gemma isn't in her studio wedging clay, you can find her getting her nerd on playing Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons or playing with her two fur baby cats; Jynx and Biffy.
Whether the item is made from stoneware, earthenware or porcelain, each item is entirely handmade to ensure a personalised and organic design where no two peices are the same.
The variations in the agateware designs are created at a number of stages. Each wave, wisp and flowing line created in the surface of the clay is carfully calculated at the wedging, coiling and slabbing stage. Each time two different clays are coiled and twisted together, new patterns are formed which are carefully rolled and moved into postition into a slab before cutting and forming over a plaster mould.
Later, more subtle variations are added by drying, sanding, trimming, glazing and adding 22 carat gold luster. Each peice takes around 2-3 weeks to make because we ensure each stage is carefully inspected and approved to maximise on quality, reduce wastage and to have as little negative impact on the enviroment as possible. Each peice is fired up twice to ensure clay vitirification so our functional items can withstand holding water or oils for a lifetime. Lastly any item we use gold luster on is fired one more time before being sent off to its new home.