Allison Wiffen Logo

The beginning:

This is my first blog so forgive me if I say all the wrong things, or bore you rigid with my self -indulgent ramblings...

I describe myself as a ceramic designer-maker and my work (primarily ceramic cufflinks and other items of jewellery) combines two of my favourite media – clay and photography. I first started working with clay back in 1975/76 when I did a CSE in pottery and achieved the lofty heights of a grade one. My pottery career then stalled for a while as I went off to university to study the more serious subjects of French and Spanish. My interest in photography began when I was first studying at Leeds. A lovely guy whose name now escapes me, helped me buy a single lens reflex camera ( a Cosina CSM) and showed me how to develop and print my own black and white photographs. I now see parallels between the two processes which thrilled me so much. Both have a period of intense excitement when you are waiting to see what the kiln or chemicals will reveal. Will it be the gorgeous pot you anticipated, the fabulous shot you saw through the lens or will it be mediocrity and disappointment?

Somehow despite the pleasure afforded me by both activities they sank into the background as I pursued a career in media sales and then advertising. I still continued to take photos, and did the odd adult ed class in ceramics but it wasn’t until I neared 40 that I stopped to think about what I really loved doing as I set about reinventing my life.

I owe a debt of gratitude to Michael Czerwinsky, an inspirational tutor on my City and Guilds course, for giving me the courage to apply to Camberwell College of Art and extending my horizons. I had never thought of myself as an artist, and although throughout my time at Camberwell I often doubted myself, it was a wonderful experience and has given me the confidence to embark on the career that I find so satisfying.

You can see my work on this web site and I look forward to any feedback on it. Over the next couple of months I am hoping to develop a new range – although I always feel that it is a Herculean task and wonder if I am up to it!!! I am feeling drawn as I often do to industrial imagery – machinery, mechanisms, cogs and levers, but also to architectural details... we’ll see...

In the meantime I’ll be dancing my socks off at ceroc, doing a little bit of teaching and getting to know my new Bulgarian assistant Silviya who helps me out one day a week.

Hope your life is as much fun...

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