Amy Thornley Heard
Photo: Georgina Rodgers

Amy Mae Ceramics is run by me, Amy Thornley Heard, a ceramic artist, designer and linguist. Based in Bristol, I make crocheted porcelain sculptures and beautiful ceramic accessories for the home and garden.

I spent my childhood on a Devon farm watching nature at work: ants taking supplies into their colonies; ladybirds feasting on aphids and bees foraging for nectar on wild flowers.

The forms and scents of my childhood surroundings left me with an indelible curiosity for flora and fauna, which has always stayed with me.

Having spent most of my adult life in cities, I was surprised to find many urban spaces bursting with wildlife.  My work reflects the balance of our relationship with insects and wildlife and how we can support the ecosystems we depend on.

 

Falling in love with clay

My first experiences with clay were at secondary school where an inspirational teacher shared her love for ceramics and art, giving me confidence in working with clay.

I went on to gain an A Level in Ceramics (3D Design – grade A) at East Devon College and continued my practice, fitting it around study and work , at Bath Uni Arts Barn, Riesa Efau in Dresden, The Folkhouse in Bristol and City and Islington College, London.

In 2009 I found a studio space at Clapham Pottery, London, and started working as a pottery class assistant there in 2010.  During this time I developed a range of garden planters ‘Allium’, ‘Fossil’, ‘Alexanders’ and ‘Bullrush.’

In 2011 I took BTEC National Diploma in Ceramics at Kensington and Chelsea College, gaining a distinction grade and breathing new life into my practice.  It led to a new direction exploring insects and the husks, shells, pods and nests they create.

The next step was to study Professional Development for Designer/Makers, also at Kensington and Chelsea College, culminating in showing my final collection at New Designers 2013: Part 1 at the Business Design Centre, Islington, London.

 

Awards:

 

June 2012

Learner Achievement Award: Commitment to Learning, nominated by Joanna Veevers, Kensington and Chelsea College, London

 

Education:

Qualification Institution Date Grade
BTEC Extended National Diploma (Professional Development for Designer Makers) Kensington and Chelsea College, London Sept 2012 – June 2012 Distinction
BTEC National Diploma in Ceramics Kensington and Chelsea College, London Sept 2011 – June 2012 Distinction
NOCN Notetaking for students with Disabilities City Lit, London Sept-Nov 2012 Pass
BA Hons French and German with European Studies University of Bath Sept 2000 – June 2004 2:1
A Level Ceramics East Devon College, Devon Sept 1998 – June 2000 A

 

Exhibitions and shows:

Exhibition Venue Date
New Designers: Part 1 Business Design Centre, Islington, London 26th-29th June 2013
Amateur Entomologist’s Society AGM and Members’ Day MShed, Bristol 27th April 2013
401 ½ Open Studios Wandsworth Road, London 16th-18th November 2012
Art and Design Final Exhibition Kensington and Chelsea College 27th-29th June 2012
Exhibitor and demonstrator, North Street Potters Lambeth Country Show, London July 2011

 

Employment:

 July-November 2013

Gallery Assistant at Contemporary Applied Arts, Southwark Street, London

September 2012-February 2013

Internship at Jo Heckett Ceramics, Cockpit Arts, London

Self-employed ceramicist running own studio (401 ½ studios, May 2012-present and Clapham pottery 2010-2011)

July 2012

Show assistant to Akiko Hirai, Art in Action, Oxfordshire

September 2010 – Feb 2012
Pottery class assistant/leader at Clapham Pottery, London