Interview with Timea by the charming Cristina Lloyd from The Bite Magazine. (thebitemag.com)
Many artists find inspiration in the most unconventional creations of nature such as a decaying autumn leaf with its filigree skeleton structure or a tangled spider’s web. Since 2002, contemporary ceramics designer Timea Sido has been intricately handcrafting stylish and beautifully designed ceramic objects inspired by a tangled web. The layering of delicate white earthenware clay is created in a controlled yet random way to construct a three-dimensional filigree surface.
“I am captivated by symmetry and fine detailing, so everything I design and make has these elements in abundance”, Timea explained. “Each piece has to be luxurious and visually ornate as well as having a function, even if the function is only to look beautiful on a shelf”.
Born in the UK but with ancestries in Hungary, the artist’s passion for design started at an early age with Saturday pottery classes. In 2001, she graduated from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design with a degree in Art & Design.
“I have always been a maker playing around with a variety of materials, fusing them together to create contemporary objects, but it wasn’t until I set up my studio at Cockpit Arts London in 2002 that my interest focused solely on ceramics”. As a self-taught ceramicist, she has thoroughly enjoyed the journey of discovery. “I fell in love with the diverse use of white earthenware clay, and it just harmoniously works well in creating my visual ideas. For me, it’s all about having a design idea and then finding the best material to craft it from”.
Having had an interest in ceramics from an early age, Timea revealed she was 10 years old when they had to write a story at school about what they wanted to be when they grew up. “I wrote that I wanted to be a potter. Then my interests changed and I started on a journey to become a fashion and textile artist. It was by chance in 2002 that I fell back into ceramics due to sharing a studio with other ceramicists and my passion was reignited.”
Bringing together great designs and beautiful craftsmanship has been the driving force behind Timea’s work. What matters to her the most as a designer is, “Quality design that has integrity and style, and visual aesthetics in abundance.” She also loves the freedom of being creative and the ability to take risks when designing new works. Her signature is what she calls ‘tangled’ design, the thread that fuses all of her pieces together.
The designer revealed the first-ever ‘tangled web’ piece she designed was a little bowl constructed of only 6 or 7 strands of clay which she fired in a friend’s kiln as she did not have one at the time after just having started her business. “My friend said to me not to get my hopes up regarding the piece as it could just crumble during the firing process. The way I looked at it was that it was an experiment and if it didn’t work then I move on, but if it did then I could develop the technique and concept. This was 19 years ago and now my collection features over 100 products all featuring this technique.
“I am a designer with a million and one ideas floating in my head, it’s just about being able to pick one and focus on it, and seeing it develop from an idea in my head to a squiggly sketch on a napkin to a full design concept, followed by getting messy in the studio to form the final design and pieces”. Therefore the perks in being a ceramic designer and having her own label are possessing full control of her ideas and being able to be innovative, without boundaries and constraints.
To create a new piece from start to finish, it takes around 2 weeks, including drying times which can take days, with at least two firings. Timea tends to work on several pieces at the same time as each piece needs her attention at different points in the process. She believes a piece has to visually grab you first before you wish to engage with it. “Then it’s about picking it up and holding it to experience its physical form and texture. A quality piece has to be backed up by a beautifully skilled craftsmanship”.
Taking huge pleasure in seeing her bowls, vases, trinket boxes and candles displayed in the environment and setting they were designed for, she finds photo shoots are “a fantastic opportunity to set the scene and create a visual feel for how the pieces would enhance the client’s home.
Timea uses an elegant, timeless colour pallet of soft whites to create her collection but has also produced commission coloured pieces to match her clients’ décor and colour schemes.
To date, Timea has had the privilege of working with some amazing companies, shops, and designers. As a ceramics designer, she has also achieved a few accomplishments, “I have won awards and have been featured in magazines and books, but to me, accomplishment isn’t really measured by any of that. It’s the joy when someone appreciates the piece I have lovingly made and wishes to buy it to treasure or to give it as a special gift.”
Even when she’s not working, Timea says she constantly has to be doing something creative to relax. “My newest project is the renovation of an old French Farmhouse we bought a few years ago. I love upcycling and giving unloved pieces of furniture a new lease of life. I like to visualise a space and seeing it transform into my dream (if you are interested in seeing our French adventure check us out on Instagram @ourfrenchmaison). I have two beautiful boys who keep me busy so there is not much real time for relaxation as such. Spending time with my family is very precious to me and having a good laugh.”
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