Alison Grubb decided to follow her passion for art and design after being made redundant and will now showcase her ceramic collection at the annual Gray’s School of Art Degree Show.
Alison, from Kirkton of Rayne, near Insch, is currently studying Three Dimensional Design at RGU’s Gray’s School of Art after deciding to change careers to do something she loved.
The 31-year-old said: “I was living in Edinburgh and I was pretty miserable working in an administration job when I was made redundant - it was actually a really good opportunity for me to make a change.
“I decided to go back to college and study art and design as being creative was something I had actually enjoyed. I really liked the design projects during college and I decided I’d like to have a career in design and going to RGU was my chance to get the skills I’d need to be a successful designer and maker.
“The only way I could afford to go to university was to move back in with my parents in Aberdeenshire – it was a difficult decision to make but I wanted to make a change in my life and this was my chance to do that.”
Alison said that she liked to atmosphere of Gray’s School of Art after attending an open day and she liked the idea of being part of the creative community.
Her Degree Show project will showcase her ceramic work which is a series of vessels called ‘The Bismuth Collection’.
Speaking about her work, she said: “My work focuses on recreating the iridescence found in nature using lustre glazes, which change from one colour to another depending on the light.
“These traditional lustre glazes use metal oxides which are fired twice, first in an electric kiln and then in a gas reduction firing where a chemical reaction takes place and the glaze transforms into a metallic lustre. The glaze goes through an incredible transformation from a flat colour to a metallic, iridescent lustre, sometimes with rainbow coloured effects on the surface. It’s a difficult process and a single glaze can look different each time, which makes each piece totally unique.
“I made my pieces using a combination of 3D printing and more traditional hand making techniques. The 3D printing allowed me to make precise, crisp models which I then made plaster moulds of to pour liquid clay into to make a slip cast. The 3D printing side of my work is in contrast to the unpredictable nature of my glaze firings – I have an element of control over the casts but the ultimate finish is determined by the transformation of the glaze in the kiln.”
Alison said she’s really enjoyed being surrounded by other creative people and being able to talk about her work and share ideas.
“Doing something that I really enjoy and that makes me excited has been really amazing,” she said.
Alison hopes to build her own ceramics studio in her garden and to support herself through selling ceramics in the future and to one day develop a whole rainbow of iridescent glazes.
The Gray’s School of Art Degree Show runs from 15-22 June and will showcase work by students of all disciplines.