Celda-Mae Tyndall

Celda-Mae Tyndall
Teamwork makes the dream work they say and a collective of Gray’s School of Art graduates and staff have rallied together to open Aberdeen Ceramics Studio.

Bringing the city’s first ever ceramics workshop for budding creators to get up close to the craft, the space at Deemouth Business Centre offers classes in clay throwing and hand-building.

Behind the scenes are six artists who are a mix of alumni and staff from Gray’s School of Art who spotted a crucial need for a studio its kind in Aberdeen. With its opening on fast approach, we managed to creep into the diary of alum Celda-Mae Tyndall to get a sneak peek of the studio and find out more about the road to opening.

Following their graduation in Three-dimensional Design at Gray’s in 2021, Celda moved back with her parents in Fife where she still fell into jewellery-making before delving into a ceramics degree.

Despite her continual development in her creative ventures, setting up a business was never in her future plans, “I didn't see myself as ever running a business, never mind running three,” they reflected.

“I had my degree in ceramics under my belt but didn't have the space to carry on the craft or the money to buy the equipment.

“But when I started the job search, it wasn’t so straightforward for me. Job opportunities for creatives are always a bit limited but with my disability, finding a work environment that suits me limits me even more.   

“I thought, ‘well, the only job opportunity is one I can create for myself’ and that’s what I did. I fell back into Jewellery and started to build that as a business.”

The studio

Aberdeen Ceramics Studio logo

Celda and partner AJ – a former winner of The Great Pottery Throwdown – soon moved into a joint studio space where they both worked on their creative endeavours. With a space to focus on the production of a statement jewellery range, Celda still kept up her interest in ceramics. They used both practices as storytelling device to display impactful and empowering messages through their light-hearted and modern style.

But as they worked up their pieces, the desire to do more for the local creative community continued to grow, especially for the local ceramics scene.

They said: “Moving into a joint studio space with AJ really planted the seed on creating a bigger ceramics studio to connect with other artists and create together. We thought ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have a space that had all the materials, equipment and space to save people the hassle and create a community’.

“We got together with alums Aimee Morris, Amy Benzie along with lecturers Kevin Andrew Morris and Matthew Willcock and before we knew it, we were taking part in RGU’s StartUp Accelerator to build our idea into a business. We secured £10,000 of funding through the programme and a further £6,000 through crowdfunding which allowed us to put plans in motion and get the business off the ground.

“The past two years have been quick but filled with a lot of hard work. We’ve experienced all the ups and downs of setting up a business but it’s been a real team effort in getting the studio to where it is today. Funnily enough, I’ve found that starting up a business is just like working with clay – unpredictable and testing. 

“Between balancing full-time jobs, life commitments and the hurdles life throws at you, we’ve managed to keep each other motivated. We sort of fell into our own roles and played to our strengths to keep things moving along.”

The studio space consists of throwing area, two workshop spaces, a kiln room, storage facilities and dedicated members display area for those enrolling in the studio’s monthly membership scheme.


Acting as an inclusive space for the experienced and the new to explore the craft, the lack of facilities in the city has been the main driver for Celda and the team to get the doors open.

“I think with all being local artists, we know the realities of trying to pave your path in the local creative scene. In ceramics especially, you’re usually setting up in your living room or kitchen table – it’s not ideal.

“A lot of artists move away from the city to find more opportunities, so it just made sense for the six of us to draw on our experiences and create something for people in Aberdeen. Hopefully our efforts to open the studio will add to the local culture scene and act as a means to retain talent here in North-east Scotland.”

Community at the heart

The opening weekend of the studio won’t be the first time the team will be running their workshops, they trailed the offering at the recent Engage Art Weekenders (organised by Gray’s School of Art). Taking part in the programme was a realisation that they were on the “right path”.

Group outside ceramic studio

Celda shared: “It was fantastic to be back on Gray’s soil to deliver our throwing and hand-building workshops during the Art Weekenders. We were able to test the water and see how the class structure worked and how many people we could comfortably teach in one workshop.

“Everyone was so enthusiastic and willing to learn, which was just an amazing environment to work in. It definitely cemented why we were starting the studio and confirmed that we were on the right path with things.”

And beyond the Art Weekender classes, there’s a community eager to book classes. With spaces for the throwing classes booked up until the end of August, the need for the studio is clear and that “ceramics isn’t a dying art,” Celda explained.

“Working with clay doesn’t have to be an occasional hobby or a one-time thing. I think we’re sparking people’s passion and welcome people from all walks of life to explore the craft.

“It’s all about being inclusive really. There shouldn’t be any limitations or blockers to stop someone experiencing our classes - no matter of your age or ability, clay is for everyone.”

So, team work really does make the dream work when it comes to the origins of Aberdeen Ceramics Studio and a demonstration of the entrepreneurial spirit that runs through the RGU community.

Find out more

Aberdeen Ceramics Studio opens to the public from Tuesday 23 May.

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