Gray’s design graduates celebrate Aberdeen stockist
Four 3D design graduates from Gray’s School of Art are celebrating seeing their homeware products hit the shelves of an Aberdeen shop.
Hammerton Store, on Great Western Road, has started stocking the work of Gregor Wittrick (22), Carmel Wilkinson-Ayre (22), Natalie J Wood (25) and Hannah Morrison (22), who all graduated from the art school in July.
The store, which is run by former Gray’s student Susan Watson, is the first stockist for some of the graduates who are delighted to have the support of a local company.
Among the work now available for the public to purchase, is Gregor’s series of small vessels, created as part of his graduate project Raw & Cooked, which saw him explore the link between food and ceramics.
He said: “I’m very pleased that Hammerton is my first stockist. It’s nice to feel supported at a local level, especially by people as enthusiastic about the arts community of Aberdeen.”
Since graduating, Gregor is planning a move to Edinburgh where he will lease a studio space at Process Studio, working alongside former classmates Carmel and Natalie.
He also attended New Designers, a showcase event for new graduates in London, where he was approached by Mint Shop to produce work for their Twisting Traditions exhibit during London Design Week which ran at the end of September.
Carmel has recently launched a new A/W15 line of cups, a range of which are now being stocked at Hammerton.
“Working similarly to a fashion and textile designer I launch new colours each season attempting to stay in touch with current and future trends in colour but also homeware design,” she said. “The domestic cup range provides a functional yet playful addition to tableware and the home. Each cup has a painterly feel that emphasises the bespoke nature of the collection.”
Carmel, who has been teaching public ceramic classes from her studio space in Edinburgh, added: “Being a part of Hammerton Store is a pleasure and I am delighted to have my ceramic wares represented by a company that is so supportive of local talent, craft and suppliers.”
She hopes to launch an online shop in time for Christmas and is focused on strengthening her CSWA_ brand.
Natalie has just finished a placement with Cyan Clayworks in Edinburgh thanks to funding from Creative Scotland.
She said: “Since graduating, I have experienced so much and am still learning what it takes to live as a designer/maker and make it in this business of art.
“Hammerton Store is my first stockist and the mix of handpicked food/drink and craft from around Scotland in the shop is inspiring to see. I’m glad my first stockist is in the city that I learned my craft.”
Natalie, who was also selected for an Arts in Fife Award, added: “I spent the time during my placement with Cyan Clayworks perfecting some skills and learning some new ones. While doing that I received a place in the FRESH section of the British Ceramics Biennale to show my graduate collection Detsu alongside 21 other new graduates from across Britain.”
The show runs until November 8 in Stoke-on-Trent.
Hannah, meanwhile, has also been on a placement over the summer with Northshore Pottery and undertook a masterclass at Northlands Creative Glass. She has secured a position as a Graduate in Residence at Gray’s which she will start shortly.
Hannah said: “It is really nice to see our work in an actual shop, especially because Susan was so enthusiastic about it all. I think it’s been a good starting point for us all as far as wholesaling is concerned as it’s a beautiful little store relatively near the uni and because it was Degree Show where Susan spotted the work -which is a big compliment I think as it shows that the work spoke for itself as we were all in London at New Designers.”
She added: “Graduate life has been hectic to say the least – it feels like years ago that we graduated!
“I’m now back in Aberdeen and am going back to Gray’s to be the Graduate in Residence for my department which I cannot wait to start. After my very busy summer I’m brimming with ideas for the Graduate in Residence position and look forward to getting stuck back into it all as well as helping out students and attempting to pass on any wisdom I may have.”
Susan said: “I saw the work at this year’s Degree Show and loved it. We’re always happy to support new graduates in the store and it is more interesting for us to stock work by individuals who are creating something different.”
Communications Officer | Design and Technology