Introducing the work of artist / ceramicist Claire de Lune for Margate Tile Makers

This is the first in the series of introducing the Margate and Thanet-based artists who are designing and making tiles for the Margate Tile Makers project.

As discussed in the previous blog post, Margate Tiles Makers is run by local artists who are producing locally designed and handmade tiles (handmade tiles are currently mostly made overseas and imported) with the aim of creating jobs and income for Thanet artists.

Claire de Lune is an artist and ceramicist who lives and works in Margate. Claire is currently working on her tile range - see photos below of the tiles in development - which will soon be available to purchase on the Margate Tile Makers website. Claire's tile range will also be exhibited at the Handmade Tiles // Margate stand at 100% Design show at Olympia, London, from 18-21st September. 

Claire de Lune's Artist Profile

I graduated from Intermedia Art at Edinburgh College of Art in 2012. I specialised at the time in video and immersive performance at the time. I gradually side stepped in to Ceramics while I worked in Berlin! I was lucky to meet some incredible mentors along the way. During filming a BBC Two series called Made in Great Britain, I found out my family - The Adams of Staffordshire - have worked in clay for 700 years! I guess there was clay in my blood!

Exhibitions include Matthew Bown Gallery (Berlin), residency with Katie Patterson, SWG3 (Glasgow), GOMA (Glasgow), Mexico Project Space (Berlin), HB55 (Berlin), Fish Factory (Falmouth), 64a Gallery (Whitstable)

Recent TV - 6 part BBC Two Series ‘Made in Great Britain’, Channel 4 ‘Kirstie’s Celebrity Craft Master’

Design / handcrafting inspirations

I love fairytales and traditional storytelling, so I’m often inspired by folk art - the colourful ceramic tree of life designs from Mexico, dymkovos from Russia, wabi-sabi wares from Japan.. travelling is so important for inspiration. Mind you, I get inspired by everything at home too. Do you ever use a knife and fork at a new restaurant and think “wow, these are a piece of PERFECT ergonomic and aesthetic design”? You know that feeling.. 

I love the history and connection to time - Every object or artwork sits on top of hundreds (if not thousands) of years of development. 

Thoughts on Thanet's creative community 

I find the creative community in Margate very supportive. There is always an opening, or event happening, and it’s hard not to be inspired by the beautiful sunset every night. There is also a large ceramics community in Margate, so it’s easy to find someone to nerd out with about glaze recipes or a new sculpting gadget! 

Thoughts on Margate Tile Makers project

I was really excited to be invited by Sarah to take part. I think it’s important to support local networks of production - It’s good for communities, the environment, and economic sustainability. This project excites me because it reminds designers and architects that they can have handmade, artisan products created locally, and directly supports UK industry. It feels a lot like coming back to my ancestral Staffordshire roots! I would also love to provide jobs and training in the future, especially for kids who might struggle at school, but are good with their hands! 

More photos of Claire's beautiful work can be found at her Instagram @clairedeluneart