Designer insights with Lesley McShea

Lesley McShea is renowned for her work with wheel-thrown and press-moulded textural combinations, working from the UK. Lesley is passionate about referencing ancient artefacts, architecture and period garden ornamentation within her latest projects and work. She creates a wide selection of functional, yet unique and bespoke pieces including birdbaths, sconces, vases, and candle bowls, to name just a few. Lesley also likes to distress her surfaces to maximise contracts. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Lesley McShea.

Designer Insights - Lesley McShea

Image Credit: 1) Volpe and Volpe 2) Volpe and Volpe 3) Lesley Mcshea 4) Students Work 5) Gaetan

- Transcript -

1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?

My work is mainly wheel thrown, grogged (sandy) stoneware clay. I produce one off unique functional vessels, with a variety of finishes, ranging from textural dry, satin glazes, to bright shiny colourful finishes.

2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process?

More recently clients have approached me for my technical expertise to fulfil a set brief or project. I do enjoy the challenge, and it has taken my work in a direction I wouldn’t have gone otherwise.

3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?

Two of my Tutors from my University days, Emmannuel Cooper and Mo Jupp. They both lived with very strong values, and their wise words, knowledge and passion are still an inspiration to me.

4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?

The Ceramics department on the sixth floor of the V and A museum. It never ceases to amaze me the whole vast variety of ceramics throughout history. The fragility of ceramics has withstood the ravages of centuries, and survived.

5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?

The three P’s with Pottery: Perseverance, patience and Passion. My advice to anyone wishing to work in Ceramics would be to ensure you have some paid work to put food on the table as well as your ceramic work for survival. During my Ceramic life I also worked in Adult Education colleges for 30 years (Part time as Tutor and technician)