GET FIRED UP FOR HAND-MADE JEWELLERY & HOME ACCESSORIES FROM VANCOUVER
Story by Rebecca Poynton-Murray
Photos provided by Grace Lee
If you’re looking for something different to accentuate your wardrobe (or your home décor), Vancouver-based design line Eikcam Ceramics boasts a delicate range of hand-made jewellery and home accessories. Designer Grace Lee shares with us her love for ceramics, and why natural aesthetics entice her to be creative.
Why did you decide to have your own line?
Whilst studying at Emily Carr University in 1988, I started a jewellery business, working in silver and gemstones. This side business helped me through art school. Eventually, I couldn’t even keep up with orders during the last year of graduating! After a stint as a designer, I came back to my love of ceramics and began to create jewellery in clay.
What made you switch from being a visual artist to designing a ceramic line?
I have a background in industrial design and was an art director and tableware designer for six years. It was quite fulfilling but not as creative as I had liked it to be. In 2008 I left my job to start my own line. This means I can be as creative as I want to be and I get to make everything with my own hands.
What appeals to you about handmade items?
With every piece, it is not only functional, but also a piece of art as it is unique in its nuances and curves. Making an identical piece from a mould is less magical.
What material do you best like to work with?
I love working with many types of clay, in particular gritty, terracotta and sleek porcelain.
How do you reflect your inspirations through ceramics?
I find beauty in old artifacts and places ‘off the beaten path.’ I also like to incorporate worn-in textures.
What is the process of making something out of ceramics?
You have to have patience at every step. The clay has to retain a certain level of moisture to be pliable and workable. I mould the texture and add 3D elements at this point. Next, each piece needs ample time to dry at a steady rate. When all pieces are dry, the green ware is then bisque and fired at 2200 degrees, then it is ready to be drawn on and glazed. The edges and bases are then sanded to a smooth finish.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
The fact that I am only in my fourth year of producing and doing well. Also designing and travelling for shows is a big achievement.
What are you currently working on?
I am finishing orders, preparing to launch new collections for an upcoming studio sale and designing new pieces for a cross-province collaborative show in a few months. My brain is always on the go with many projects brewing.
Finally, where can we see your lines and have you any upcoming events?
I have an annual studio sale that takes place in my studio in Vancouver, then a pop-up shop called ‘Gather’ in July. My work can be found at the Distillery District in Toronto.