Rose Nisbet is a Bristol-based ceramicist and textile designer, with all her products handmade in her studio in Clifton Wood. Her creations are full of personality and humour, an outcome of Rose’s vivid imagination. She’s trading at the Harbourside Market this Saturday the 8th of July, and in advance we caught up with her to find out what lies behind her lovely stall.
How did you start making, and why particularly ceramics and textiles?
My interest first started at my degree at LCC in London, I was studying Surface Design which is designing patterns and imagery on surfaces. My style at first was bland, until the doodles which I drew all over my folder started creeping in to my own work and started getting better recognition from my teachers than my other work. I started to put these designs onto ceramics as I love how such a practical everyday item like a dinner plate can have so much personality. My Sofa Buddies also came from this idea that you can inject your house with character with just a cheeky cushion. When I moved back to Bristol, I met a retired potter who was interested in selling his kiln and wheel for very cheap, so I took the opportunity and started making my own ceramics straight away, turning my garage into a studio.
What inspires you?
I get most of my ideas from dreams I have and funny conversations I overhear in public. Bold patterns are a big part of my work too.
What’s the item you make that most people love, and what do you wish got more attention?
To be honest it really varies, but most people like my planters with the little feet. I get a lot of attention from my Sofa Buddies, but not all good! Some people think they’re scary. When I do my markets it’s intriguing to see all the mixed reactions from passers by. I think all homes need a Sofa Buddy to cuddle up to on those strange, lonely days.
How does being in Bristol shape you as an artist?
I wouldn’t be able to be doing what I’m doing if I hadn’t moved back here, from the opportunities which were given to me, so in that way it plays a vital part. However selling handmade crafts in Bristol is naturally much harder compared to somewhere in London, and that’s always the struggle I will have to deal with choosing to move back here. Bristol is relaxing and always fun, so I’m sure that comes out in my artwork.
Who are some of your favourite Bristolian creatives?
I love going into the shop Blaze on Colston Street, there’s so many amazing artists selling wonderful delights in there. Lara Hawthorne is my favourite in there (although I’m not sure if she’s a Bristolian). She’s created this incredible world which you can get lost in for hours, like a Where’s Wally cartoon. I’ve got two of her prints in my bedroom and they always keep me entertained.
Find Rose Nisbet and her beautiful products – from cups to Sofa Buddies – at the Harbourside Market this weekend, along with a whole host of other creatives, makers, collectors, and, of course, a bit o’ Street Food.