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Hannah Simpson

The British ceramics artist Hannah Simpson is a living embodiment of the notion that creativity can thrive in adversity. During the first UK lockdown, while she was living back with her parents, Simpson began tinkering around with a cheap kiln her mother had bought off eBay. She soon discovered a passion—and a talent—for ceramics, and began selling her creations on Etsy. Quickly amassing a following thanks to her quirky, playful pieces, Simpson has since moved to London where she creates pieces out of her own studio. “My most recent work has a deep connection to the idea of ‘change’,” she tells TROBAT. “The world is in a constant state of movement, nothing stays the same or lasts forever. Having the ability to create something that brings joy or inspires someone, even for a second, is what I seek with my practice.” Read Hannah’s interview with trobat and shop her exclusive collection of pieces on trobat.co below

What is your discipline and when did you first encounter it?

In 2019 my mum impulse-bought a £150 kiln off eBay, so when the Covid-19 lockdowns started in the UK in 2020 I decided to give ceramics a go. I quickly fell in love with clay as a material and with the challenge that glazing gives me.

What was your journey to becoming an artist?

I was always creative growing up. I studied Fine Art at Loughborough University and developed an interest in sculpture. I interned with Nacho Carbonell who challenged my thinking about design, and pushed me towards a passion for functional art. After graduating I wanted to continue making my own art, which led me to learning ceramics. I started selling what I made on Etsy and things have grown from there.

Who are the key artists whose work inspires your own?

Barbra Hepworth, Jean Arp, Franz West. More contemporary designers include Misha Kahn, The Haas Brothers and Eny Lee Parker.

Tell us about your studio?

My studio is about to change, but for the past year and a half I have been working from a spare room in my parents’ home whilst I build up enough funds and resources to move into London. Which is now happening! In the studio it is just me and my intern Rebecca Toumazi. The studio is where I spend all my time, working from 9am-10pm most days. It is an amazing place where I can be as experimental as I like without any judgement. We always try to have as much fun as possible while working, playing music and listening to comedy podcasts, it’s great doing something I love, being able to experiment with clay, and spending time with a new friend I’ve made along the way.

Who's on your dream dinner party guest list, and what do you serve?

I have always been obsessed with documentaries so I would love to meet Louis Theroux. I also think that a good dinner party is about having fun, so I’d invite Rob Beccett, a British comedian whose podcast we always listen to in the studio. Adele is not only an amazing singer and songwriter but so down-to-earth that I think she would be a great addition. I’d also have to bring my sister, otherwise nobody would believe me when I told the story.

What's a film you watched and book you've read recently that had an impact on you?

Jojo Rabbit really highlighted how fragile our lives are and how quickly we can lose the innocence of childhood. It also reminded me of my own privilege having been brought up in a stable home in the English countryside and of the fact that our lives and circumstances can change so suddenly.

If you weren't an artist, what would you have been?

There was a point during my teenage years where I wanted to be a jockey as I am very small and love horses, but I think if I wasn’t an artist, I’d love to do something in fashion design. I loved textiles and sewing as a child and enjoy making my own clothes whenever I get the chance. I think whatever I do, I’ll be making something with my hands.

What is your star sign and do you believe you embody it?

My star sign is Scorpio and I do resonate with a lot of the traits that the star sign resembles. I am very passionate about what I do and the same applies to my friendships, but I can occasionally be a bit hot headed and short tempered…







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