Say hai to... Phoebe Simmons
Hi Phoebe...or should we say Hai!
Can you describe what you do?
I am a designer-artist, specialising in ceramic furniture and lighting. I’ve recently graduated from Central Saint Martins with a BA in Ceramic Design, and I’m now doing an artist residency at the Clay Shed in Bristol.
Where do you consider home? When do you know you are home?
I’m from a rural part of the west country in England, so I always feel at home when I’m in nature. When I was at uni in London I would go to Hampstead Heath to find some solace and relief from the fast pace city life.
Creativity is like riding a wave for me.. when I’m on a creative high I feel like everything is clear and I have a purpose in life! When I don’t it can be the most frustrating thing ever. I am currently making my first furniture collection and it’s proving to be a massive technical challenge, which has definitely tested my motivation and creativity levels. Now I feel like I’m finally getting somewhere with my work after all the testing and trial and error over the last few months, and getting closer to that creative high (..or hai) that I crave so badly!
The best, untalked about place in your city?
Bath has some great independent shops. My current favourite is Magalleria – it’s mostly a magazine shop but they have an amazing collection of art and design books as well as some cool zines.
How, or where do you go to find inspiration?
My inspiration comes from desert geology and landscapes. In 2019 I lived in the Mojave Desert for 3 months, which really impacted the way I saw my practice. I felt like it was the perfect place for my work to call home. I can’t wait to go back!
What do you do when no one is watching?
Probably talking to myself (only child problems) or dancing to some early 2000s R&B!
Working with clay can have its downfalls, one being that the clothes you wear will be sacrificed due to stains etc, which means fashion to me is about practicality most of the time (I am a cargo pant stan!!). The days when I’m not in the studio is when I have the freedom to wear nice things and feel all fancy. So I guess fashion makes me feel ✨fabulous✨ when I want to be.
Where are you going to take your Hai next?
On a plane back to the Mojave Desert when this pandemic is over!