Candice Lau

I am a sculptor that uses leatherwork and ceramics techniques to create my work.

Q&A

What craft do you work with?

I am a sculptor that uses leatherwork and ceramics techniques to create my work. I have worked primarily in leatherwork for the past 10 years, yet have made a directional change to sculpture in the past year. I started combining these two craft forms only in the past year and the impetus for this came from the desire to take leatherwork to a new level, and shift away from the making of commercial leather products which was what I have been doing in the past 10 years. My favourite technique is to adapt leather working techniques to ceramics. Since then, I have learnt more and more about the possibilities of ceramics and the challenge is to create seamless sculptures that combines leather and clay.

What inspires you to work with this craft?

I love forms and I am always inspired and fascinated by artists who use traditional methods to create common objects such as bowls, bags, cups, vases, yet add unexpected changes to them to challenge the way we view the object, and our expectations of it.

I love working with both leather and clay because they seem very incompatible. But I am curious to explore ways to integrate them and surprise audiences and challenge their expectations. I think it is important to innovate with these age old materials to keep our creative minds alive, and forge new relationships between different crafts such as leather and clay.

How do you start your creative process?

This is admittedly a very difficult question to answer. To go right back, I think it starts quite subconsciously from things I have seen or books I have read. As a craftsperson, I believe making is second nature for the hands. I often let my hand guide me through the production process, often not knowing what I am creating or the possible outcomes. Thus letting the hand navigate and bring out the subconscious ideas is often the process I engage in. The most difficult part I find is when I try to visualise and plan work, which can often be debilitating. This is especially true for more conceptual and sculptural work that I do now.

How would you best describe your workspace and what tools could you not do without?

I work in two separate creative spaces. One is my leathercraft studio, and the other the group ceramic workshop that I use once a week. I love both spaces equally yet they are both so different. One must be kept incredibly clean, whilst the other invites chaos. I love these two opposing aspect. An interesting challenge for me would be to coalesce these two spaces and make one creative studio for my future. My favourite thing in the studio is the wall of leather tools that I hang up above my bench.

Are there new techniques you would like to try?

I would love to learn more about glazing, and hand building with clay.

What have you learnt or the best advice you have received that you would like to share with fellow crafters?

The best advice I have every received from a fellow craftsperson is ‘don’t think too much about it and just do it’. This is so important as with most makers or artists, creative blocks are unavoidable. Hence, letting the hand take over, allow the subconscious ideas to seep out through making can be one of the best way to overcome creative blocks.

What other types of craft do you dream of collaborating with?

I have worked with a weaver in the past on a commercial project and we are currently dreaming of collaborating to create large scale baskets using both leather and weave.

Media & Contact

Representation

Studio Candice Lau

 

References

Website: studiocandicelau.com

Instagram: studiocandicelau

 

Location

London, United Kingdom

Material Library entries

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