Product and Furniture Design Graduate – Bath Spa University

Bath Spa graduate designs Creative Bath Awards

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Product and Furniture Design graduate wins a competition to design Creative Bath Awards

Friday, 18 February, 2022

Maggie David, who graduated from Bath Spa’s BA Product and Furniture Design course in 2021, was the winner of the annual competition to design and produce the trophies for the Creative Bath Awards that took place in December.

Whilst studying for her degree at Bath Spa, Maggie was encouraged to use a variety of materials in her creations and experiment through making. 

Talking about how this experience shaped her work Maggie, who is from Wales, said:

“Bath Spa had such a focus on material exploration. In my first year, I had a very specific ceramics project for which I did my lighting project, Golau Gwyn (meaning White Light in English), and I absolutely loved the material. My tutors and the technicians were so great! I found myself going and chatting to them about my work and they encouraged me into working more with ceramics.”

Maggie’s love of making, and innovative approach to her practice was tested during the pandemic. Talking about her creative response to the limitations from the lockdowns, Maggie said, “My second to last project, it was very theoretical doing lots of graphic design. I loved graphic design but I really missed making. I couldn't do metal work at home, because I didn’t have a workshop, but I knew I wanted to do ceramics for my final project. So I thought, why not just go outside and just start digging up the clay in my garden. My mum absolutely hated it! But myself and my dad, we loved it. We were so excited about doing it.”

This journey of discovery with ceramics and developing a knowledge of the material inspired Maggie in her final project, Canwyll Du (meaning Black Candle in English), and formed the basis for why she applied for the Creative Bath Awards competition.

“I remember sitting and talking to Erin, one of the tutors in the Product and Furniture Design course,” she said. “What I was doing with ceramics at that point was very fragile work so I wasn’t sure about entering, but Erin encouraged me to sit down and have a think because he was very convinced I could come up with something.”

Maggie eventually came up with an idea for a trophy that utilised ceramics as well as other materials she enjoyed using. “The paper porcelain tile which is used in the trophy, that's the same tile that's used in my lighting work,” she said. “I really wanted to include that within the trophy. The wooden element came from my love of Scandinavian design – particularly the textures they create.”

She was also excited by the prospect of creating a trophy with a material not previously used. She said:

“The idea of creating the first ceramics trophy was so tempting. In the presentation for the competition I said that they needed to incorporate these materials into a trophy because they’re so amazing and they’ve never been included before!”

When thinking back to the competition, this pitch to the judges is what Maggie looks back on with the most pride. “Making a pitch was something that we did quite a lot during our degree,” she said. “We would pitch to different consumers, to each other about our ideas, and pitching to potentially paying clients was terrifying. I was so excited to do it. But I was absolutely terrified. I think it has really given me the confidence to talk about my work. Now I will literally go around to anyone who will listen to me and have a chat about my work because I just love the feedback and engagement.”

Maggie’s journey with ceramics has led her to Cardiff Metropolitan University where she is currently undertaking an MA Ceramics course. 

Looking ahead, Maggie is open-minded, with the love for making still very much at the centre of her plans for the future. “I’m studying part-time so that I can spend as much time as possible learning in workshops,” she said. “I would love to continue learning and making and playing with as many materials as possible because I don't think I'll ever settle on one material.”

You can see more of Maggie’s work on her Instagram.

Top marks for Bath Spa University

Thursday, 12 May, 2022

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