BA (Hons) Applied Art
I was a mature student converting from a life in engineering to a life in the arts. I also had commitments that meant I had to be able to travel to and from University each day. I had friends who had been to University at Stafford and Manchester. Having listened to them, and visited Wrexham Glyndwr on an open day, I decided that Wrexham Glyndwr was the University for me. The North Wales School of Art and Design is a friendly place, staffed by makers who all practice the trade they are teaching. The Applied Arts School is well equipped and it is easy to work across the different disciplines of Ceramics, Metal Work and Jewellery and Glass if you want to.
Unlike Arts based courses at other Universities, Wrexham Glyndwr prepares you for the world of work through Creative Futures modules, and Creative Futures week each year. These modules and lectures give you insights into, and help you prepare for the world of work as a creative individual. The BA Applied Arts course has a ‘Dragons Den’ style module in the second year, for which you have to design, make, cost and present a product, business, and business case to go with it. This is excellent preparation for when you start approaching craft galleries as potential stockists for your work or engage with potential employers.
I am currently self-employed. I run my own business Inner Finn Ceramics, producing slip cast porcelain objects to be touched, loved and used. My work involves making ceramic pieces, approaching craft galleries to stock my work, interacting with craft gallery owners, delivering work to galleries, producing marketing material, running social media accounts, building and maintaining my business website www.innerfinn.co.uk, networking to make new contacts and grow my business, applying for craft and trade fairs, accounting and book keeping, to name just a few of my activities!
I have had some real highlights such as getting my work stocked by Oriel Mostyn Llandudno during my final year. This made me feel like I was a ‘real’ ceramicist. I also took part in a Makers Showcase at Oriel Wrecsam. It was so rewarding to be approached by a gallery and asked if they could feature my work. I also exhibited at ‘New Designers Part 1’ at the Business Design Centre Islington. Five years ago I set a dream goal to exhibit at New Designers, and that dream has come true.
Studying at Wrexham Glyndwr University gave me the skills I needed to become a practicing ceramicst. It also gave me the opportunity to participate in the Erasmus Student Exchange Scheme. I studied in Finland for 5 months in my second year and this was a life changing experience for me.
I would recommend a course in Applied Arts at Wrexham Glyndwr because it is so practically based, it teaches you the skills to become a designer maker and backs that up with practical business skills. If you dream of a life making, then follow your dreams, but be prepared to back it up with hard work and determination, and probably at least one other job!
My favourite memory of my time at Wrexham Glyndwr is one from my Erasmus exchange -the opening of the 7th International Flower Festival in Tallinn Estonia. I had participated in a project between HAMK University in Finland and the Estonian Arts Academy to design and create a sculpture garden for the Tallinn Flower Festival. As part of this project I got to work with people from Finland, Estonia, France and Canada. We worked in a medieval turret in the Tallinn old town walls. We spent 4 days firing a wood kiln in Kohila in Estonia and we spent a week building a Hidden Worlds Garden in Tallinn. I developed new skills, travelled to new countries, had new experiences and made many friends during this time.
You get out of your education what you put into it - Work hard, laugh lots, make, make make!