My background is firmly rooted in the crafts, having started my journey into ceramics at a small pottery in Lincolnshire. Learning the skills of production throwing; sometimes digging the clay, then wedging and weighing the clay to throw to all the same size and shape. I found the challenge of this precision absorbing and the repetitive nature satisfying. I’m sure it was this early interest into repetitive forms that sparked an interest in volume production and the need to have everything the same.
After graduation my first job was at Wedgwood as a shape designer, guided by the design team to understand the breadth of ceramic form, from how a plate should sit on the table to how a spout should pour. And taught by the highly skilled model makers to understand volume and the transition from 2D to 3D and to visualise those forms into fine plaster models. A wonderful place to begin a career in ceramics, steeped in history and with such a rich heritage to draw on daily.
I've worked both as an in-house designer and as a freelance designer for over 20 years for retailers and manufacturers and I still use the skills I learnt in my first job and prefer to work directly with materials, making the initial prototypes, so that I can naturally adapt the forms as the shapes are being made.
I’m inspired by the everyday and the ordinary; material qualities, textures and the interaction we have with objects. Small details and preferences which reflect the intuitive decision making we all make on a daily basis when choosing what cup to take from the cupboard for a cup of tea.
I wanted to create a my own collection of objects that sit comfortably in the home, that aren't awkward, audacious or tricky to use or care for, but are familiar, have fluency and sit effortlessly.
The exploration of materials, not only in ceramic, is a nod to the years working within retail and designing coordinating ranges for the home, fully utilising a world of production. To bring this range together I have collaborated with small factories and studios in England working with traditional craftsmanship, materials and techniques to make high quality products made by hand.
Renowned Designer Robin Levien added these words of praise:
'Sue Pryke is a designer who perfectly illustrates the fact that design for mass production can be of a high quality and have warmth.
Sue Pryke’s designs are simple and pared down, they have an understated elegance that places them within the Super Normal design typology.'