Why did you choose HCA for our degree?
I chose to study at HCA originally to do the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. Doing the course in Hereford and moving to live here whilst studying was a big change from home, and I really felt happy living here. When I looked at other universities I always came back to comparing them to HCA – it really feels like a family when you study here.
Students get more tutor contact time than most other places, and that was a big factor for me. There is great pastoral support, and the way that the staff in the college work together between the different courses and the cross course collaboration was also something that really made me want to stay, and I’m really glad I did.
What advice would you offer students joining HCA?
I think the first one would be to take every opportunity you can, and to try out all the different workshops whilst you’re here. Don’t be scared that you might not like something, discovering what you don’t like can help you find what you do!
The second would be to try out as many processes as possible whilst you have the freedom to do so, it can help you further your own practice by knowing where you do and don’t want to explore.
What do/did you love most about the Contemporary Design Crafts course?
I chose it specifically because I was able to try out every medium, it wasn’t limited to one area of creative studies. In my first year I tried something in every workshop available to me, and after touching clay I knew that I really wanted to explore it more.
The support from tutors, and technical demonstrators was invaluable. Sometimes as a student you want to do something but aren’t sure how to get there – everyone around you at the college and your fellow students help you to achieve what you want to do.
What is/was the best thing about living and studying in Hereford?
The best thing about studying and living in Hereford was the approach to the creative arts. There’s such a good feeling in the city, there are lots of independent places to eat and drink, so you know you’re supporting the small business over the large. For me that made a difference and I wanted to study somewhere that was still near the countryside, but had the advantages of a city too.
What artistic processes have been your favourite?
In the second year of my degree at HCA I kind of stumbled onto a process in the ceramic’s workshop called ‘mould making’, the technical demonstrators and my tutors originally introduced me to it, hoping that I could create my own shapes and make multiples of them by using this process.
Learning from them, and exploring it for myself has now meant that I’m studying my MA specifically in this. It’s a process whereby you use plaster to create a moulding of an object, and then use liquid clay to pour into the mould.
Pouring out the excess clay then leaves you with the shape to create pieces of work. It’s a process that people spend their entire lives exploring and learning about, and I’m hoping I can do just that!