Design Crafts graduate invited to be part of Rising Stars gallery exhibition

Unique tableware design by a De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) graduate has earned her a spot in the New Ashgate Gallery Rising Stars 2024 exhibition.
Sophie Wootton, who graduated from DMU in 2023 in Design Crafts, successfully applied to the artist open call to be part of the exhibition which will display her ceramic collection until 27 April 2024.

Sophie Wooton 560thumb

“Studying Design Crafts at DMU has been a huge step in my journey. Before coming to DMU I wasn’t sure what path to take in my creative career. I chose to come to DMU because the first time I stepped onto campus I felt at home.

“For me, moving away to university was a huge step so feeling safe and at home was really important to me. The university felt welcoming and the course offered me the facilities to explore and develop my creative practice.” said the 24-year-old from Stratford-upon-Avon.

Sophie is fascinated by the personal connection between the maker and the material, and her current collection of ceramic tableware has been thoughtfully curated to bring people together and to create memorable, shared experiences and provide comfort when passing around and sharing food.

Sophie Wooton 560a

Inspiration for the collection, called ‘You left your mark,’ came after Sophie found a series of her late grandmother's paintings. She has also developed all her own glazes in this collection, which were influenced by the colours used in her grandmother's paintings.

Sophie said: “I feel extremely privileged to have been selected. It is an amazing opportunity for me to develop my career in ceramics and meet new and emerging makers.

“The gallery is a beautiful space and I can’t wait to see how they have curated the exhibition. Having the chance to display my work in a national gallery alongside so many other inspirational individuals has been amazing.

“Being selected for Rising Stars isn’t just about being a part of the exhibition, they have also provided me with business training opportunities which have opened new doors for me, and I can’t wait to continue to grow my practice further,” she said.

The selection for the exhibition comes soon after Sophie took part in the hit television show, The Great Pottery Throwdown on Channel 4, in which she made it to the final six contestants.

Sophie Wooton 560b

“DMU gave me the skills to start my own business and the confidence to apply for The Great Pottery Throw Down. I applied for the show during my final year at DMU, but I never thought I would actually get on the show. It came at the perfect time for me having just graduated and set up my own pottery studio at home. The show offered me the best opportunity to learn and grow as a potter.

“The whole show is built on supporting the potters which gave me the confidence I needed to keep going with my making and continue to develop my business after filming. Being on the show was the most surreal yet amazing experience and one which I will treasure for the rest of my life.”

Posted on Thursday 18 April 2024

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