Inside the Studio : Cecily Vessey

Today we are heading into the studio of artist, illustrator and product designer Cecily Vessey. Cecily exhibited an exclusive range of Deptford drawings and screen prints at our September 2018 show which were complimented by large scale drawings in the windows of the Deptford Taproom as part of the South East Makers Club event for LDF.

Cecily recently moved into her first studio space after working from her spare room for almost ten years so I’m really excited to see how she has found working in a new space.

Tell us a bit about your design process, how do you get started and generate new ideas?

New ideas come to me when I’m out and about, either peddling around or walking. I try not to get the tube in London as I like to see the buildings and the views as I travel. I also find travelling to new towns and cities inspiring. Whenever I go somewhere new I try to find a high view point and take in the landscape I love the variations in something as everyday as a rooftop and seeing all the ways in which they have been interpreted over the years.

New ideas come to me when I’m out and about, either peddling around or walking. I try not to get the tube in London as I like to see the buildings and the views as I travel. I also find travelling to new towns and cities inspiring. Whenever I go somewhere new I try to find a high view point and take in the landscape I love the variations in something as everyday as a rooftop and seeing all the ways in which they have been interpreted over the years.

Do you have a favourite material?

I’ve recently started using a new drawing paper which doesn’t sound that exciting but I promise it is. Also, a friend of mine who lives in Taiwan sent me some ink the other day and that has become my new favourite way of getting rich, blocks of black in my drawings. Before I was using pens to fill larger areas and it never had the look I wanted.

I’ve recently started using a new drawing paper which doesn’t sound that exciting but I promise it is. Also, a friend of mine who lives in Taiwan sent me some ink the other day and that has become my new favourite way of getting rich, blocks of black in my drawings. Before I was using pens to fill larger areas and it never had the look I wanted.

Show us your workspace are you clean or messy?

I have to start and end every day tidy. What happens in between can be messy but it doesn’t last long. I also have to tidy every inch of my workspace before I start a new project. I used to think it was procrastinating but now it has become more of a ritual. A time when I am getting focused, once everything is in its place I can start.

I have to start and end every day tidy. What happens in between can be messy but it doesn’t last long. I also have to tidy every inch of my workspace before I start a new project. I used to think it was procrastinating but now it has become more of a ritual. A time when I am getting focused, once everything is in its place I can start.

What do you do for fun outside of your practice?

I find the only true way I can stop thinking about work is to go out on my bike. I don’t fell happy unless I have a cycling adventure planned. In the winter when the outside isn’t so appealing I make sure I have a sewing project on the go. At the moment it’s a dress made from Merchant and Mills’ fabric.

I find the only true way I can stop thinking about work is to go out on my bike. I don’t fell happy unless I have a cycling adventure planned. In the winter when the outside isn’t so appealing I make sure I have a sewing project on the go. At the moment it’s a dress made from Merchant and Mills’ fabric.

Your Makers House - show us a snapshot of your home (real or dream space) and tell us about your favourite thing you have bought from a fellow maker.

My sanctuary is my bedroom, I sleep an unusually large amount so it’s the place where my favourite things are. A quilt by Georgia, cushions that I made from Josef Frank Fabric and pictures drawn by family members. I have a ridiculously talented relatives, most of which you have to nag for decades to get one of their pieces because they will never show anyone their work but I am lucky enough to have persuaded a few of them to have parted with some things.

My sanctuary is my bedroom, I sleep an unusually large amount so it’s the place where my favourite things are. A quilt by Georgia, cushions that I made from Josef Frank Fabric and pictures drawn by family members. I have a ridiculously talented relatives, most of which you have to nag for decades to get one of their pieces because they will never show anyone their work but I am lucky enough to have persuaded a few of them to have parted with some things.

And finally show us your products - finished in all of their professionally photographed glory!

Teapot 1.jpg

I asked Cecily why she loves her work and she gave this very poetic answer that feels like a nice way to finish our interview. As makers we all need our sanctuary but perhaps for some that isn’t a real space but the work itself.

“I feel calm when I am drawing. I switch off from all the noise of the world and am focusing on a simple task. I suppose it’s how other doing a jigsaw or a crossword. To me it’s a form of problem solving which demands a pure focus. It is free of stress or worry, just a task.”

You can find all of Cecily’s products on her website or hopefully at one of our future shows!