CRAFT CUBED: JENNIFER CONROY SMITH

When asked about her practice and studio, Jennifer Conroy Smith speaks of being patient and calm. These qualities are evident in her ethereal porcelain sculptures, that are on show as part of the Craft Cubed Window Walk. We were able to to speak with Jennifer to gain some insights into her artistic process. 

What is your earliest craft memory?

My Mum was a huge influence on my creativity from being a very young age, and influenced my love of Art, Fashion and Music. 

We'd always work on different creative projects together from clay, to painting, to making clothes, all the while listening to lots of music from the 60's!

She has lots of my porcelain and glass work scattered around the house and garden. As my family are in the UK, Mum's always telling me that I'm still there really, as she has my creative projects to enjoy every day!

What is your philosophy or motto when it comes to creativity?

To follow my gut instincts and to keep pushing the boundaries. 

What are you reading OR listening to at the moment?

I currently have two books on the go, 'The White Road...A Journey into Obsession' by acclaimed ceramicist Edmund De Waal, and 'The Descent of Man' by Grayson Perry.

How would you describe your studio or making environment?

My studio is calm, organised and usually has several projects on the go at once. 

Part of my practice involves making multiples of porcelain components, that once gathered together create a larger sculptural form, usually working with hundreds to sometimes thousands of porcelain pieces, so good organisation is key!

How does "good" craft make you feel?

Good Craft for me shows skill, patience, and a respect for the material. 

Work can often evolve after years of study and investigation, and I value the commitment made to the material and the expertise taken to make it. 

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What is your dream craft collaboration - if history and geography and money was no barrier?

That's a difficult one to answer and would likely take me a very long time to pinpoint one in particular! 

I recently created two suspended installations for Aesop Collins St, and that was a dream collaboration for me. I have long admired their relationship with design, meticulously created interiors and of course their incredible products. The partnership of their minimal interiors and dark tones with my porcelain was a dream combination. 

I am interested in exploring my suspended installations on a much larger scale with Interior Architects. There are some exciting projects in the pipelines so watch this space.....!

What other Craft Cubed events are you excited about? 

I'm looking forward to seeing the Somali Aqal hut installation take shape, with Muhubo's skilled weaving. 

Supporting migrants and refugees is very close to my heart, and Space 2b is such an incredible organisation, supporting talented Artists and Makers.