Alice Shields is a ceramicist, drawn to the immediacy of the materials that she used in her work, which is delicate, detailed and colourful.

Her career has been varied, overcoming obstacles creatively. After graduating from a degree in ceramics at Bath Spa University, she found that she couldn’t afford any materials, despite having a sell-out degree show.

I only had a few bags of clay and some transparent glaze left over from university so I decided to get colour into my work by having my illustrations made into ceramic transfers.

Drawing had been a large part of her degree course and she loved doodling, “so it was a natural progression”.

This hands-on attitude has continued throughout her career, as she hand paints her works before firing them.

Alice, who lives in Southville, constantly experiments with colour, form and mark-making, and her exploration of different techniques has recently led to the launch of a range of porcelain jewellery. Pastel block colours take over from hand-drawn details, with the collage square stud earrings retaining the delicacy of her early work.

Alice’s passion for her work is obvious, and the city helps her stay inspired. “Bristol is such a creative city,” she says. “It is constantly creating and challenging ideas, and it attracts such a wealth of different makers, thinkers and do-ers.

Most of the friends I have made since moving here are all creatives, some of whom are self-employed as well, so we all help, inspire and support each other.

Alice’s generous nature runs through her work too. She uses her ceramics to draw attention to the plight of bees, with money from these sales going to the Bristol-based conservation charity Bee Bristol.

In spite of her impressive and varied CV with a range of home wares, textiles and stationary as well as jewellery, Alice insists “there is always so much to learn.” True to her word, she is excited to be going back to university this year to start her MA Ceramics degree.

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