Agalis Manessi

Agalis Manessi graduated from BA Ceramic Design in 1976. She draws inspiration from ceramic folk traditions, updating centuries-old Maiolca for the contemporary world.

Why did you choose ceramics?

I was inspired to experiment with clay by one of my tutors at Hammersmith College who was a member of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and I loved the stuff.

What are your best memories of studying at CSM?

Monday mornings with Gordon Baldwin, Thursdays drawing with Geoffrey Rodgers, exposure to many other creative disciplines.

What is your worst memory of studying at CSM?

Terrifying drawing crits.

How did the course shape and define your future career?

It inspired me to make it my life’s work. 

What are the main differences in education between then and now?

I worked part-time in further education for nearly forty years and watched the resources and interest expand and then sadly in the last decade everything became squeezed to the point where very few courses were left and yet the demand for access to ceramics has been increasing.

Why do you continue to work in ceramics?

I continue to work with clay, after 40 years I feel I am just about getting somewhere, too late to stop now!

How do you perceive the value of ceramics?

It allows opportunity for limitless personal expression across a range of abilities.

What excites you about ceramics today?

Stretching creative boundaries, there is always something new happening. 

What do you see in the future for ceramics?

Lots of scope for public engagement that hopefully might alert the powers that be into the value for expanding more opportunities to work with clay.