DESIGN CONVERSATIONS | Ceramic Designer Anthony Horrigan
Awards and Supports, design conversations, Resources

Ceramic Designer Anthony Horrigan speaks to Future Makers about crossing the boundaries of gallery ceramics and working within Industry.

Anthony received the 2013 Future Makers Student Innovation Award for his Amalgam collection. This collection of canisters were cast in fine bone china, laser etched into glaze, and gilded by hand in burnished gold and platinum.

He currently works as a ceramic designer is the giftware industry designing for the established Irish ceramics company Belleek Pottery, and previously Aynsley China and Marks & Spencer.



How do you compare designing for industry to your own design practice? 
My work is varied, from small batch craft items that explore new technologies aimed at the gallery, to mass market design aimed at the high street. Obviously making work for the gallery comes with great creative freedom and kudos. Having said that it is nice to know that some of the products I have designed are accessible to a wider audience, and are being used everyday in people’s homes throughout Ireland and the UK. Both have there own advantages and frustrations for sure, but for me the process of bringing a project from a germ of an idea to a final product is the part I enjoy, whichever the setting.

What type of brief or project do you enjoy working on the most and why? 
Currently I enjoy working on collaborative projects, where I get to work as part of a team, I find its useful to bounce ideas off other creatives, the results can be really interesting.

What tool could you not do without when it comes to design? 
Everything I design begins with a sketch, in some form or another. This may be with pen and paper, or on the computer, but the start of all my designs start with drawing, so I would say a pen!

Examples of Anthony’s work for Aynsley China and Marks & Spencers

How has your work progressed since winning Future Makers in 2013? 
I now work as an in-house designer for the Belleek Pottery Group; I have the opportunity to work on designs for multiple brands, and a variety of products, from tableware, giftware, cutlery, packaging and many other things. Bringing innovation and new ideas to a company that has existed in Ireland for over 150 years is an exciting prospect for a young Irish ceramic designer.

Did winning Future Makers have any positive effect on you and your designer profile? 
For such a small country we have a surprising level of support for makers etc. there are some fantastic supports out there! I have been lucky enough to receive some of them myself, the Future Makers student innovation award among them. Winning a Future Makers award can be beneficial financially, but more importantly it legitimises your work, and garners great publicity and connections that promote your work and talent.

What advice would you give to young makers and designers thinking of applying for future makers? 
Take your time when filling out your application, be thorough, don’t be afraid to ask for help and make sure you apply for the most appropriate award for your work. Make sure your photos are of good quality and be prepared to drop off and pick up your work if you get shortlisted.

Thank you to Anthony Horrigan for allowing Future Makers a sneak peak into his workspace and giving us insight into the ceramics industry.

About Futuremakers

The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland's "Future Makers Awards and Supports" provide support for the next generation of makers to learn, experience, investigate, develop, create and shape the future of Irish craft. Future Makers fund: research, training, residencies, materials, exhibitions and much more.

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