Marvellous Mosaics with Thanet’s Amy Exton

Amy Exton is a Thanet based designer specialising in mosaics and interiors.

 

CommunityAd had the pleasure of chatting with Amy Exton to find out what makes mosaics so unique and how relocating to Thanet helped her hone her craft.

 

Can you explain to readers how you first got into making mosaics? Did you have any particular role models or inspiring figures that motivated you to work and embrace your artistic ability?

After working as a set designer for ten years, which is a very fast paced and high stress industry, I decided I wanted to change paths. Having always wanted to learn a traditional craft and have a studio practice, I decided on mosaics as it tied in nicely with my interior design work. I love the slow pace of mosaics, and the fact that they have to be made by hand – there’s no shortcuts. The design philosophy of William Morris and the Arts & Crafts movements has always been a huge inspiration to me – with the belief in the value of traditional crafts, made by hand by skilled artisans, rather than by machine. I was trained at London School of Mosaics and graduated in 2023, and now work on a commissions basis in my Margate studio.

 

From a personal perspective what would you say have been your favourite pieces you have worked on?

I really enjoy each project I work on. I’m strict on only taking on commissions which I get to design myself, or which at least suit my own aesthetic, and that means I’m never working on something I don’t love. I think my favourite piece so far has to be my rose bathroom splashback which was commissioned for a beautiful cottage in Norfolk.

You currently run mosaic workshops, what could readers expect if attending one of these?

I run a series of different workshops. In the classic mosaic workshop guests make their own mini mosaic, using the traditional method where ceramic and glass tiles are cut and shaped by hand. I also run pixel tile workshops, a concept I designed for larger scale corporate workshops but which also work for smaller groups and parties. This method uses machine cut glass tiles and guests follow a simple template and apply the tiles onto a grid – similar to following a cross stitch pattern. I’ll also soon be running longer courses where I guide guests through making their own larger design.

 

Art can speak to us in many different ways and resonate deep with our own experiences. Can you explain how art makes you feel and the personal connection you have with it?

I personally love the decorative arts, and the way ornamentation is used in architecture and interiors to make spaces and objects rich and beautiful. I love looking at the craftmanship – wondering how things have been made, and about the people who made them. Traditional craftspeople, who would have been highly skilled and dedicated their lives to mastering their crafts, would usually remain uncredited, so I like to imagine who they might have been and celebrate their skill.

 

How does living in Thanet inspire your work?

Moving to Margate in 2012 helped me to embrace a slower pace of life than that which I had in London, so it’s because of living here that I’ve been able to find the time to learn my new craft and set up the studio.

 

How can local readers keep up to date with your work? 

Instagram is the best way to keep up to date with my work – @amyexton, and I always advertise my workshops on my social media too. More of my work can also be found on my website www.amyexton.com and people can get in touch with me directly if they’re interested in a commission [email protected].

 

Keep your eyes peeled as you explore Thanet in the wonderful spring/summer seasons; you never know when an Amy Exton original might pop up!

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