This is where I’m staying, I’m riding the wave
Thomas Longden, Manchester based ceramics artist is based out of the Mayfield Depot. He’s been apart of the ‘Standard Practice’ collective for almost 3 years now, helping run their workshops, teaching members of the public the art of pottery. Find out more and sign up to the Creative Scale up Programme
So what did Thomas have to say?
How did you get into pottery?
I started off being creative as a kid, my mum’s an amazing artist, so I was always trying to live up to her level. I was really bad at painting, really really bad at painting, really bad with computers. And then clay came along and I kinda got a bit addicted to the sort of nature of creating things that exist in a 3d sort of world. I also was interested in creating functional products, I like the idea of people being able to use what I make in their day to day life.
How did working out of mayfield depot come about?
I’ve been involved with a company called standard practice for a years now since I graduated in 2017. Standard practice is great, they’ve got a load of connections all over the city and mayfield is one of the connections that they have, and I’ve very luckily to manage pottery over here. So the reason we get these spaces is to create more of a community in these areas, and thats hopefully what I’m achieving whilst being here.
What benefit does regenerating mayfield depot have for Manchester?
I think theres a few ways of regenerating areas; you can regenerate an area and you can just dump a load of offices in or you can just start sort of grass roots with a creative
environment, these creative environments are a bit more offering and engaging for the public. Everyone’s included in these projects, because some of them are free and some of them are quite cheap, so its opening the doors to as many people as possible really.
What’s it like being so hands on in the creative when your dealing with the modern day digital life?
I’ve been really lucky and fortunate with the network I’ve got, so I sort of live in a bubble. So I kind of feel relatively comfortable with the way its going, some mugs look better than others; but yeah I feel fortunate for the people that I know and happy to be in the position that I am.
What’s next for Tom?
I’ve sort of been riding this wave since I started college about 9 years ago now, just taking it day by day. I would like to go and do an MA down at royal college, id love to go to London for a bit and see what life is like down there but I also love Manchester, I’m northern so as long as theres opportunities for me here, this is where I’m staying. Im riding the wave.