Meet Lucy Fergus, founder of Re-Silicone, an artist maker who produces bespoke eco-conscious products and large-scale installations made from re-used rubber silicone.
SSH: Tell us about your creative practice?
Lucy: There are 3 elements to my work: public installations, accessories and workshops/community arts. I enjoy having different projects on the go, it certainly keeps me on my toes! I’m proud of the fact that I’m not just being creative and making things, but using materials that otherwise would be land-filled. There is an educational aspect to my work as people are not necessarily aware of industrial waste and it’s implications on our environment. Creative workshops are a big part of my practice and link directly in with it. I think it’s important to share information and skills with others. I love making Re-silicone key rings with the public and run workshops for outpatients at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. It’s amazing to see how such a simple technique can inspire and engage the children and their parents.
SSH: Tell us about your background?
Lucy:I studied Woven Textiles at Glasgow School of Art followed by a post-graduate course at Central St Martin’s College of Art & Design in London called Design for Textile Futures. In 2007 I founded Re-silicone, using industrial rubber silicone off-cuts to produce bespoke lighting, rugs and jewellery. As the supply of silicone is dependent on customer demand and specification, the element of unpredictability is a key feature of the Re-silicone brand, celebrating the concept of waste and re-use to inform the design process. I’m very fortunate to have the support of the iconic and quintessentially British hairbrush manufacturer, Mason Pearson, using their natural rubber off-cuts for large-scale installation pieces. Recent projects include Elephant Parade London 2010, the COLLECT Trail for the Crafts Council and Unite for Craftscotland.
Having recently re-located to Glasgow after 5 years in London I’m thoroughly enjoying all the city has to offer, meeting new people and reacquainting myself with old friends and contacts.
SSH: So what's your favourite piece of work ?
Lucy: I love creating large-scale installation pieces, especially in outdoor and public spaces. I contributed to the Elephant Parade London last year by covering a life-sized model of a baby elephant in orange rubber off-cuts. The art works were displayed around London and auctioned by Sotheby’s, with proceeds going to the conservation of the Asian elephant. I was very attached to my elephant Mason; he was such a big part of my creative life for 3 months and proved to be very popular with the community of designer/makers at my studio.
SSH: So what are you currently working on?
Lucy: I’m currently putting the finishing touches on an installation for a touring exhibition called Art+Play, which is a collection of interactive art works aimed at 0-5 year olds. For the past 7 months I have been working with nursery staff and children in North Lincolnshire to develop a series of tactile wall panels using orange rubber off-cuts.
SSH:What key piece of advice do you wish you'd known?
Lucy: Make time to enjoy a balanced lifestyle. Self employment and a creative mind is a liberating yet lethal combination - work can easily take over every aspect of your life so in order to stay motivated and inspired I always make time for family, friends and fresh air.
SSH: Have you a favourite Southside place or event?
Lucy: I’m training for the Moonwalk in Edinburgh so I’ve become very familiar with the south side on foot. I love the bridge at Snuffmills beside Linn Park - it’s like a step back in time and the buildings overlooking the river Cart are beautiful. Then again, you can’t beat ibop Fridays for dancing fun times.
SSH: Name another Southside creative whose work you admire?
Lucy: The multi-talented and ever enthusiastic Helen MacVey, one half of Maiden Glasgow, a blossoming Glasgow based jewellery partnership. www.maidenglasgow.com
SSH: If money was no option what would you change about the Southside?
Lucy: I would definitely bring back Muirend cinema, it was so cosy and convenient.
SSH: Tell us another fact or story about yourself
Lucy: I slept in a white-washed, carpeted garden shed for 6 months when I lived in a disused handbag factory in east London - surprisingly comfortable!