Following an epiphany in a jungle in the South Pacific, Ru Raynor realised she was never happy if she was without the tools and the space to make. It was this sentiment that led her to apply for the Ceramic Design BA at CSM, having previously studied ceramics at A level at the Henley College.
Her work is mainly figurative, with a strong autobiographical element and often produced with an element of humour. Future aspirations include working as a maquette maker in animation or video game design, living off the grid for at least a year, and being the first person to create a ceramic piece from Martian clay.
Do you consider yourself an artist or designer?
-Probably an artist-maker. That’s what it says on my business cards.
Which artists/designers do you admire?
-In terms of ceramics, I love the work of Richard Notkin, who does some powerful anti-war pieces, and Justin Novak, a figurine maker. Other than that, I really admire Hayao Miyazaki, the founder of Studio Ghibli, and Shigeru Miyamoto, a video game designer from Nintendo responsible for some of the most iconic games and characters.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
-Is it sad to say “the internet”? Because I think it’s a fantastic resource for connecting with new ideas from around the world. It can be very inspiring. I also love drawing inspiration from sci-fi, comics and animation, as well as bold, graphic graffiti art. But you can get great ideas just from watching people in every day life.
What has been the best thing about studying at CSM?
The overall journey, really. The whole process has been a bit like being a pot- you start out green, get rearranged at an almost molecular level and come out harder but still pretty fragile. It’s a good process.
How does your degree show project differ from your other work?
It’s much happier than my last project and more graphic with less modelled detail. My last project was extremely autobiographical and very personal, and to be honest I found the whole process quite painful, so I’ve gone in a new and brighter direction with this one. There’s going to be a lot less fussy, psychotic detail, and I’ve gone back to slip casting so I can make limited edition series of figurines.
Are you involved in the creative world outside of university?
I work occasionally as an artist’s model, intern with ceramic artist Anna Barlow, and make stuff in other mediums in my spare time- mainly textiles.
Any plans following graduation?
I’ve been thinking about teaching English in another country (possibly Hong Kong) or getting an artist’s residency abroad, but at the moment I’m keeping things open because you never know when an opportunity will pop up.
Anything else we should know about you?
I’m still a bit paranoid that one day the establishment will realise I applied to art school as a joke and kick me out.