Amie Rowswell: Age 20, Amie lives at Whitley Bay, a place where the sand and sea continually inspire her creative work. At school, Amie had planned to study for a biomedical science degree, but at the last minute made a radical switch to art (another favourite subject). But even now, she still looks to nature and biology for her subject matter. Her passions are cats and horses, which she loves to paint and draw - and also running, which she trains for relentlessly (she is doing the BUPA Great North Run this year). Right now, she’s experimenting with different glass forms and techniques, looking to find her signature style.
James Douglass: After getting an ‘A’ level in Art at Heaton Manor, James went backpacking around Western Europe for six weeks. He then did a diploma in Art & Design at Newcastle College, experimenting with photography, then eventually specialising, and achieving a distinction, in Ceramics. Now doing his BA, he is refining his ceramic technique, improving kiln packing and firing, and trying out Japanese methods such as Hakeme (white slip applied freely with a brush) and chattering (where a metal tool is used to make regular impressions on the clay surface). He is also experimenting with slow-firing over two to three weeks; as well as crackle glazes, gold leaf and lustres. His goal is to apply for PGCE training, then gain employment as a technician.
Laura Carter: Dog-lover Laura once wanted to be a vet but did some work in a practice and changed her mind. She went to college in 2001 to study Art and English. After a number of career changes, and periods of life coping with depression, she eventually turned to this degree course to help her find a new way. She likes to use found objects in her work. During her foundation course, she created ‘The Gentleman’s Crafting Club’ - an installation and performance piece; and, later, ‘The Art of Collection’ - a curiosity cabinet, whose contents could be swapped with people all over the world.
Amber King: Fiercely independent, Amber moved away from home at 16 and has lived on her own ever since. She spent a period of time camping, backpacking and living outdoors - with her valuables stuffed in her socks! Now aged 23, she is still enjoying the challenge of learning something new. Through studying for a BA, she wants to enhance her life experience, express herself more creatively and get a career underway. Her work has evolved from an interest in natural forms to towards integrating science and technology into her art, currently by exploring the unseen world of data visualisation.
Emma Baker: As a child, Emma was a real ‘tomboy’, enjoying sports and snowboarding. But injuries - and a fractured coccyx - put paid to thoughts of a career in sports and instead she turned to art for self-expression. She says she felt she flunked college, even though she gained 2 ‘A’ levels. After college, she went to work in an architect’s office, doing admin and CAD design, but couldn’t settle. Eventually, she decided on a foundation course in Applied Art & Design at Bournemouth University. A two-week placement with glassblower Catherine Wade from Gate Gallery Glassworks, Brecon, Wales, inspired her as a glass artist and, when Bournemouth’s glass course closed last year, she opted to move to Sunderland to continue her BA studies.