London

Meet the artist who came all the way from Ireland to be a part of London's clay scene

The London Clay Art Centre is celebrating it's 10 year anniversary. The studio's International Artist in Residence Daumante Stirbyte says the centre is the best place to experiment with clay and create something special out of ordinary mud.

Daumante Stirbyte was the first international artist in residence at the London Clay Art Centre

Daumante Stirbyte, the international artist in residence at the London Clay Arts Centre, poses with her ceramic art piece Candice B. Fureal, inspired by a fusion of different insect features. (Sofia Rodriguez/CBC)

Daumante Stirbyte is happiest when sitting in a room with a big pile of mud in front of her. 

"It's a really special feeling to create something out of nothing," Stirbyte, the first international artist in residence at the London Clay Art Centre (LCAC) says when asked why she chose to make a living out of creating ceramic art. 

This year, the centre is celebrating 10 years since it first opened its doors in its current Old East Village location.

Stirbyte, originally from Lithuania, finished school at the National College of Art and Design in Ireland and decided to come to London two years ago after learning the residency program at the LCAC was one of the longest. 

Stirbyte calls these her smoulder babies. They're an extension of a bigger piece that also has the same soft and velvet looking surface. (Sofia Rodriguez/CBC)

"I was surprised with the difference between [Dublin] and London in the amount of interest ceramic has here," she said. 

"The LCAC make it so easy to access and it helps educate a lot of people. Back home, there weren't that may places where you could just come in for a couple of hours to spin the wheel, so it's really great to see that here."

She adds that peoples' love for this kind of art really makes it special. 

"Handmade things have more meaning. People love them more because they know someone put their blood, sweat and tears."

Stirbyte says these are part of her wall-hanging beetle collection. They're all made of porcelain with hand painted details. (Sofia Rodriguez/CBC)

Stirbyte makes sculptural ceramic pieces that are based on things found in nature. 

"I've always been fascinated with little things that go by unseen or unnoticed as we go about our very busy lives. That's the stuff I like to highlight," she said. 

Lately, she's been particularly inspired by deep-sea creatures and insects.

"I end up combining all the different elements and turn them into a brand new life form of strange and unusual creatures that don't exist in our world."

This weekend, Stirbyte, along with other artists from LCAC, will be showing off their work at the Fusion Clay and Glass Show in Toronto.