Desk Space: Jane James

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To some, a cluttered desk is a nuisance, yet to others, it’s an asset. This is exactly the case for Jane James, whose desk plays home to a multitude of ceramic implements, shells, driftwood, a sole coffee stirring stick (her favourite tool) and various on-going projects.

Does Jane’s desk illustrate an insight into her personality? Yes, she describes herself as having a cluttered brain, an individual who’s unable to throw anything away as she’ll always find a use for it. Her working space is the epitome of organised chaos, and although she likes the idea of a tidy desk, she feels that she wouldn’t be anywhere near as creative if her working space suddenly adopted a minimalistic form.

Jane studied a National Diploma in Art and Design, and then another in photography, yet ceramics wasn’t a vocation she pictured herself in. Handmade Coastal Ceramics was born from a hobby, which quickly evolved into a successful business.

Jane’s St Helier studio, which opened in March last year, is located close to the Central Market. This shabby chic space boasts a definite coastal theme and one that doubles up as an ample workspace as well as a gift shop. The benefit of combining the two allows budding artists to view a number of Jane’s works from start to finish. Both children and adults visiting the Paint-Your-Own-Ceramics area take inspiration from the surrounding artwork, whilst Jane gains her creativeness from the picturesque coastline that envelopes Jersey and holidays abroad – Antigua being one of her favourite destinations. She spends her free time scouring the local beaches for washed up driftwood, which she then incorporates into her art. The entire process is a very organic one.

The main concept behind this studio come gift shop is to offer local artists a platform in which to showcase and sell unique works of art. Broadening her production, she’s now opened another gallery and gift shop, situated in the charming Gorey Harbour. When I ask her what her preferred piece is, she tells me it’s at home – she won’t sell it until another favourite comes along!



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