Maker in residence: Bruno Schooling.

In association with NOMA, we continue our maker in residence series, which aims to champion and celebrate local creatives; those pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and what’s coming next.

From woodwork to ceramics and biomaterials, we welcome all disciplines and showcase grassroots making at its very best. Nurturing emerging talent is an extremely important part of our ethos at Material Source Studio, and so we’re delighted to share this space.

Next up is Bruno Schooling showcasing his project, Ground - an ongoing collaboration with Keepers Cottage Organics to source bones from outdoor reared animals as well as wild, foraged clay from the land they graze on.

Using these local materials and by-products, Bruno has reconceptualised the 18th-Century recipe for bone china to make a series of narrative-led, ceramic objects that characterise the landscape of the bone and clay’s origin, while responding to the ethos of nose-to-tail cooking.

Learn more about Bruno's work below, and pop into Material Source Studio, 1 Federation Street, Manchester, to view his work up close.

How did you get started in design?

"I recently graduated from the Product Design and Craft course at Manchester School of Art. The course was fantastic and really encouraged me to explore a whole host of workshops and different disciplines within design."

Can you briefly explain your making process?

"The process is really important to me as a maker. The outcome is just an element of my work - it is the tactile, tangible making process that really inspires me. My project, Ground, is led by the processes, from the sourcing of the materials, to working with the clay body on the wheel.

"In regards to how I actually make my reconceptualised bone china - I follow the traditional process of making bone ash, calcifying bones in a kiln, However, I don’t then incorporate the bone into a fine stoneware like the tradition recipe. But a wild, foraged earthenware from the land the animals once grazed. This produces a clay body that naturally links to the specific animal and farm that they once grazed."

How important is material research and sourcing to your end product?

"It’s really important for me, by collecting and processing all my own materials from Keepers Cottage farm, the final form, texture and colour will inherently reference their provenance. As I work with the material in an unrefined state, the clay body contains rocks and, lumps and other natural impurities. Technically, these inclusions are uncooperative and awkward, however, working this way provides me with a much greater inspiration and satisfaction of both process and outcome."

How would you describe your local creative scene?

"For the past year, I have been based from Merseyway Workshop in Stockport, a high street community making space. It has been fantastic to meet so many creative and inspiring people. Stockport is continuing to welcome more and more makers and artists which is great."

What does it mean to be maker in residence at Material Source Studio?

"It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase the material abundances of a small farm in the Peak District.

"I’m interested in exploring other decorative uses for the clay body, not just limiting it to tableware. Material Source will be great inspiration for this, and hopefully it’s something I can develop whilst being the Maker in residence."

What are you working on next?

"I have recently been developing a new clay body, made up of bone from wild venison that was sustainably culled in the Peak District, with clay that I foraged from the moorland where the Venison roamed."