Hessa Al Ajmani

Visual artist & ceramicist

Frequently asked questions

image563

Where are you based?

I'm based in Ajman, UAE.

I’d love to learn what you do. Do you give workshops/courses?

I don’t, but there are many art institutes that do give pottery/ceramic workshops! Just google it and I’m sure that you’ll find one in your area.

How did you learn to work with ceramics? How long have you been doing it for?

I’ve been playing with all sorts of clay (air-drying, polymer, earthenware) since I was a child. I learned how to work with it professionally in university, but didn’t pick up the practice until about a year ago. I had to re-teach myself all the basics and do endless tests with clay consistency, form, texture, firings, etc. I’m still learning something new everyday!

Do you work on the wheel or do you hand-build with slabs?

I only work with hand-rolled slabs and shape them with plaster molds that I make myself.

Do you work at a studio, pottery center, or home?

I have my own studio and kiln at home.

Can I buy your work?

If it’s available on my online shop, then yes of course. 

image564

What's the material that you use called?

I use earthenware and stoneware clays to make my ceramics. I then glaze them with 100% lead-free and food-safe glazes. The white molds I sometimes use (and make myself) are made from different kinds of plaster.

I couldn’t find this piece on your shop. How can I buy it??

If it’s not listed on the website, then it’s either sold-out, going to be part of the next shop update, or not going to be sold. I will not take requests, so please be patient for the next shop update.

When is your next shop update?

Once I have a sizable batch to release. Most likely around the beginning of June.

Will you restock the same pieces I wanted?

Not necessarily. I do not produce solely for the purpose of selling. Everything that ends up in my online store was the result of an experiment that I was challenging myself with. If I keep producing the same things I will no longer be challenged, which bores me. So you’ll always see new things on my shop. However, I might have some of the best selling/most requested pieces again.

Can I request order this piece/can you customize it for me?

I prefer not to take requests because I like to keep my practice open for playful experimentation and not make it a job. If you appreciate seeing me make mistakes while trying new things and learn from them, you’ll understand.

image565

I have a restaurant/coffee shop/small party. Can I commission you to make a batch for me?

Please email me at hessaalajmani@gmail.com with full details of your timeframe/quantity/design etc.

Do you ship worldwide?

Yes!

Can I repost your image or write about your work in my blog?

For simple Instagram reposts, yes go ahead! Make sure not to crop or edit my photos and please tag me. For blog/magazine features, let me know beforehand so that I can provide you with further details of my work. Please share the link with me once it’s up :)

Where do you get your materials from?

Nowhere specific. I usually buy them from suppliers like Specialist Crafts or Art Central, or just order them online from ceramic supply websites.

Where did you buy your kiln from? Have you had any problems with it?

I ordered it through Art Central, who did a great job of shipping and installing it for me as well. No problems so far.

I don’t own a kiln or any materials, how can I start?

Find an art center near you that offers pottery classes and start there. Don’t rush to buy your own materials at first, especially not a kiln, until you’ve been doing it for a while and know for sure that this is what you want to practice on a daily basis. Many professional artists actually work out of these centers, which can offer good deals for long-term members. Don’t skip the basics and don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t work out perfectly from the beginning. That’s the charm of working with clay.

image566

At what temperatures do you fire your ceramics?

Since I work with both earthenware and stoneware, I fire at cone 05 and cone 5-6 respectively.

What happens with your broken ceramics?

If it’s greenware (unfired), then it can be recycled and reused. If it’s been bisque-fired, then I could use the broken pieces as test tiles for my glazes. If it’s been glaze-fired then I can practice my kintsugi skills on it! Either way, broken pieces give me the perfect opportunity to assess my work such as the thickness of clay, the occurrence of trapped air bubbles, or any weak points left behind by flower imprints.

What other art or crafts do you do?

Please check my portfolio page.

Got another question for me?

Leave it on my contact page!