Nurturing Future Innovators: Kevala’s Central Saint Martins London Internship Program

Nurturing Future Innovators: Kevala’s Central Saint Martins London Internship Program

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19 February 2024

Kevala’s Central Saint Martins London Internship Program

At Kevala, we believe in fostering creativity and empowering the next generation of design visionaries. As a testament to this commitment, our annual Central Saint Martins London Internship Program stands out as a key initiative, offering a transformative 6-month experience for 2-4 CSM London students. This program provides invaluable hands-on exposure across various departments, including Production, Technical, Sales, Design, and Kevala Studio.

Bridging academia and industry, our mission is the belief in the seamless integration of academic learning and practical application. The partnership with Central Saint Martins, renowned for producing some of the brightest talents in the design world, reflects this commitment. By hosting internship programs, we bridge the gap between classroom theory and real-world practice, allowing emerging talents to flourish in a professional setting.

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Meet Alessia and Jess, Ceramic students from Central Saint Martins London, UK.

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and your background in ceramics.

A: I’m Alessia from Sardinia, Italy. Art was a hobby until Covid prompted me to start university. Though initially interested in jewellery, I had a gut feeling that ceramics was my calling. With no prior background, it was a new world, but I fell in love instantly – I’m fascinated by the story that each unique ceramic piece holds.

J: I’ve always studied and loved art, but changed from painting to ceramics mid way through my first year at CSM, I feel I have a different approach to ceramics than others. Growing up in a family that also cherishes art, I’ve been immersed in its world my entire life. It’s a part of me that I couldn’t imagine living without.

Q: What intrigues you about the ceramic medium? 

A: Clay is the most adaptable material among all the crafting material I have worked with. It has more than 30.000 years of history and it’s been explored in so many different directions. Clay is everywhere in our daily lives, from practical items to exquisite art pieces. It blends seamlessly with materials like glass and metal, and some artists even incorporate textiles. I’m fascinated by its primordial state in the earth and how chemistry can transform it into vibrant colours. It reminds me of nature’s boundless potential and the endless possibilities it offers.

J: Ceramics let me bring the pictures and emotions in my mind to life. It’s satisfying for me to create with my hands. Having something tangible and weighty that you can touch at the end of it is a wonderful feeling. Until you begin working with ceramics, you don’t realise how fragile and temperamental the process can be, but that adds to its charm and makes it even more special.

Q: How do you see the intersection of clay and practicality in the day-to-day operations of Kevala?

A: Starting my internship at Kevala, I anticipated learning from a ceramics factory catering to major companies, but the experience exceeded my expectations. Kevala shares different approach to clay than I was accustomed to; attention to detail was crucial, and adaptability was key in the fast-paced setting. Each day brought new lessons as I navigated various departments.

Both CSM and Kevala shared commitment to recycling is evident. Zero-waste practices are emphasised, the versatility of clay allows for efficient reuse. Kevala actively collaborates with local companies to repurpose glass waste, prioritises recycled packaging, and implements recycling initiatives across its operations.

J: Kevala achieves something with clay that I hadn’t placed importance previously in my work. They create refined pieces of ceramics that are able to be produced over and over again. I always struggled with consistency, and it’s one of the things I really wanted to learn before coming here, as I want to be able to do both – create unique ‘wonky’ art as well as having the skills it takes to create classic functional ceramics.

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Kevala Image
Kevala Image

Q: Which department is your personal favourite so far and why?

A: My favourite department at Kevala has been the studio. As a teacher for throwing wheel and decoration, I initially felt shy demonstrating, but I quickly adapted. I enjoy meeting new people daily, sharing my passion for clay, and guiding students. Teaching isn’t easy; each student processes information differently, requiring patience and adaptability. Despite the challenges, forming bonds with students has been rewarding. Working with children aged 7 to 10 has been particularly fulfilling, though sometimes draining. This experience has sparked my interest in pursuing teaching as a ceramist in the future.

J: My favourite department so far is the lab, developing new glazes. I hadn’t done much glaze work before coming to Kevala, I’ve learnt a lot here about the methods and precision, that I never really understood or had time to learn properly before. It’s been very valuable to me. Even being around people so knowledgeable in their area of work is really inspiring and nice to be around.

Q: 4 words that sum up your experience at Kevala

A: Educative, surprising and Intense.

J: Kevala feels like family.

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Our internship program has been a breeding ground for success stories

Former interns have gone on to make waves in the ceramics industry, attributing their success to the valuable experiences gained at Kevala. From participating in major projects to developing key skills, the program has proven to be a springboard for launching fulfilling careers.


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