Meet the Maker: Haus of Lucy

After stumbling across @hausoflucy on Instagram we became lost in her world of her reimagined kitsch figurines & antique paintings. Sourcing from junk shops, boot fairs & eBay Lucy brings these antique figurines back to life with packets of Wotsits & the weekly Sainsburys shop.

We commissioned Lucy to create some Oaf figurines for our Spring collection, Trash & Treasure, launching on Thursday 11th February.

Hey Lucy, how are you? How has 2021 been for you so far?

I'm Ok thanks. I have my up days and my down days but today feels positive. I have my health, and my parents have had their vaccines so that's all good, but I'm feeling the impact of lockdown in terms of art shows and exhibitions not being able to go ahead. At this time there is usually a spring event to prepare for and focus on, so I am creating my own projects to stay motivated. But so far, so good! Like everyone, I'm looking forward to some blue skies coming soon...

We came across you on Instagram & were immediately hooked! How did you get into transforming ceramic figurines?

Thanks! I had an epiphany in an Emmaus charity shop. I saw a figurine of a lady with her hands up near her mouth and all I could think was that she needed a burger with ketchup dripping out onto her dress. I bought her and then some Fimo (a plasticine-like clay which you can oven bake) and taught myself, with the help of YouTube, how to make a tiny burger. That was it, the floodgates opened and I haven't stopped since!

Meet the Maker: Haus of Lucy Meet the Maker: Haus of Lucy Meet the Maker: Haus of Lucy

Where do you go when you’re looking for inspiration?

In 'Normal Times', Charity shops, junk shops, antique shops and car-boot sales, but now I browse eBay for figurines which 'speak to me'. I also create digital prints so I take inspiration from everyday life. The news, what we're watching on Netflix, the clothes we're wearing, the food we're eating. I find having a walk is very helpful for the thought process. I write a bio for every figurine I produce so I spend a lot of time dreaming up backstories for my creations.

How do you stay creative whilst stuck in lockdown?

Sometimes it's hard! But because I get my inspiration from life, it's all around me and I can react to it quickly. For example, if I make a piece where the figurine is watching something on a laptop, I have fun deciding what they'll be viewing. Bridgerton, Flea Bag and even Porn Hub have featured on the tiny screens! I find the creative process keeps me going. During the first lockdown, I reacted to the panic buying by creating a range of mask-wearing figurines with shopping (including loo roll) all around them.

Meet the Maker: Haus of Lucy Meet the Maker: Haus of Lucy Meet the Maker: Haus of Lucy
"3 words to describe Haus of Lucy:
Daft, creative, introverted. "

What is the best thing about working as an artist and creative?

Being my own boss! I can decide what I need to do that day and if I want to stop for a coffee & massive piece of cake, I can! I love the inclusivity of Instagram and interact with the community as much as I can. Again, in 'Normal Times' I'd be showing my work publicly and meeting people which I can't do at the moment, but I truly feed off that. I love the thrill of having a new idea and running with it. Right now I am working on a series of flying geese wall ornaments, but with a Haus of Lucy twist - they've all been shot.

Do you have a specific design process?

Because my work is so varied, I have lots of different processes. With the figurines there is lots of fiddly work with Fimo and paint, and with the digital prints it's all photoshop based. The flying geese require working with moulds and plaster of paris. I'm also doing a lot of research into the 3D printing process.

Meet the Maker: Haus of Lucy Meet the Maker: Haus of Lucy

What does a typical day in your life look like now?

A typical day sees me wake up at 6.15 and scroll the socials in bed with tea, then get up and go for a 10k run. After breakfast (muesli with soya yoghurt) and a shower, I make it a priority to put on a proper ‘work day’ outfit and make-up so I feel ready to start my day, (despite the fact I wear a dressing gown over the top of my clothes). If I stayed in pyjamas I think I’d start to feel depressed pretty quickly. I sit down with GMB on TV and start work whilst shouting at Piers Morgan. To my shame, I keep daytime TV on for most of the day as it keeps me company and I’ve become very fond of Holly & Phil! My husband Jason & I have just moved to Brighton and my studio isn't yet up & running, so I’m currently working from the dining room table.

I break off for lunch around 1 (huge salad, tofu, beans) then continue for a couple of hours in the afternoon. I package up orders and try to do some general admin. Shipping my pieces is a huge challenge. I recently had two disasters where both pieces were completely destroyed in the post so I am trying to find new ways to ship. If a customer lives locally I’ve always been able to hand deliver but this current situation has had a massive impact on that. In the afternoon I go for a walk along the seafront which is great and not only blows away the cobwebs but gives me inspiration for my work. I always listen to a podcast when I walk (love Adam Buxton, Louis Theroux & All Killa no Filla). Back to work for a couple of hours, then dinner, and evenings are spent ploughing through Netflix. I've just discovered Once Upon A Time which is the best for escapism.

Who would be your dream collaboration?

It’s such a cliché but Banksy. I do feel we think along similar lines and to collaborate with him/her would be a dream come true. I've 'pimped' up old paintings only to find he's done the same thing. Otherwise, I love what Miss Bugs and Sarah Maple do.

If you had to pick one favourite piece that you’ve ever made, what would it be?

One of my favourites would be 'Superstar DJ' which was originally a lady seated at a piano, but I transformed her into a DJ by making headphones, decks, turntables and lots of tiny records. Mark Ronson bought that piece.

What’s your best charity shop / boot fair find?

Not one thing in particular, but it's great to find a job lot of figurines at a boot sale because they can be really expensive!

Meet the Maker: Haus of Lucy Meet the Maker: Haus of Lucy

What’s trash, but treasure to you?

SO much! I love to take old oil paintings and 'update' them by adding in new elements (I recently added a banana boat into a painting of a ship on a choppy sea), ceramic figurines which everyone else has dismissed as being tacky; we just moved into a house which hasn't been decorated since the 70s and we've kept the turquoise bathroom suite because it's amazing! We even have a dolly loo roll lady! I definitely see the beauty in things which are considered ugly.

Where’s your favourite place to bag a second hand win?

Charity shops in small towns are treasure troves, more so than big cities. You can find so many amazing china figurines in those shops!

Meet the Maker: Haus of Lucy