Meet the Makers: Debbie Carne of Alijoedesigns
This is the fifth in our series of maker interviews produced by The City Story.
Debbie Carne is the owner and creator behind alijoedesigns a one-woman studio that breathes new life into vintage ceramic plates. We talk to Debbie about her creations and what it means to be a maker in London.
WORDS BY THE CITY STORY TEAM
The City Story: When did you kickstart alijoedesigns?
Debbie Carne: I officially launched in May 2014 but was working with vintage plates for a few months before that.
TCS: How did you came upon the idea of ceramic decals?
DC: I went on a short course at Morley College about applying decals to ceramics. I loved it and was sufficiently inspired to try out some concepts at home. The lightbulb moment came when I saw the fabulous impact of juxtaposing collage and quirky imagery onto pretty vintage plates – by making my own decals, I was reinventing the decorative plate.
TCS: Do you do all the work yourself or do you have a team?
DC: Absolutely – it is just me!
TCS: Where is your studio located? What do you like most about that neighbourhood?
DC: I work from home in Highgate, North London. I have lived much of my life in the area and love it – it is a village and feels very countrified yet it is really quick to get in to the Centre.
TCS: How do you choose your designs?
DC: They tend to come to me any time and anywhere – often in the middle of the night! I work with concepts, and sometimes, the original plate design will spark an idea or I will think of something that could work well on a plate.
TCS: Do you have a favourite among all the decals you’ve worked on?
DC: That's a tricky one but I think I would choose my Twisted Leg Collection and the various ideas “On Tap”.
TCS: What’s the best part about being a maker in London?
DC: I can’t imagine living or working anywhere else, and being so close to so many places to visit and explore means that inspiration is potentially on tap whenever required.
TCS: Let us in on a London insight.
DC: I walk as much as I can in London. It's the best way to experience the myriad of architectures and cultures from one street to the next – however well you think you know London, you never quite know what will be around the corner.