Meet the Maker: Olivia Aspinall


Welcome springtime and welcome to another edition in our Meet the Maker series. This month Olivia Aspinall shares her world of design with us and what inspires her each day.   

meet the maker April Olivia Aspinall pelican story

Hi Olivia,  tell us about your discipline and where you are based?

My name is Olivia Aspinall and I run a surface design studio based in Nottingham. We produce handmade surfaces for use within interiors. 

What's your Pelican Story - what inspired you to start making?

It was my year studying Art Foundation that really kicked off my interest in making. When I studied it was such an open and free course and the tutors encouraged everyone to explore all the time. I started that year not really knowing what I wanted to do and ended up studying textile design at Central Saint Martins, which gave me a really good grounding in colour and design. After graduating I worked various jobs within the interiors industry, but ultimately knew I wanted to do something that involved hands on making. 

As a maker, do you have any questions you ask yourself before making a new piece or launching a new line? 

Quite a lot of questions. Who will want this? Do I need to make this? How can I make this better? How can I make this more sustainable? When i'm working on commissioned work a lot of these questions are already answered for me, which is reassuring that the piece I am creating already has a home. 

meet the maker April Olivia Aspinall pelican story

Which direction do you see yourself going in the future ?

I've recently moved to a bigger studio, which has allowed me to take on larger and more complex projects. I want to keep producing for one-off projects. These projects are always exciting and I like the problem-solving element of them. I will continue to develop new collections. I would like to work on some projects that involve more than just the surfaces, maybe moving slightly into interior architecture. I'd love to design restaurant or hotel interiors. 

What are the ingredients for great design and what's really exciting you at the moment in design? 

There have been lots of amazing new restaurant interiors recently. The perfect mixtures of materials, colours and furniture. These inspire me to create new surfaces that will work for these sort of spaces. 

Meet the maker April Olivia Aspinall pelican Story

Who or what inspires you creatively outside of homewares and design?

The mountains. I recently hiked around Yosemite.  The colours and textures were wonderful. 

If you weren't a maker, what would you be doing?

I have the illusion that I'd make a great detective.  

Favourite cities, places or people for inspiration?

I've just got back from LA and despite quite a lot of rain, when the sun did come out the colours were like nowhere else, very bright and fresh. Also the 40s interiors were all amazing, especially the bathroom and kitchen tiles.

Can’t live without…

Very boring. A morning cup of tea and a mid-morning coffee.

Should live without…

I'm slowly moving from vegetarian to vegan, so I should be living without eggs and cheese. It's proving a bit tricky for me so far. Oh and Easter chocolate!

Thank you Olivia! x

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