Artist Rosie Stonham stands in her workshop

Balance is important for artist Rosie Stonham. Her days are divided between the bustling metropolis of her hometown, London, and the workshop in rural Frome where her glass vessels are made. The Somerset village is surrounded by verdant pastures and woodlands, inspiring Rosie as she winds her way to the studio. “I do enjoy the excuse to drive out of the city and into the countryside.” The days in Frome are long, often beginning at dawn. In between melting glass in the hot furnace, she fuels herself with handfuls of cold grapes. “It’s the perfect complement to my craft,” she laughs.

Artist Rosie Stonham in her workshop

Rosie grew up in London, and she stayed local to complete her master’s degree at the Royal College of Art. It was during this programme that she first started working with glass, but her wider creative streak was always present. “As a child, whenever my mum asked me what I wanted to do with a free Sunday afternoon, I would say, ‘Make something!’” Rosie’s affinity for art persisted throughout her youth and carried her into a career in design. Following stints at several homeware brands, where she came up with concepts for furniture, lighting and textile products, she decided she didn’t want to be stuck behind a desk day in, day out. “That’s what drew me to ceramics and glass in the first place,” she says. “It’s a chance to be more connected with the material and to experiment in real-time.”

Blown-glass vases by artist Rosie Stonham

Her return to university precipitated a shift in focus, and in 2020, Rosie began creating her now-signature glass vessels. Inspiration came to her while reflecting on her studies in philosophy during school. “I tend to explore challenging periods in my life which made me think deeply about the world and life in general.” Led by her intuitive interests, Rosie decided she wanted her work to communicate something about consciousness. “I found it fascinating that our immaterial inner life was generated by the material of our bodies,” she explains. “I created a series of objects to reflect a fantasy imagining of the surfaces and textures within us.”

Artist Rosie Stonham works on her blown-glass vases

The glass vases Rosie has made for TOAST, which come in three different sizes, are a continuation of the body of work she produced while studying at the Royal College of Art. Collectively called Membrane Glass, the functional carafes, vases and glasses are designed to hold liquid, subtly mimicking the role of membranes in the body and the relationship between the outside and inside. “I’m very interested in narrative expressed through objects,” she says, pointing out other biological references in the pieces. “The collection features blues inspired by veins and eyes, and orange inspired by muscle fibres.” Rosie creates her vessels by scrunching up discarded newspaper into rough moulds – which are recycled afterwards – before blowing the glass by hand. As is the case with the human body, no two forms are exactly alike.

Artist Rosie Stonham stands in her workshop in Frome, Somerset

Working from the spare room in her London home, Rosie’s surroundings are bursting with colour and creative explorations. She already felt she was outgrowing the space, but with the exposure New Makers will surely award her, it may soon be time to relocate her studio. For Rosie, being accepted onto the programme was a proud moment, and the mentorship it will offer excites her. “I have always admired TOAST for its broad and diverse creativity,” Rosie says. “I am so pleased to be a part of this year’s New Makers.”

Discover our New Makers 2024 collection

Rosie wears the TOAST Garment Dyed Cotton Linen Neat Jacket and Minako Asawa Check Linen Trousers.

Words Bébhinn Campbell.

Photography by Safia Shakarchi.

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