Bridget Hemmings: Creating an expression of Individuality

My name is Bridget Hemmings, I am a ceramicist based in Cheddar and really excited to be leading the Individuality Project coming to Bridgwater and Highbridge and surrounding villages in 2024.  The project has grown  from two other ceramic projects that I have led for Seed Sedgemoor: Cheddar individuality Project and CIP Come Home, where members of the community create small ceramic sculptures that represent their individuality.


My interest in ceramics began nearly nine years ago when I left my career in education, which I loved very much. The last 11 years of this, I was a headteacher in a school on the Quantocks in Somerset.  As my years in education ended, I never dreamt that I would have a career in ceramics – which I would also love! I spent the first eighteen months of this new path learning the trade from two different tutors and a lot of research and trials and tribulations with clay, working mostly with porcelain.  My pieces became popular and my business began to take off!

During this time, I was also the chair of Cheddar Artists, an annual walking trail. Along with the committee, we applied for funding and worked to create permanent art installations in Cheddar eg willow soay sheep.  I always felt that it would be great to have a permanent walking trail in Cheddar.  With this in mind, I applied for a commission from Seed Sedgemoor to do just this, and, in 2022 I was commissioned to lead the first project.

The Projects 

So, to date, I have run two ceramic projects that have been commissioned by Seed and am very much looking forward to the third project this year.  The projects all involve creating ceramic figures, bringing the local community together in creative workshops, working with a team, getting to know new people and of course having a lot of fun! 

The projects were all inspired by Anthony Gormley’s fields installations.  The intention has been to help bring the community together and celebrate their diversity and individuality. To celebrate that everyone is different and special. The ceramic figures would represent an aspect of everyone’s own individuality. The figures were created using six different types of clay to reflect diversity in our society.

Cheddar Individuality Project

The intention of this project was to create over 1,000 ceramic figures through community workshops. We set up a team of three ceramicist and an event organiser: Bridget Hemmings, Ella Phillips, Lucy Brown and Heidi Shakespeare.  Together we ran over 50 workshops and engaged over 1,000 participants.  Once all the figures were completed, we hosted a one day exhibition where all of the figures came together.  It was wonderful to see everyone’s creativity and hard work come together.  Following this  all of the figures became a walking trail in Cheddar gorge and village over the Summer of 2023.  It was truly amazing to have over 8,000 visits during that time!

Cheddar Individuality Project – Come Home

Following the Cheddar individuality Project, so many participants expressed an interest in making ceramic figures that they could keep. So, in the Autumn of 2023 we ran 10 workshops when people could come along and make a ceramic figure to take them home.  Once they were finished, participants could collect their figures and keep them. In this project 113 figures were created. 

And into 2024…

Now this year we are bringing the project wider with The Individuality Project. The intention is to; work with the community and bring people together, encourage people who may be isolated to take part, teach participants new skills and encourage creativity, also to create a walking trail in Bridgwater, Highbridge and outlying villages.

Already the Highbridge workshops are generating a lot of interest and we are working to add more and more workshops all the time. 

I look forward for more members of the wider Sedgemoor community to experience the workshops, getting together and expressing their individual creativity!