Meet the Mafia – Julia Smith

Meet the Mafia is back with one of our new members, Julia Smith.

Why did you start in business/crafting?

My family are all creative people so making things and drawing has always been a natural thing to do.  My mum is a silversmith, my dad designs and builds cars, my brother is a film maker and my sister is a conservation officer in her day job but a crafty Mafioso type by night.  So when I decided I wanted to go to art school it wasn’t a complete let down to them.

How did you come up with your crafty name?

The studio and community art side of my business is called Deepfired.  A friend of mine suggested it when I was trying to think up a name and I liked it straight away.  I like how people call it Deepfried and then think that’s really funny.  My own ceramics is called Julia Smith Ceramics which isn’t very imaginative but I’m trying to be sophisticated.

Is your glass half full or half empty?

I am always worrying about something so I would say my glass is dry a lot of the time.

Butterfly Cup

What is your favourite thing that costs nothing?

I get a bit over excited when I find free bubble wrap.  I often go for a rummage at the Glasgow Play-schemes Association’s scrap store (Langside Lane near Victoria Road).  It’s not free but close to it and they sell things like empty Lush tubs, big sheets of cardboard, rolls of paper, and lots of obscure things which I don’t know why I want them but I do. Another free thing I like is to say hello to people’s dogs and give them a tickle.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

Mostly from my bike ride through the park on my way to the studio in the morning

Top 5 desert-island essentials?

A helicopter, a pilot, David Attenborough, Ray Mears and some veggie sausages

Plant Bowl

What is the ugliest most pitiful thing you’ve ever made?

A strange friend of mine asked me to make her a big realistic pig’s head to hang on her wall.  I love pigs but that thing was ugly and a bit terrifying!

What have you made that you’re most proud of?

My homemade pizza always makes me proud

What’s so great about Glasgow?

My favourite places are the vegan restaurants; 78, Mono, Stereo, The 13th Note and Grassroots, my studio in Govan, The GFT, the Glasgow University gym and my friend’s houses.


Favourite biscuit?

Is a flapjack a biscuit?  That would be my favourite if it is because I’m quite greedy and they are usually pretty large.

What crafts do you still want to learn?

Knitting properly- I do it really tight.  I would like to be patient enough to sew better and I want to learn how to screen print on fabric.

What is your idea of a perfect day?

The one on the dessert island

What do you do in your day-to-day life, other than being a mafioso?

I mostly do projects with primary school kids making ceramic murals or sculptures for their schools.  I also teach evening and daytime classes for adults at my studio.

Knots Bowl

What is your favourite crafting tool?

I love my gocco printer.

What are your plans for the future?

To keep doing what I’m doing but shift the balance to less teaching, more making.

All items are available to buy from Julia’s etsy shop. You can also find out more information about Julia’s community art over at the Deepfired site.

Thanks Julia!

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