Alex May Hughes is the best sign writer you ever did see. Based in faaaaaaar West London, she works almost exclusively with precious metals like 23ct gold and mother of pearl and she’s getting herself prepped for a solo exhibition in November. So we thought we’d ask her about it.
Hey Alex, how’s it going?
It’s going really well thank you, how’re you?
Not so bad, thanks. So, you have your first show in two bloody years – what’s it all about and how is it better than the last one?
I am! I try to have an exhibition of my own work every two years to force myself to take a break from commission-based work to get all the things I’ve had in the back of my mind committed to glass. My job has changed so much in the past two years; I feel the new stuff I’ve been making for the show next month is a lot more involved and ambitious (in terms of technical processes and content) than my last show in 2016.
It’s no secret that you’re an avid fanatic of The Simpsons; if Matt Groening commissioned you to make piece for him of one single Simpson’s moment, which would you choose? (You can have the film as well as all the tv episodes)
Ah! That’s a tough one! I think it’d be a Bart from the late 80′s Simpsons, I LOVE the style of drawing in those episodes – really loose and stylish.
Is 23ct gold valuable? Why don’t you use 24ct? What difference does a carat make?
It is valuable, the the higher the carat, the better the quality of gold – the difference in price between 23ct and 24ct can be fairly large but the overall finish is very, very similar – so I use 23!
Do you constantly have gold fingertips?
Yes. I guess there are worse things to get from your job; I have had small kids inconspicuously trying to pick little bits of gold leaf off my jacket on the train.
Do you enjoy the fact that you work in an old school medium, which translates so well to the relatively new world of social media?
The most enjoyable part of my job is using my hands and getting to work with amazing materials like gold so it’s a bonus that it translates well to social medias like Instagram and it opens people up to the idea of traditional sign making processes they may have never seen before
Where can we see more of your work?
My instagram is @alexmayhughes where I post new work everyday, if you’d like to see it in real life I’m having my third solo show: ‘Triple Double’ on the 15th of November at Mother London in east London – details and RSVP can be found here.