My loves welcome to another exquisite edition of Fervor Friday, and it is a real honor to bring to you the incredibly beautiful and talented goddess Adele Brydges. A true artist splicing together art, sensuality, and desire utilizing ceramic molding in an incredibly romantic way, beautifully crafting intimacy tools that can take your sexuality on a sacred ecstatic path that unites you to the primal core of your sexual life force. I have been admiring her and the beauty of her craftsmanship via social media for some time now, and it is with great pleasure that I bring you this phenomenal woman, without further ado I bring you the Goddess of sensuality Adele Brydges.
Adele Brydges is a British Designer with passion for technique, exceptional materials, quality craftsmanship and a commitment to conscious sourcing.
Motivated by the sensual, authentic nature of tactility and the beauty of juxtaposing materials, she creates couture sensual tools and evocative objects with a strong design aesthetic which celebrate form, function and medium while promoting sexual and sensual well-being.
At the heart of her philosophy is a desire to empower clients by encouraging self-connection, intimacy, sensuality and pleasure with the most evocative and intimate of objects.
MARLENE, her latest collection is a place where the essence of masculine and feminine coexist in harmony to create an beautiful collection of sensual tools and functional objet d'art. Each piece is produced in special thick-cast marbled porcelain which is known for its beauty and strength and presented in minimalist handcrafted leather packaging. MARLENE carries a strong visual and sensory narrative that resonates with the ideal of total art; life and art as one.
Adele graduated from Central St. Martin's College of Art & Design in 2006 with a BA Hons in Ceramic Design. Her studio is based in London where all pieces are made by hand. All leather is responsibly sourced and items are made to order.
Adele Brydges can you please tell us about yourself?
I’m a designer maker with a passion for pleasure and a passion for beautiful materials. My obsession with ceramics began 16 years ago. I’ve always appreciated art as a form of expression, but I found something special in the relationships and interactions we have with functional objects and their ability to transform our ideas and beliefs. There is an alchemy with design and craft, merging and developing different ideas and influences to produce an object. We develop a relationship with objects that we don’t necessarily have with art. I specialised in Ceramic Design with Hons at Central St Martins college of art and design in London and I have not been able to put clay down since then but its not been all plain sailing… I took a bit of a meandering journey to get to where I am today.
Goddess can you tell us a little about your upbringings? Does London provide a sex-positive environment or are people somewhat reserved?
I was brought up in a hugely supportive, nurturing matriarchal family, but my background is also Irish catholic. I was educated in a religious all girls school. Sex before marriage was frowned upon and discussions about self pleasure were never on the agenda but I’ve always felt I had an awareness of my own sexuality and sensuality and curiosity about pleasure even before I even knew quite what that it was all about.
When I was about 14 I discovered my aunts stash of trashy romance novels. I used to smuggle them home and fold the corners of the juicy bits and read and reread the good passages and hide them under my mattress until I was found out. I wasn’t even allowed teen magazines so this was a pretty big deal... The confrontation was excruciating but didn’t suppress my curiosity for pleasure and sexuality. For as long as I can recall there has always been a femme centric undercurrent in my creative work and regular themes dealt with portrayals of the Madonna or the whore, beauty and perfection or notions of femininity. I didn’t think there was anyone else who viewed pleasure and sensuality in the way that I did - I’ve always felt that it was so natural and core to our identity; something that should be celebrated rather than suppressed. Then in my early twenties I discovered Coco de Mer, a luxury erotic emporium founded by two sisters called Justine and Samantha Roddick. They were a huge inspiration for me - they celebrated sex and female pleasure through their beautifully curated store of artisanal pleasure products made by the finest crafts people, shelves full of antique and erotic books and exquisite lingerie and vintage kimonos and I was like YES! These are my people.
The beauty of London is its diversity, inclusivity and wealth of resources. You can carve out your own groove for yourself and find your tribe, however, what I have also observed in London and the UK in general is it seems that when it comes to our sexuality, people feel more comfortable with becoming someone else in order to feel sexy and liberated rather than feeling sexually empowered in themselves.
How did your family react to you creating pleasure tools?
Haha, I have a huge family! I’m the eldest of 7 children and have a large and close knit extended family. Some laughed, some shrugged, some think its awesome, some know but don’t pass comment and some of the older generation still don’t know but it brings lots of laughter from younger cousins when a great aunt wants to know ‘how the ceramics is going’ and what have I been making lately. I usually just say ornaments to save my Mum or Dad from awkward conversations later on.
How would you define yourself and what inspires you?
I’m an independent, sex-positive ceramic artist and maker with a femme-centric focus on pleasure. Beyond that, I’m a pleasure seeker, observer and explorer. I celebrate pleasure in the everyday. The ‘quiet’ pleasures that we can often overlook in the fleeting beauty of a moment. Taking time to register and appreciated these moment helps us foster a deeper connection with ourselves and the world around us so I try to practice this as often as I remember.
Many things inspire me. My inspiration can come from very random places; deco architecture, typography, literature, poetry, erotic Japanese shunga prints, patterns, texture and forms in nature. The Spur, my most recent G Spot dildo, was inspired by some script on an art nouveau theatre poster; it had such sexy, lubricious curves; I love a fecund curve.
My biggest inspiration in the past couple of years has been the poetry and essays of Audre Lorde. One of my followers (and now friends) on Instagram suggested I check her work as she thought it would really resonate with me. Reading her essay on the Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power was like an epiphany for me. In it Lorde defines the erotic in an emotional and spiritual sense as well as sexual. She talks about the suppression of female eroticism, the erotic in its pure sense as a source of untapped power and a form of empowered creative energy for women. Lorde goes on to say that once we access this, it helps us know ourselves and realise our worth and power. I was like, damn! This woman has distilled all these feelings, thoughts and beliefs I’ve had over the years but couldn’t communicate and managed to articulate them in just a few sentences. I devoured the essay and keep returning to it anytime I have a bad day; Lorde’s work reminds me of my purpose and my passion.
Goddess as a woman who multitasks and is currently running a successful business, what advise could you give other women who have no time to create or incorporate pleasure into their lives?
Snatch moments for yourself where you can and revel in that moment. Soak it all up. Be present. Turn functional routines into self care rituals; your skincare regime before bed is a ceremony - see it as such. Take pleasure in it. Be mindful. Feel your touch on your skin, the textures and sensations of the slippery cleanser on your skin and the satisfied feeling of plump freshly moisturised skin.
If life has been hectic and I feel a bit strung out I reconnect to myself by making shower time, my time. The bathroom is my sanctuary, I’m a bit of a water babe and there is little else that makes me feel more sensual and in tune with myself. I turn out the lights, light a few candles and shower in candle light to music for a sensory experience to restore me to myself. Often if you are l overworked it’s hard to feel sensual, especially if its creating time for self pleasure but build it into your schedule. Sensual and sexual wellness is as important as mental and physical health.
How did you come up with the idea for creating sensual, erotic tools utilizing high-end ceramic?
Back in 2006 at university I was prepping for my final ceramic design project and reading Perfume; The story of a Murderer, a novel by Patrick Süskind about desire, death and decay and was captivated by the influence that scent can have. It led me on to explore beauty, vanity and voyeurism through a series of ceramic perfume bottles. The bottles were beautiful and decorative at first glance but the longer you looked at them the more a darker aesthetic and message began to emerge; three dimensional bugs legs, eyeballs and bird’s heads emerged from metallic glazes, gold lustre and floral surface patterns like something from a grim fairy tale. I think I’ve always added a playful element of subversion to my work to toys with attitudes towards eroticism, beauty and art.
I approached Coco de Mer for some feedback on the project; they loved my approach and aesthetic and when they asked me to collaborate with them on a and I was ecstatic! It was like the planets had aligned and it felt like such a natural progression for me. In 2007 we launched a small collection of ceramics pleasure products called Adele Brydges Loves Coco de Mer. Although the collaboration was some time ago, I still make the same pieces for Coco de Mer to this day. Working with Coco fuelled something in me that I couldn’t put to bed and finally 3 and a half years ago after sitting on the fence for many years, I decided to quit my cushy job as a project manager and focus on my passion which had been side-lined to weekends until then. I officially launched my brand with the Marlene collection back in 2016.
Adele, creating a new product by yourself is easier said than done. Could you tell us a bit about the process that led to the final product?
I’m a visual and tactile person so when I’m designing tools, I want them to be beautiful objects as well as functional. I find inspiration and visual cues everywhere, something will start as a line or curve on paper. I’ll develop into a sketch and then break it down into several shapes what I’ll collage on top of each other to help me begin to think about the object in 3 dimensions. The most important aspect for me is how the design translates into a 3D object; basically, how it looks and feels in real life. I sculpt a plaster prototype of each of my pieces after I’ve designed them on paper. Quite often I’ll adjust the shape of the design as I’m making the prototype, like when I think a curve is looking a bit clumsy and could be more refined or ergonomic for example. Everything starts on paper, but the real design development happens when I’m working in 3D with my hands. It can take several hours of carving and tweaking angles ever so slightly to achieve a form that I’m happy with and want to take on to produce in porcelain. With my current collection, Marlene, I was interested in letting the porcelain create its own organic pattern so I developed a method of creating porcelain marble, inspired by a Japanese technique called nerikomi where you use multiple coloured clays to create a decorative effect. I wanted to celebrate the natural beauty and tactility of porcelain in its purest state so apart from staining a portion of it, I do not glaze it, I high fire it so that it vitrifies and hand polish it afterwards to give each piece a satin smooth finish that feels like alabaster.
Can you please explain how your incredibly beautifully crafted pleasure tools can be utilized to aid a woman find her sensuality?
Many lingerie and pleasure brands brands focus on encouraging you to be or become someone else in order to feel empowered, but my focus is on encouraging self-connection and intimacy; getting to know yourself, being comfortable with yourself and feeling empowered by who you are.
I like to think of my pieces as sensual tools and functional art objects that celebrate sex and sensuality. They introduce a sense of ritual into self-pleasure; they bring you into the moment and encourage mindfulness, whether it’s through admiring the beautiful, sculptural form the designs, the feeling of ceremony as you slide the drawstring pouch open or unfurl the wrap of the case, the contrasting textures of the firm, cool, satin-smooth porcelain and soft, supple leather nappa packaging in your hands or the subtle and surprising sensations when you use the pieces for pleasure. You can be playful and creative too! Ceramic takes on temperature really quickly so I recommend running the tools under hot or cold water to experiment with temperature. Focus on the subtle nuances to really tune into how your body responds to different sensations and discover what you like.
I also began running workshops last year where women can come and decorate one of my porcelain dildos designs with enamel decals and prints, helping women take that exploration, creativity and that relationship with their own sensuality to the next level.
Pleasure, for me, is about the journey, not just the destination.
· What is your favourite pleasure tool in your beautiful line of toys? What would you recommend for beginners and why?
The Spur is my favourite. It's a fluid form with different widths, girths and curves to play with making it great for G spot and A spot stimulation. The Spur is also good for massage along the neck and shoulders too and a fun tool to use with a partner.
I’d recommend the Diletto for beginners; approachable, simple to use and discrete. I actually designed this piece as a tool to travel with. Its neat enough to pop in a weekend bag and won’t raise any eyebrows at the airport.
What are some of the benefits of utilizing ceramic toys vs. jelly, rubber and or silicon pleasure tools?
Ceramic is hypoallergenic, non-porous (so it wont harbour any bacteria) and completely immersible in water. It warms up to your body temperature quickly, you can use it with any lube and you can even take it in the bath. A ceramic dildo is rigid but with a soft, smooth surface.
I’m often asked if porcelain is strong enough; high fired ceramics has high mechanical strength. I cast my tools for longer than conventional ceramics so they are thicker than regular porcelain items and I fire them over long high firing cycles too increase strength and durability. Porcelain is a sustainable material too and has a longer lifespan than jelly, rubber, plastic and silicon pleasure products.
How do you want to impact the pleasure tool industry in a positive way for women and pleasure?
There is a power and a confidence in knowing yourself. I want to enable women to grow their awareness of themselves, appreciate their tones, textures and experiences of themselves and their surrounding. You can be you. You don’t need to become someone else to feel empowered, sexual or experience pleasure. You are enough in yourself and perfect in your imperfection.
Your pleasure tools are very empowering, as it offers women a way to be the decision makers when it comes to their pleasure, what would you like to say to the people that are a little more hesitant about products such as yours?
Ceramic as a material has been tried and tested for centuries. I like it, I know many others that do too and have even been converted from their rampant rabbit but it not for everyone and that's ok. You’ve got to go with what you feel comfortable with.
What does sexual empowerment mean to you? Moreover, how do you believe sex educators and pleasure toy innovators can empower others to find their sexual authenticity?
Sexual empowerment to me is the ability to be your full self in and out of the bedroom. To know your worth and fight for what is your birth right; a happy, healthy and fulfilling life. I believe sex educators and pleasure toy innovators can and should empower others by helping people feel the best they can feel about themselves, (no pun intended ;) Once someone is feeling good about themselves that positivity and vibration flows through and improves all facets of their lives including their sexual experience.
Do you have any advice for females on how to utilize their sexual energy?
Eroticism is the birthplace of creativity. Live in the now. Listen to your intuition. Allow yourself to play both in and out of the bedroom (in a sexual and non-sexual way!). Remember your purpose. Why you’re here. Your power, your erotic power is more than sexual prowess in the bedroom. Once you embrace and celebrate your sensuality and sexuality, allow this beautiful, creative energy to flow through all aspects of your life and see how it can enhance and colour your life and experiences on every level.
What do you want to tell woman who are seeking to take on their own passion projects, and make them their career?
There will be good times and there will be times that are not so good but life is fluid and ever changing. Don’t lose sight.
Don’t look for external validation from outside parties. Take on your passion project for you.
Really consider your goals and how you measure your success. This point is so important. After years of working as a project manager on IT infrastructure programmes for the Metropolitan Police, I was institutionalised. Everything was performance, goal and finance driven. This was probably the biggest shift in mindset for me. After a year I was like, can I be deemed successful if I’m not supporting myself entirely from my passion project turned career? Yes, yes you can.
Show up everyday.
Be kind to yourself.
Celebrate small victories and anytime you feel like you’re not where you want to be or where you should be, write a list of all the things you’ve achieved in the past 6 months. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
Surround yourself with empowered women, build yourself a nurturing community and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Adele, thank you for sharing your time and energy with us where can the Kinktra lovers find you?
My pleasure Jane xx Thank you.