A recent interview for one of my favourite stockist The Designerie in Bushmills.
Tell us a little about
What do you do? Tell us about your craft
I am a potter, I make porcelain tableware glazed in fresh contemporary colours.
What did you do before?
I have always been a potter, when I left school I studied ceramics first in Cardiff School of art then onto Crafts Council of Ireland's ceramics skills course in Kilkenny. Making pots is just part of who I am now!
How did you get the idea for this product? Or how did it come about?
I used to do more decorative work, then three years ago I decided to take my pottery business full time. I also had the opportunity to open an adjoining cafe so I knew I needed more functional work.after planning permissions and renovations work we opened late last year. I developed a totally new range of porcelain tableware that would be beautiful to use and also practical for the cafe.
What is the most challenging part of your craft?
Porcelain can be a sensitive material. Everything must dry slowly to avoid cracking which can slow my production time down. It takes me around three weeks for the start to end of a mug. When the orders are filling up this can be a bit stressful top manage.
What do you love about this craft?
Making useful items! Turning a soft lump of clay into a cup and drinking tea from it is just magic. I think there is something very humbling about pottery.
How would you describe your style to someone who didn't know you?
I make contemporary porcelain tableware glazed in fresh colours.
What is a product you want to spotlight?
The Everyday mug.
I make lots of different sizes and shapes of mugs for the cafe. But the everyday mug is what I use all the time. I spent a lot of time thinking about how your hand holds and hugs a mug
Have you won any awards for your product? If so, what was it, when and what was it for
Not really a prize but our wildflower christmas decorations were voted top of the Vogue christmas ornament list!
Who is your target market?
Mostly women aged 30-70. Mainly buying presents
How can people order/buy your product?
Our in store shop and cafe. Online and through some local retailers
What is the biggest lesson you have learnt in business so far?
To have a plan. Work out I want to do this time next year then break it down to months and then weeks. That way nothing is overwhelming and you can factor in a day off too!
What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting out?
Go for it! Work out the costs first so you know where to target your products, there is no point trying to sell something for £1000 when the person beside you is selling something for £5!
Anything else you would like to tell us about you or your craft?
I think shows like the Great Pottery Throw Down have increased the interest in pottery massively. I also run pottery classes and the uptake has been huge! Its great to see such an appreciation!
How long have you been featured in The Designerie?
I used to stock my more decorative work for the last 4 years. But just this year i have re stocked with all my tableware and the response has been great
What area of The Designerie are you featured in?
What do you love about The Designerie?
The amazing collection of work. High-end crafts from all over Ireland and the shop is displayed so well! All the staff are really friendly too!
How would you describe The Designerie to someone who didn't know about it?
It's a mix of all the top crafts makers from all over Ireland. The ideal shop for a gift.
Find out more