I enjoyed exhibiting at Maison et Objet in Paris last week.
My stand was part of the British European Design Group in Hall 8: Now! Design a vivre, funded by UKTI. As well as ceramicists, the British contingent included designers of glass, textiles, furniture and lighting.
It was a busy show and I received orders from Austria, Switzerland, the Lebanon and Japan. I now have a lot of cake stands to make and will be very busy in the studio for the next few months.
Other handmade pottery at the show included Silvia K Ceramics, beautiful earthenware platters with leather handles from Brighton and Tortus Copenhagen, thrown stoneware vases from Denmark.
This week I’m making some slipcast porcelain lampshades for Benchmark furniture.
The shades are used in the Snowdrop light, designed by Jonathan Tibbs. You can get a desk or wall-mounted version, made from laminated ash.
I have also made some taller lampshades as a bespoke order for a customer. I have to slipcast these one at a time as I have only made one plaster mould of each shape. I should make multiple plaster moulds but plaster is not a forgiving material to work with. Unless you are very careful to stop all cracks, it has a tendency to leak out all over the floor when you are pouring it. Plaster also blocks sink drains and explodes in the kiln if bits of it get into your clay. However, I will eventually have to make new moulds, as they start to erode after around 60 casts have been made.
I have been looking at Morandi paintings recently and have been inspired to make a series of bottles in some new colours: black, grey and mustard yellow.
In January 2013 I went to see an exhibition of etchings by Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964) at the Estorick Collection, a museum of 20th Century Modern Italian art in Islington. Then, last year, we picked up a battered Morandi art book at a car boot sale. The book is full of Morandi’s paintings, watercolours and etchings. I have been looking at the groupings of pots. Morandi used a collection of old glass bottles painted with flat white paint, metal jugs and canisters, candlesticks and lamp bases. He painted similar still life groupings over and over again. My favourite are the subtly coloured ones painted in the 1950s. I thought I would try making some of the shapes in porcelain and then photograph them in groups. I will be taking a collection of them to Maison et Objet in Paris on 23-27 January.
Harrods magazine have created a beautiful Christmas food feature using my cake stands, plates and platters.
My hand thrown porcelain has been stocked in the Entertaining at Home department in Harrods since July this year. They have cake stands, plates, bowls, jugs and teapots in grey, pink and turquoise. I met the Harrods buyer at Maison et Objet in Paris, where I will be exhibiting again in January 2015. The buyer said they were keen to stock handmade products which were made in England as many of their customers are tourists looking for British made gifts. I actually live in West London only 15 minutes drive from Harrods and even closer to their offices in Hammersmith, so delivering the pots was very easy.
You can read Harrods magazine online. Christmas Food Special Stylists Seiko Hatfield and Emma Marsden, Photographers Tamin Jones and Mowie Kay
We have displayed our poppy from the Tower of London in a pouring bottle I made. In memory of my great grandfather Company Sergeant Major Reuben Hart of the Gloucestershire Regiment who died at Gallipoli in 1915. He was a gymnastic instructor and lightweight champion in the army and had served in India. He was known as Buffy and left a wife and four sons, one of them my grandfather.
Last year I exhibited at craft fairs every weekend in November and found it exhausting, so this year I decided to concentrate on selling online instead. This means I have more time to spend making in the studio, and also to enjoy the season, celebrate family birthdays, make cakes and wrap presents.
This week I have been making an order of tea bowls and gaiwan for tea company Lalani and co. The gaiwan was designed in collaboration with Jameel and Nadeem Lalani when they found they burned their fingers on the traditional Chinese gaiwan, a type of lidded tea bowl. Our fusion gaiwan is more like the Japanese shiboridashi, made for brewing small amounts of high quality large leaf teas.
I also found time this week to make some personalised mugs for my son’s school teachers. I’ll glaze each mug in a different colour so they don’t get mixed up in the staff room. I often make personalised mugs to order for Not on the High Street.
I have been thinking about some new colours for next year, so have been looking at my collection of test tiles. I will be showing some new colour combinations at Maison et Objet in Paris in January.
I have been exhibiting at MADE London, a lovely craft show curated by Jon Tutton and Sarah Young.
It is held in a Sir John Soane church at One Marylebone, opposite Great Portland Street tube station and next to Regent’s Park.
It was a very busy weekend with many visitors and new contacts made as well as sales. It was also good to catch up with fellow exhibitors and meet new ones.
One of the best things about the show, for exhibitors anyway, was the efficiency and speed of getting the car packed and away at the end of the show. We were able to bring the car right to the steps in front of the church and pack it within 15 minutes, with the help of a friendly porter. Thank you Jon and Sarah, Anne-Marie and all the helpers.
Welcome to my new website, created by my husband Henry.
Here I will be posting news and photos of what I’ve been making.
My latest commission is for new tableware for the NotontheHighStreet.com office. I am making cups and saucers, plates, teapots, jugs and bowls. NotontheHighStreet like to decorate their office with unique products designed and made by their partners. They found my porcelain mugs did not chip or break, so have ordered the whole range for their new office in Richmond.