I am based in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, where I have a Ceramic “Paint your own Pottery” studio that seats 28 people. My Love for Ceramics, Pottery and Art started at school where I did pottery and art as much as I could. I went on to study Horticulture, where my love for flower painting on any surface began as we had to draw/paint flowers in our coursework.
I started doing my pottery as a hobby from a loft conversion where I made lots of styles of pottery for fun both on my own and with my son and other children, as then I was a child minder, and we all had fun. A friend of mine asked me what I did with all the pottery and she offered to hold a pottery party, getting my first shop order and some customers wanting to collect my pots and have a party in their own home and I have never looked back.
I started my pottery business full time 30 years ago doing party planning and having a rep selling into shops. I loved it so much, mainly the surface designs and painting flowers and designs in underglazes, that I had others wanting to do it for fun. I decided to teach it and completed 8 certifications worldwide in Ceramics, pottery and decorative art, which then enabled me to teach others. I started evening classes and within weeks it went mad. I decided to get a 3000 sq feet warehouse and classroom area and ran night and day classes and manufactured pottery shapes, supplying other pottery’s with shapes to paint and teaching the Duncan certification for Duncan based in USA, After a few years I decided to run a high st shop “Posh pots”, in Pontefract, which I had for 4 years selling my pottery and running craft and pottery classes.
I liked teaching the best so I eventually closed my high st shop and went on the road, travelling throughout the USA and Europe teaching all my techniques and writing books and articles on pottery. I did this for 8 years and became well known for teaching different techniques and working for a lot of the main pottery suppliers, developing tools and products for the industry.
After a few years I decided to stay home and go back to teaching from my old mill next to the house and go back into shops so I could get back to painting finished pottery. We decided to extend the studio which now has a lovely upstairs with a lot of glass which is great for the classes we do.
One of the most rewarding things is passing on the skills I have to all ages as well as special needs, and seeing people self esteem grow. I go into schools, colleges and nursing homes teaching pottery, art and ceramics and its amazing to see what people can do. The studio has lots of fun events doing children's birthday parties, hen night's and ladies nights and they all go down well. There is an online shop as well as a gift shop in the studio where I sell my paintings, finished gift-ware pottery and paint your own pottery kits to take home.
I feel really lucky that I have a job that I love and still get exited every time I open the kiln.