Alice creates functional, wheel-thrown ceramics decorated with poured coloured slips and handwritten transfers, which are snippets of her late grandmother’s old recipes.

Take a look at the interview we had with Alice to find out how she started, what inspires her and her plans for the future…

How did it all start?

I made my debut at ‘New Designers’, London, in 2017 after studying Design Crafts at De Montfort University, Leicester, for 3 years. I went on to win the National Trust Associate Prize and as a result created an exclusive collection for the National Trust that was stocked in selected stores for 1 year.
The following year I became Artist in Residence at De Montfort University and exhibited again at ‘New Designers – One Year In’, where she won the Country Living Associate Prize and was given the chance to exhibit at the Country Living Spring Fair this Spring 2019. I have also been recently featured in Ceramic Review as an ’emerging maker’, and was selected to be part of the ‘Rising Stars’ 2019 exhibition at New Ashgate Gallery. It is these opportunities which have given me a platform as a maker to really push my business forwards. Ever since I began my degree I had no idea that I would be setting up my own business within the next 3 years and go on to win numerous awards for my work!

What is your creation process?
My work is 100% handmade by me. It is all thrown on a potter’s wheel, decorated with coloured slips and trimmed to get the final shape. Once dry, it is bisque fired in the kiln, then glazed with a transparent glaze and fired for the second time. The recipes are placed on top of the glazed surface of the piece and each one is fired for a third and final time to fix the recipes to the surface of the bowl.

What inspires you?
My original inspiration came from the everyday marks that we create in our daily routines, particularly in cooking and baking. From the big pouring mark left in the bowl after emptying out your cake mix, and the little splashes of chocolate sauce or pancake batter on the worktop, to the coffee ring left from your cup – I try to replicate these in marks using coloured slip and clay in my pieces.
Each piece also has part of a recipe handwritten by my late grandmother transferred on to it. These recipes have become particularly significant in my work as I have come to realise how many people have also collected their mother’s or grandmother’s old recipes, and how special these personal treasures are to people.

What makes you, your brand or products unique?
I believe there are a few things that make my products unique. Many people are fascinated by my retail display which includes splashes of coloured slip/liquid clay beside my products, which are fired and glazed to look very shiny and almost look as if they are wet – this makes lots of people want to poke and touch the splashes to see exactly what they are made from or if they are indeed still wet!
The handwriting also adds a personal touch to an already unique handmade product, and allows people to connect with the work as they are likely to have collected old recipes from their mother or grandmother.

What makes you, your brand or products unique?
I believe there are a few things that make my products unique. Many people are fascinated by my retail display which includes splashes of coloured slip/liquid clay beside my products, which are fired and glazed to look very shiny and almost look as if they are wet – this makes lots of people want to poke and touch the splashes to see exactly what they are made from or if they are indeed still wet!

The handwriting also adds a personal touch to an already unique handmade product, and allows people to connect with the work as they are likely to have collected old recipes from their mother or grandmother.

What is your next project?
My next projects are a couple of commissions for customers who have contacted me directly via email, asking for a bowl or two with their own grandmother’s recipes on. I also have an event coming up called ‘Warwickshire Open Studios’ in the summer, so I will shortly be preparing work for that.

What are your plans for the next 12 months?
My plans for the next 12 months are to carry on making, to expand my collection, and to participate in more shows and exhibitions in order to get my work out there.

Your three top tips for crafters and makers…
Do what you love – It will shine through you and your products if you enjoy what you do.

Get your name out there – Do a few small markets and exhibitions to see how the public reacts to your products. Then maybe do some bigger shows if it’s going well!
And just keep going!

Any advice for fledgling businesses…
Only take advice from people who are where you want to be.

What do you love about Country Living Fairs?
The Country Living Spring Fair was my first ever CL show, so I didn’t know what to expect. I can honestly say though that I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the show. I had such a wonderful response from the public and the other stallholders, and the atmosphere of the show was unforgettable – from the brass band playing in the entrance to the lambs baaing beside the voices of the spectacular rock choir.

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