Penny from Penny Varley Ceramics

Midday Makers

Back in the 1980’s I threw my first pot on a manual potters wheel, it was one of the most difficult things I had ever tried to do..  keeping clay on the wheel, standing up pushing the kick bar backwards and forwards to make the wheel go round and have some idea about what you are trying to achieve….Then in the late 1990’s I signed up for a pottery evening class at my local college, was I mad or did I just like getting messy? Obviously there was still a spark somewhere.  I attended three times a week and was totally hooked.  I loved throwing once I got the knack and creating slab and coil pots.  Our house was quickly filling up with my work and friends and family knew what they would be getting for birthdays and Christmas.One day my husband asked ‘ what are you going to do with all these pots?’. My reply ‘ I have no idea, but I have lots more ideas and I want to continue. At the time we were living in a small house with a long garden.  We sold and moved to our current home in the village of Tysoe in Warwickshire which had the perfect place for a studio and within 6 months the studio was built.

I started selling my work through the local tourist information centre and some craft fairs and in 2005 gave up the day job as a manager in the Civil Service to follow my dream and I launched Penny Varley Ceramics.It was scary with no money coming in but I stuck to my guns and introduced teaching pottery into my repertoire. As well as speaker events, both things I had been involved with in my previous life.I have a staple range of domestic ware bowls, jugs, coasters and tea towels and then I have my unique pieces.  These are all one off’s and will often be inspired by the view I have from my studio up to the Edge Hill escarpment.  I love to experiment with texture and colour and as a keen dog walker I observe and collect items on my walks to inspire new work. I am passionate about my garden and a few years ago decide to work with a clay that would be frostproof.  New clay, new firing temperatures  and new glazes have all taken my work on a different path.My purpose build garden studio is my area of calm and sanctuary.  My commute to work is less than a minute (usually with a golden retriever and a cup of tea).  The radio switches from radio 4 to radio 2 depending on my mood, but there is no phone or internet.’ organised chaos’ is how I would describe my studio as I often have more than one project on the go at a time.  ‘ there is order but only I know what that order is’.

At the start of March my diary was full of commitments for shows, teaching and talks.  As we know that all changes and I discovered Makers Market From Home.  I decided to embrace social media and technology.  I bought a new phone got posting and signed up for the makers market.  July was my initiation.  I loved setting up my stand and having something to work towards.  I have missed my shows and fellow artists and the banter and the MMFH has filled that  void for me.  It was lovely to do the interview with Andy and the idea of ambassador  is pure genius.  As a designer maker of 3d object s it is difficult sometimes for customers to understand the processAnd to get the overall view of the work, any platform that enables that is a winner in my book.  Thank you MMFH for having the vision and seeing it through.

Watch Penny’s interview on our Midday Makers series on IGTV.

Visit her Instagram @pennyvarleycermics

Beverley from BevArt Designs

Midday Makers

My passion is most definitely to make, create and inspire. I absolutely love colour, I love paint and I love wood! Combine all three and you have ‘Bevart designs’ wearable art.

I use paint to create colourways that blend and work together or in contrast, I use resin to seal, protect and illuminate the colours, the jewellery pieces are then cut and polished and made into pieces to wear. There is nothing more than wonderful than seeing someone wearing your jewellery, some of my pieces are vibrant and will definitely brighten up your day, and your wardrobe. Some are more tonal and subtle if you prefer.

Originally a hairdresser, I owned my own salon in Blackburn for over 10 years, I met my husband there… he was a client!!

I needed the challenge of something new to learn, so enrolled at night school on the art course, wow this was it! I fell in love with art all over again, from being very young I was inspired to paint by watching Nancy Kaminsky on tv.

After much consideration and dreaming I signed up for the Fine Art degree course at Blackburn! I’ve never looked back! The best three years of my life, apart from getting married and having children of course.

Fast forward …… I am now proud owner of Atelier Arts; this is an art collective in the beautiful market town of Clitheroe with small gallery and teaching space. We teach weekly art classes, landscape painting and life drawing full day workshops.

I also teach Art in Spain, I have partners in Spain, we deliver an all-inclusive art retreat, and it is amazing!

I sell my jewellery at ‘The British Craft House’ an online shop, the home of artisan gifts. I was delighted when I was accepted as a seller.

I took part in ‘Makers Market From Home’ on Instagram and I was interviewed by Andy about my work.

What an amazing day I had, who ever thought you could have so much fun having a stall in your dinning room, there was lots going on during the day with live interviews to watch, makers doing demonstrations and not forgetting the interactions on the day with other makers, what a fabulous idea , long may it continue.

Watch Beverley’s interview on our Midday Makers series on IGTV.

Visit her Instagram @bevart_designs

Joy from JoyCliftonUK

Midday Makers

I am a visual artist, who captures the fluidity of the ocean realm focusing on the movement of water the abstraction of light and the sea creatures that inhabit this realm. Having spent many years living by the ocean and travelling the world I draw on this inspiration in my work. There is an echo of conservation and I address current issues that are affecting the natural world.  

I experiment with the ever changing state of the ocean, the ebb and flow of the tide, the intense and subtle colours the weather creates on and through the water.  I am passionate about marine life and I use my illustration skills to represent them in my artwork.  I use different mediums like watercolour, gouache and acrylics mixed with various textures to keep my work fresh. I experiment with different viewpoints of below the surface, in the curl of the wave, aerial and diving into the underwater world.

I am originally from rural Warwickshire where my parents nurtured my love for Art and the nature world. I completed my degree in Illustration at University of Wales, Trinity St David in Swansea followed by further studies in Art Education at University Wales Institute Cardiff. After working as an Art & Design Teacher for many years I have now made the switch to working as a full time visual artist. I am now based in London where I live with my husband and our two young boys.

I am a competent water sports enthusiast mainly focusing on bodyboarding, surfing and scuba diving. I am also a qualified PADI Scuba Diving Instructor and I have dived and surfed in many different locations around the world.

Being part of the Makers Market From Home community is such a wonderful supportive group. I was quite nervous about doing my first one on 5th July but it was really great and I got so much support from fellow makers and also from people browsing the market. 

Watch Joy’s interview on our Midday Makers series on IGTV.

Visit her Instagram @joycliftonuk

Andrea from Dandylion Design

Midday Makers

I started at art school at 17 and although I always felt my destiny was to be a sculptor; the desire to earn a decent living led me to study furniture and product design at degree level. When I left Kingston, in the middle of a deep recession, all I wanted to do was to set up a market stall and sell things that I’d made. The drawback was having the money to buy the raw materials to make anything in the first place. So, I ended up working for a firm of architects on a short-term contract to earn the cash to do so. Two years later I had to concede I’d become an interior designer. This led to a long career working in many sectors – public, residential, retail and exhibition. I learnt a lot, had a great time and made some great friends along the way. Although I thought I’d have more time to pursue my making passion when I started a family; freelance work paid the bills and filled the hours I wasn’t being a mum.

Lockdown in many ways has been a blessing for me. As I could no longer do anything that wasn’t home based. It forced me to assess what I really should be doing career wise as my industry had taken a nosedive.

One Christmas, years ago I had asked my husband to buy me a cheap hobby kiln. As I have always loved glass and the three-dimensional depth and purity of colour within it, I had hoped to experiment with this material. However, coming to grips with firing schedules had stood as a rather silly obstacle for far too long. Lockdown gave me the time to study this dark alchemy and it was almost a week before I blew that kiln up! Then I slogged through the technical details of firing schedules properly. Along with everything I could find out about glass compatibility and brought a new kiln.

Now, although every time I put something in the kiln it’s still an experiment, I never want to lose that sense of play. Equally over the years of experimenting with many materials I have enjoyed the endless possibilities there are in combining textures that I have grown to adore. Whether it’s timber, metal, leather, flint, plaster or something more obscure; there is a distinctive relationship I have with them all; and a respect for their limitations and potential. I can’t imagine sticking to one material forever, but I am now fully immersed in the love affair I’m having with glass and feel I’m at the beginning of a long and rewarding journey. There’s so much to learn and so many ideas I want to put into practice, that I think it’s safe to assume my new kiln will have a long and hard life.

Finally, the next best thing to my original dream of setting up a market stall, in our COVID world, is a virtual one. I am grateful to makers market from home for setting up and supporting such an exciting platform.

Watch Andrea’s interview on our Midday Makers series on IGTV.

Visit her Instagram @dandyliondesignalv

Joanna from Mrs Marvellous

Midday Makers

Born in the West Midlands but moved to Clevedon near Bristol when I was 6. Moving school at that age was terrifying for an already painfully shy little girl. As one of 4 children enjoyed nothing more than sitting quietly on my own making stuff.

From the age of 4 was making dolls clothes and bits for my dolls house, then progressed on to kit for Barbie and Action Man (really wanted to be a Blue Peter presenter). We had very creative parents but they’d never have said they were. Mum made all our clothes, never using patterns. So learnt, just as she had done, to cut one from newspaper, drawing round a garment that you knew fit. Dad did all the DIY and grew all the veg. It was a real ‘make do and mend’ house. They worked very hard and didn’t really have time to be creative for creative sake, it was more of a means to an end. Dad always insisted if he was making or mending something for us then we had to watch and be involved, annoying at the time but my goodness that parenting has paid off (especially when renovating my own 1890s cottage in Cornwall).

Labelling is very restricting in my book and to prove a point my sisters were the ‘creative ones’ – they hated school – my brother and I were the ‘academic ones’ – we were sloggers. Never thought of myself as creative even though I loved cooking and dressmaking. In breaks from my Saturday job I’d pop next door to Hagley’s the haberdashery and worship the glorious fabrics, spending ages perusing the rows of sumptuous textile porn! Payday I’d carefully choose my yardage in utter devotion and go home to sew the latest creation which was always a little bit alternative!

After school went to Worcester Teacher Training College to study Home Economics. Pattern drafting and screen printing filled me with wonder. Having never used a commercial pattern before I had no idea what a notch was, blimey they’re handy!

The Leys, Redditch West Midlands was my 1st job and it hit the front page of The Sun the day after my interview! But loved that place, the children, staff, community, it was like a big family, so supportive even during the unrest of the mid 80s. Loved teaching and sharing knowledge, seeing students flourish, producing plays, taking residentials, running heaps of extra-curricular activities. After 2 years became deputy head of year but after a year the Headteacher decided to give the A allowance to encourage another teacher to do more, citing that I was young and enthusiastic and would continue with the extra responsibility without it. I was incandescent with rage so reached for the Times Ed. There were jobs in Manchester, London, Bristol, Hong King, Botswana and The Cayman Islands! So applied for the latter 3; had no idea where the Caymans were, had insufficient teaching years and was too young but hey what the heck….and yes got the job – PANIC!!! It hadn’t been a life plan decision, it was a knee jerk reaction to piss off my Head. But it was too great an opportunity, if a door opens go through it; not denying I was terrified, especially having found that Cayman was almost 5000 miles away. Packed up, said goodbye to everything I knew and loved and flew to the Caribbean for 2 years.

It was like starting college all over again, there were 20 of us on that flight, arrived late at night to a hotel on the beach for a Rum Punch and a warm sea swim. Things weren’t so great in my classroom, lizard in my desk, cockroaches in the cupboard and no a/c but it was amazing. The colour, the sound, the light, the music, the vibrancy. I painted and drew, sailed, scuba-dived and learnt underwater photography. Fell in love with a diving instructor, developed a modular curriculum for those with additional needs and became Head of House. 2 years became 4 and each holiday we travelled extensively soaking up the culture surrounding us, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, Costa Rica, Jamaica, The States, Canada, Bermuda, Turks & Caicos, Cuba (in the early 90s it was something else). I was mesmerised by the colours, the crafts, the skills and talents of those who made the most incredible things from limited resources.

We returned to UK and the National Curriculum and, in my opinion, the destruction of my subject area. Teachers were robbed of their autonomy and students of practical, life skills. After a couple of years and some soul destroying jobs I had a bad day & handed in my notice.

After making a list of all the things I really wanted to do from being Barbara Streisand to a Park Ranger, I volunteered with a couple of charities. One was as an outreach worker with Fairbridge, who worked with inner city young people in St Pauls, Bristol. Became their female outdoor education instructor, learnt to climb, abseil, canoe, cave etc. Ran residentials and follow on work to develop personal and social skills for young people to overcome barriers to engagement and get jobs. It was flipping hard work, seriously challenging but so rewarding. Was rarely at home and lived most of my time under canvas but was loving teaching lifeskills in a completely different environment.

The love of my life, fell out of love with me so I moved to Cornwall to run my own team for an independent charity in Plymouth. They provided the most incredible support for young people, housing, advocacy, counselling, sexual health and personal development. When my knees packed in I went to work for Connexions as a community adviser and was seconded to the Leaving Care Team in social services. It was a hugely challenging job and at the same time my mum became ill. For a year was driving up to Bristol every weekend to help care for her, doing a new and difficult job and struggling with a diploma. The day before my mum’s funeral got the diagnosis for my knees, a degenerative condition that was undiagnosed at birth. A month later was sent for a dyslexia assessment…yup the reading age and comprehension of a 7 year old. All those years of being labelled a day dreamer, not paying attention, not listening properly blahblahblah all explained. But I’d created my own learning style and realised that I learnt through pictures, by doing and by experimenting. And that’s how I taught, by creating pictures, stories, images to explain a concept.

I was exhausted and needed a break so took a month off and flew to Thailand to do voluntary work in a school and orphanage. I travelled into the mountains and to tiny, remote islands when wasn’t working, I drew, sat in temples and took photographs. When I got back I got the flu and never got better. After 6months was diagnosed with M.E. For the 1st 3 months couldn’t do a thing for myself, friends washed my hair, cooked my meals; I’d lie in bed without the energy to breathe. Most people didn’t ‘get’ it and thought I just needed to think positively, the most common comment was that they’d been really tired lately too. Eventually went back to work part time. 6 months later was diagnosed with breast cancer, had a mastectomy and received incredible treatment. People ‘get’ cancer, it’s a ‘proper’ illness and so there was lots of support. Sadly though the ME returned and was off work for another 14months.

I learnt to ‘pace’, that’s all about doing one thing (not my usual manic, multi tasking) and to rest after doing that one thing and not to do something else even if feeling well. It’s really hard, especially when you’re used to flying by the seat of your pants, living on adrenalin, working best under pressure and giving 150%…shall I go on? But the most important thing I learnt was to ask for help and to be honest; if I need to say No, then say No.

Got a job with YWCA as a project worker and met James who worked for another charity in the city. He had 2 boys and we soon added a crazy rescue dog to the mix. We had an incredible DIY wedding at a Christmas tree plantation where everyone camped for the weekend and joined in making, baking and creating.

Worked hard to manage my ME but when YWCA closed all the centres below Bristol and I was made redundant it was the time to think differently. Decided to go it alone and revert to what I love best, sewing. Sadly within the month James was made redundant too, it was the middle of the credit crunch and we were in our 50 so jobs were hard to get, therefore plans had to adapt. I took whatever work came my way and ended up running lots of children’s craft workshops. Ran adult workshops too but being a perfectionist they were really hardwork with loads of prep that you never get remunerated for especially as salaries down here were relatively low so it was hard to charge a realistic price.

Dad was then diagnosed with dementia and was going back up to Bristol every week. Some people can live well with dementia but Dad just wanted to give up, he just wanted to be with mum, forgetting she had died. He became isolated, depressed and lost his identity. Eventually we couldn’t care for him at home so he moved to a residential home. It was impossible to pack all his treasured possessions into one room to support his memory and sense of belonging, which is where the idea of his lap quilt came from. I’d go up on a Thursday to attend the activity group and have lunch with him and the residents. It was undignifying for them to have bibs put on, so when I got a place at the School for Social Entrepreneurs the idea of aprons was born.

After graduating as a Fellow of SSE I decided no more kid’s workshops and focussed on my quilts and aprons. I’ve found it really hard running a business, I can’t get my head around the business side of it! I love meeting people, hearing their stories and transforming their narrative into something beautiful but the earning a living bit leaves a lot to be desired. As a business with social purpose I do talks at memory cafes and sell my aprons at Memory Matters, a fabulous dementia hub & donate 25% of sales. I’m also a member of the Plymouth Dementia Action Alliance.

Over the years I’ve tried markets but the whole adrenalin of packing up, setting up and chatting (I LOVE chatting with people, I give it my all) wipes me out, was finding my ME kept returning. So for the last 2 years I’ve done none. This year was going to try just 2, well-chosen one and do 2 exhibitions (joined Drawn to the Valley, a group of artists and it has really helped me focus my work and my direction. My confidence has grown and applied to become a member of the Society of Embroidered Work. It was a huge validation of my work to get accepted. Think I was such a victim of that hideous saying “those who can, do and those who can’t, teach”)

So the whole lockdown thing has made me really re-evaluate. At first was trying lots of online stuff but then found your amazing market which has been a totally marvellous and awesome experience for me. My confidence has grown and feel part of such a wonderful community. The realisation that less is more – don’t chase success, let it happen. Now I’m only doing a couple of online markets and when the time is right I’m going to do just one market but do it regularly. My quilts rely on the story, it’s not a product to sell in a quick fix. I need to build up a relationship…you have taught me that, thank you!

Watch Joanna’s interview on our Midday Makers series on IGTV.

Visit her Instagram @mrs_marvellous

Hannah Lush Life London

Hannah from Lush Life London

Midday Makers

My name is Hannah Smith and I run a small business called Lush Life Crafts (@lushlife_ldn on Instagram). I grew up and still live in North Norfolk. I originally set out to become a chef in London then decided to pursue a career in Nutrition, which led me to study a degree at Kingston University. I’m currently in my first year and I love it.

I’ve always been obsessed with crafts and it’s long been my escape from everything. I started selling my makes at car boot sales with my mum when I was younger starting with handmade cards. I eventually started a craft stalls in 2016 and opened my Etsy shop, Lush Life LDN, in 2017. At the start my products were very mixed to say the least. I eventually started to narrow my product range down to mostly hair accessories, although I do branch out to key rings, brooches and paper crafts on my Etsy shop. 

I usually sell the majority of my products at craft stalls, however since the pandemic began all my planned stalls for the summer have been understandably cancelled. However, it has given me an opportunity to regroup and most importantly, get organised! I now have a sort of office /work room to work from, which has made things so much easier. This time has also given me an opportunity expand my business online via virtual markets such as Makers Market from Home and through Facebook and Instagram. 

Makers Market from Home has given me an fantastic opportunity to expand my business and my network. I’ve met so many fantastic creatives and makers through this platform, and it’s really encouraging to see so many makers together supporting each other. That’s what Makers Market from Home means to me, its a family of creatives and makers, supporting each other through unprecedented and uncertain times.

Watch Hannah’s interview on our Midday Makers series on IGTV.

Visit her Instagram @lushlife_ldn

Anna from One Mans Trash

Midday Makers

My name is Anna and I am originally from the Isle of Man. With a travel journalist Mum, I spent a lot of my life travelling the world; not appreciating it at the time but in later life I’ve realised it’s left a huge impression on me. I went to university first in the UK and then the States (undergrad and postgrad), where I studied acting, directing, journalism, and figure skating… 

I then moved to Sweden where I began teaching, but after seven years and at 30, I decided this was not the long game for me. I was always oppressing event management on everyone around me without even knowing it; someone would suggest a cinema trip and I would have organised invitations, costumes, theme, giveaways and catering before they’d even finished the sentence. It was my mother who suggested it might be kind to others to go into events for a living, to spare them, so I returned to the UK and took a diploma in Event Management. 

This diploma sprang me into London’s Event Industry, but I quickly realised that a lot of it is very corporate so I used onemanstrash as a creative escape from that – I am a Theatre major after all… I felt very lucky to have it at this time. Only a few weeks before my internship started, I had been sent to a leather house in London’s Whitechapel to collect some fabric for a London Fashion Week designer who I was ‘running’ for. As I waited for the chap to get the order from the back, I spied the most amazing pile of stunning leathers, only to be asked by said chap upon his return why was I riffling through the bin… I took the scrap home, not really knowing what to do with it at the time. I’d always loved big earrings but the old lugs had starting to take a bit of a hit. The fashion students I lived with helped me put two and two together and onemanstrash was born. 

That was 2014. It was only in March of this year that I realised I needed onemanstrash more than ever. The events industry pretty much died overnight, and onemanstrash was to be my financial and mental health saviour. I began to develop ‘collections’ not just sporadic pairs, which seemed to make it easy for people to appreciate and subsequently follow my page. I had 199 followers at the beginning of March. I began to spend more and more time investigating markets on Instagram, and more and more of them arose due to real markets dwindling. Throughout March and April my followers and sales began to rise slowly but surely. 

Then my first Makers Market From Home in May was when my follower count really started to skyrocket. It felt like a real turning point. What I loved about MMFH was that Andy was a face, a real person, very present and there with us. He had time for stupid questions, was happy to repeat himself, and kept emphasising the importance of fun. That’s really what I needed at the time. By then I hadn’t worked for three months and he really helped remind me that I should be enjoying it. He encouraged us to encourage each other, and people who I originally saw as competition, are now dear Insta pals, and we shout out each others pages often, which feels so good to do. Overall, I’m absolutely stoked I found MMFH, and am really grateful to Andy, Mrs G, Lydia and all the others involved!

You can enjoy our Midday Makers chat with Anna on our MMFH IGTV channel.

Check out Anna’s Instagram account @onemanstrashuk

Jai from Earth Goddess Jewellery

Midday Makers

I’m Jai from Earth Goddess Jewellery by Jai and I create beautiful handmade healing crystal jewellery for the mind body and soul. I’m 42 years young and live in Norwich with my hubby, my dog pixie and my 6 chickens Browny, Snowy, Leghorn, Rogue, Suzy and Dot (they live in the garden not our house lol).

I wasn’t very artistic at school in that I couldn’t even draw a stick man and tended to gravitate more today sports, mainly swimming and dancing and was part of a synchronised swimming team up until age 18 when I decided to up sticks and become a fitness instructor on cruise liners which I did for 3 years and was fortunate enough to see all 7 continents of the world. I’ve always been drawn to beautiful things and would spend hours beach combing for pretty stones and shells with my dad as a child then gluing them to garden pots. I collected lots of beautiful things during my time on the cruise liners, jewellery, sculptures, art, more stones and shells and also a load of old tatt (which I thought was lush at the time – but it really wasn’t)

After 3 years I decided there was no place like home and returned to Norwich where I managed a health club for a few years, before upping sticks for a second time to work in Greece and then St Anton in Austria for an activities holiday company. after a couple more years I’ll returned home again, went on a cruise for a holiday and met my future husband, he moved from Romania to the UK and we settled down and got married. I wanted a job that didn’t include evenings and weekends so landed myself an entry level admin job with Norwich city council, and I’ve been there ever since, I’ve changed roles several times and now work in environmental services.

Throughout all these years my jewellery collection grew and I did a silver-smithing course around 10 years ago which I loved but didn’t really continue with it at the time.  Some years ago me and my husband went our separate ways and a few years later I met my current hubby (he’s not my actual hubby as I’m not going to bother with the marriage part again) but he’s my hubby in all but law. I fell pregnant in 2016 but sadly had an ectopic pregnancy and have struggled to conceive ever since the stress of this and other life events led to me having a breakdown last year and to try to assist my recovery my parents brought me a jewellery making set, beads finding basic tools etc, I had counselling and various other assistance and slowly I started to recover, and as I recovered I rediscovered my love of making jewellery. At around the same time I met a reiki healer and had several sessions with her working on me with energy and crystals and my recovery skyrocketed. I then switched my jewellery making focus to healing crystals and my little biz was born ?

I discovered MMFH on Instagram and decided to take the plunge at their second virtual Market by posting my first ever IG video, Andy and Mrs G spotted me and we got chatting and they kindly invited me to tell my mental health journey on the first day of mental health awareness week. It was absolutely amazing, it felt so good to share my story and the response I had from others was crazy good. MMFH is such a wonderful community based market, it’s a creative family, it has this special something that I can’t put my finger on but it’s just the Mac daddy of online markets (in my opinion) I love how they encourage everyone to grow, share, collaborate and work as one for the greater good of the creative community. MMFH has my heart for sure.

You can enjoy our Midday Makers chat with Jai on our MMFH IGTV channel.

Check out Jai’s Instagram account @earthgoddessjewellerybyjai

Louise from Louby Lou’s Luxuries

Midday Makers

My name is Louise and I’m from Norwich. I grew up in Aylsham and went to Aylsham high school and later onto Eaton collage. 

My business name is Louby Lou’s Luxuries. The name idea came from a nickname my mother-in-law gave me and it really have stuck, even the dog knows me by it. 

The reason I started my business is because I was always buying wax melts for myself and even for presents so I thought why am I not making these myself. I have come a long way since my first ever craft fair and have definitely learnt a lot in terms of how I make my melts to how I like to set up my stall. 

I now offer a range of scents in categories including Fruity, Floral & Fresh, Drinks, Inspired By and Men’s Aftershave. These can be purchased in Pick ‘n’ Mix shapes, Mini Snap Bars and Gift Boxed Shapes.  

My latest product to my business is a range of fashion hoop and hook earrings. 

I am working hard to try and increase my followers and I believe Makers Market From Home is a great platform to help people do this.

Have a watch of our Midday Makers chat with Louise on our IGTV channel.

 Instagram – @loubylousluxuries 

Becci Davies from Shore Fired Pottery

Midday Makers

My journey into clay isn’t really the normal story that you would expect. I never had the chance to do pottery in school and didn’t study art either. I have always had creativity in my bones and suppose I get it from my family, my mum and sister draw and my dad is creative with music.

During university, my career took a rebellious change of direction into hospitality, I loved being around people and running around like a maniac! My career went from strength to strength and I was managing restaurants and bars at a young age. My husband was in this industry too and we thrived at it, getting a couple of bars in Exeter, one of which I ran with my sister for 5 years, a proper community hub of quirky artistical décor, good people, good music, good times!

My husband and I had a real yearning to get out of the city and sold the pubs and our house and moved near Bude, Cornwall. There was a potter who lived locally and I had one lesson and fell in love! I remember coming straight home and saying ‘I want to be a potter!’ and I bought my wheel straight away and got practicing.

At that time (3 years ago) I was managing a hotel in Bude and on one particular day when my boss was being a vile human being, I handed in my notice. I worked my notice period feeling liberated but also thought ‘bugger, what am I going to do’. I then signed up to my local farmers market and I haven’t really looked back. I practiced even harder to not make wonky pots and Shore Fired was born. My pieces are inspired by the Cornish coast and I love to use blue glazes on most of my pieces. I am still experimenting and trying to find my way.   

I have met so many like-minded makers on my journey so far, many that have provided tips and tricks and many are now firm friends. I believe that we are so much stronger together as a community and not against each other as competition. That’s why I love what you have created, it’s put me in contact with a wider audience and I can honestly say that I have made friends as a result.

I am in contact frequently with makers that I met at MMFH markets and it’s given me confidence again to keep shouting out about my brand (however uncomfortable it may feel sometimes). My journey so far is a result of my relationships with customers and makers and you have to embrace the community if the community is to embrace you. It’s a pretty special community and I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy. I probably need to thank my old boss for being an arse next time I see him!

Watch Bec’s interview on our Midday Makers series on IGTV.

Visit her website

Instagram @shorefiredpottery