I interviewed the lovely Paige Mitchell, artist and maker behind the best-selling frilly plant pots and here's what she had to say....
How did you get into pottery?
During the final year of studying for my illustration degree, I felt pretty deflated and like I needed to get my hands stuck into something else. I’ve always been very drawn to tactile object making and sculpture, so ceramics seemed to be a pretty good fit!
I took a few beginners classes which taught me the basics at a local arts centre, and kind of surprised myself when I got on the wheel - I could actually make more than a clay puddle! This all lead to me landing a membership at a local pottery studio where I could really practice my throwing.
White Frilly Plant Pots (£45) Pot and Saucer
What inspires you?
I’m so inspired by all things nature and the natural world. I could spend every second of my day outside! I’m really enjoying working on my garden at the moment, and am thrilled when a new flower, leaf, or piece of fruit/veg pops out! I’ve been finding a lot of broken ceramic fragments in the ground, which has lead me to look at more historic pieces of pottery.
I’m really drawn to detail and can be quite a perfectionist at times. I’m forever drawn to how beautiful old buildings are, and the amount of time and effort that went into historic craftsmanship. I’ve been looking at a lot of cathedrals and historic places of interest over the last few months which have really influenced the work I’m creating.
What frustrates you the most about the process?
The process of making ceramics is unfortunately very unforgiving - you learn quite early on not to get too attached to anything you make! I would have to say spending a lot of time on something, only for something to go wrong in the final firing is pretty frustrating.
Favourite piece you’ve ever made?
I recently made a collection of ornate bulb planters using terracotta clay. They were made in two parts, pieced together and decorated. These are all planted up with spring bulbs and are currently out as part of a window display. We have one baby grape hyacinth at the moment!
Biggest mistake you’ve made?
I pushed an element in my kiln with a bit too much force and snapped it a few years ago! I had already had the engineer out in the same week and had to call him back. I was down a kiln a month before Christmas which slowed me down a lot.
Best lesson you’ve learnt along the way?
Probably patience. Ceramics comes with a lot of waiting around. Waiting for your clay to be the right consistency of moisture, waiting for pieces to dry, waiting for kilns to reach temperature, waiting for them to cool back down, etc. Something is bound to go wrong if you rush the making process!
How would you describe your interior style at home?
My house is very 70’s currently, not my doing, just waiting until I can tear it all out and start fresh! Lots of cladding, some very fitted thick cream carpets, and a very cream and green kitchen...
The couple of rooms which I have decorated are pretty simple. Light and airy. No carpet!
I have a habit of picking things up when I’m out on walks, so I have a bit of a collection of curated twigs and stones and seed pods. I have quite a collection of books, which is always growing too. Lots of cozy areas, but also lots of curated little corners of inspiring things!
What would be your top picks from our current homeware collection?
Oh I love everything you stock to be honest, but the few pieces that definitely catch my eye are your Coloured Edge Bud Vase - please don’t make me pick a colour because I want them all. Im a sucker for a frill, of course, so the Green and Pink Gingham Cushion (Wide Frill) is a must. The Studio Eldorado Green Chequered Cushion is my top pick though. Perfect dusty green, and the quilted detailing is so nice!