Q1. Tell us where it all began
I found my love of clay when I was preparing a portfolio to apply for Art College in secondary school. I loved the clay in my hands and found I could really express myself with it. I then attended Crawford Art College in Cork and studied Ceramic design.
After that I travelled for a while and came back to complete the Pottery Skills Course which was running in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny. I worked with several potteries, Ardmore, Badger Hill and Stephen Pearce being the main ones and also started making my own pieces part time.
More travel followed and when myself and my husband returned to Ireland from Australia in 2008 I started making my pieces full time.
“I found my love of clay when I was preparing a portfolio to apply for Art College in secondary school.”
Q2. What differentiates you from similar businesses in this area?
My pieces are inspired by a ‘bird’s eye view’ of the Irish landscape and the range really appeals to people wanting a reminder of our beautiful mountains and coastlines.
It is very popular with Irish diaspora giving them a connection to ‘home’. Also the way the pieces are hand shaped and hand-painted with glazes, oxides and recycled glass ensure that no two pieces are ever the same coming out of the kiln.
“…the way the pieces are hand shaped and hand-painted with glazes, oxides and recycled glass ensure that no two pieces are ever the same coming out of the kiln.”
Q3. What would you say are the biggest challenges your business is currently facing?
As a bit of a technophobe I find keeping active on social media challenging. It is definitely a large part of a businesses success if you can keep active and relevant on all the social media platforms.
Of course managing the rising costs has been hard, I’ve had to change suppliers for clay and materials in an effort to keep price increases to a minimum.
Luckily customers are being supportive and trying to buy handmade Irish products if possible.
Q4. What are your top ‘moments of joy’ over the past 4-5 years?
In 2018 I travelled to the QVC shopping channel headquarters in Pennsylvania, USA for their St. Patrick’s Day special where I was showcasing one of my Rectangular Landscape Dishes. It was a great and different experience to be out of the studio and wonderful to be asked to go there.
After hunkering down for Covid, in 2022 we were honoured to have a visit from the Australian Ambassador to Ireland, Hon Gary Gray AO. The Ambassador visited the studio and saw some of the processes we use in our day to day work.
Also in 2022 I was delighted to be shortlisted for the best eCommerce website at the inaugural Waterford Digital Awards. A lot of hard work goes into planning and designing a website and it was lovely for that to be recognised.
Q5. What does the future hold for your business?
As a small hand crafting business I am always thinking of new designs and ways to make them. I love the creative process and find it so fulfilling to see the finished pieces and when customers love and connect with their pieces.
This year I travelled to Maison et Objet with the Waterford Local Enterprise Board as part of an initiative to bring my pieces to a wider audience. It was a very inspiring show and definitely something I would like to do in the future.
“As a small hand crafting business I am always thinking of new designs and ways to make them.”