Q1. Tell us where it all began
Vivien O’Malley Ceramics is a pottery and teaching studio based in Dunhill Co. Waterford. Growing up in a creative home with a woodturning father and graffiti artist brother; it was sort of inevitable that I would become interested in the artistic life and so at 17 I attended LSAD where I very quickly fell in love with pottery.
In the years that followed I worked with potters across Ireland and attended Dccoi’s Ceramic Skills and Design Course in Thomastown, Kilkenny.
Added to this some years of travelling and further education in international pottery techniques and design, I have now set up my dream studio in Dunhill, Co. Waterford.
From this studio I also teach pottery to people of all skills and ages.
“It was sort of inevitable that I would become interested in the artistic life”
Q2. What differentiates you from similar businesses in this area?
Having travelled for some years before opening my studio I was able to bring a wide range of techniques and styles into both my practice and my teaching studio.
I also offer a very unique membership scheme for potters who are eager to begin their own creative journey, beyond that of the taught class.
It is often difficult to start pottery at home due the equipment that is needed to pursue such a hobby. Memberships at Vivien O’Malley Ceramics gives people the opportunity to do something they love, without investing in any expensive equipment.
“It is often difficult to start pottery at home due the equipment that is needed to pursue such a hobby.”
Q3. What would you say are the biggest challenges your business is currently facing?
I think the biggest challenge that my business is facing, is the same as most small Irish businesses now. A rocket in costs, and an unsure future for our economy.
Not only has the cost of materials, rent, and electricity risen dramatically in this last year, but also an unstable looking future makes me nervous, and I know a lot of other business in the arts feel the same.
“I think the biggest challenge that my business is facing, is the same as most small Irish businesses now.”
Q4. What are your top ‘moments of joy’ over the past 4-5 years?
Since launching my business, I have been so blessed with a lot of top moments of joy.
From opening my first studio in Kilmacthomas to expanding to my new studio in Dunhill.
I have been so lucky to have my work shown in great publications such as Decor Magazine, The Irish Times, The Independent, Irish Country Magazine, Examiner and more.
I am also so proud to have won the “Irish Made Awards” in 2021 for their Home Category. Exhibiting in great places like the National Design Gallery, and being accepted into the Homo Faber Guild
Q5. What does the future hold for your business?
I really love bringing creative energies together, whether it is bringing like minded creatives together or working one on one with other small businesses. I have started teaming up with other great artists to offer art courses in other artistic areas like painting. Working with other artists is endlessly fascinating to me and I can’t wait to see where this goes.
Teaching pottery to people, especially beginners is always a great joy for me. I love the creativity and the dynamics of a pottery class.
There is always opportunity for new courses and offerings, I collaborated recently with a fantastic business called Copper Coast Home Fragrances and Natural Skincare. Victoria and I started a new brand called the V&V where we collaborate on bespoke products and scents for the home.
I really love designing new work and have lots of new ideas that I can’t wait to share with you.