Of all the things you've created, what is your favourite piece and why?
It's not actually the work but rather a personal object, which is a piece of hand thrown porcelain platter with my daughter’s foot print on. I just love it so much and it’s on our mantle piece so we can see it every day. Clay does shrink, especially if it is porcelain, so the foot print is not the exact size, but it was not about the accurate size but the memory that I wanted to keep. When my girl turned one year old, I threw a plate and got my husband to carry her whilst I was pushing her wiggly feet against the surface of wet clay! Then I stamped her name and DAY365. I made two pieces, one for us to keep, the other one for her.
You became self-employed last year. What advantages have you seen in running your own creative business, and what have you found challenging?
Being my own boss is certainly an advantage! I had worked for an organisation for a long time, and there were times where I felt I was going nowhere (because of the management system). I like the fact that I don’t have to bang my head against a wall anymore for such reasons. Of course there are difficult times being self-employed and you have to work hard. But having control over how I work is great.
Another good thing is flexibility. Whilst before I had to juggle a lot to take time off work, but now I can organise my time without much restriction, so that I can arrange to come and see my daughter’s show at school etc. and sometime I can take a day off to go to ceramic events, which I did a couple of times this year and it was great!
Lack of time is the most challenging part for me. At the moment, my girl is in her first year at school, so she still needs me quite a lot. So I can only work during her school hours and when my husband is available to look after her in the eveving or on the weekend. I never have enough time for the making process, but I guess lack of time is everyone’s challenge. Pottery is time consuming, and you need to get work done at the right condition of clay, so balancing timing within your limited time is hard.
How would you describe a typical work day?
I go to the studio at 9am straight after the school run and then work up until 3pm. Depending on the task of the day, I may be throwing, turning or glazing etc, or doing several tasks in a day. Every morning I start with my studio diary, in which I write down a rough planfor the day ahead. As my studio is in my garden, I pop back to my house to have a quick lunch. At this point, I often pop out to my garden for five minutes or so, to breathe and refresh my mind. I sometimes work on evenings and weekends, depending on the work load and tasks left from the day.