Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The book is closed!

We have now closed out books for Christmas delivery. The last orders being sent to the UK left today. Among them was a cause for a little celebration - our 2000th etsy sale!!
It coincides with there being enough time to now catch my breath after the Christmas rush, and to pause for thought. It has been a really lovely journey on the whole, and doing this full time was something that once up on a time I didn't think would be possible. I am really grateful to all my customers for having liked my ceramics enough to spend their hard earned cash on them! So to all my customers, past present and future - thank you! And a very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

New work - Flutter butterfly

I love all things flighty, and butterflies are no exception! I created the texture of vintage embroidery and lace in the surface of these white porcelain butterflies, and stitched them with sterling silver wire. The aim was to make wall art that was like jewelry for walls. They are available as single butterflies in little individual gift boxes (above) or as larger groups as you can see below.



Each one is unique because they are hand made without using a mold. The position of the lace is slightly different on each one, and I really like the variation that this creates.

They're great even for tricky spaces that need dressing up, because the groups can be arranged to suit your space. They're even suitable for bathrooms because they don't mind if things get steamy!
When I made the first few, I tried them out in my studio, and noticed that their shadows change as the light changes through the day. In the evening with a lamp nearby, or in direct sunlight in late afternoon, their shadows are more dramatic, whereas they are softer at other times. What do you think?! Comments welcome!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Does size matter?


Apparently it does to lots of ladies ;) - I have had a lot of requests for larger bowls lately, and so I will be running more of them in my shop. Here is the first one I have produced for general sale:


This bowl features recycled glass from wine bottles, and this melts in the kiln to produce the stunning watery effect you see here. It cools to form a perfectly smooth surface, but has tiny cracks below the surface and they cxatch the light and sparkle. I love the effect! What do you think?


Monday, 11 July 2011

Summer!


Thank you to my friend Andy who bought me this lovely fuschia for my birthday recently. It's a lovely day here, so I thought I would quickly dry the glaze on a few pots in the sunshine so that I can squeeze them in to the firing I am planning for later today.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Back from holiday...

to a very sweet note from a very sweet lady who used a custom bowl made by me to hold her wedding rings.
Check it out on the photographer's blog here.
Right - back to work!!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Meet up next week...

Myself and Shelby of Good North Vintage invite all local etsy sellers, and anyone thinking of opening an etsy shop, to our informal meet up and drinks at the Cornerhouse Gallery bar (upstairs) in Manchester next Wednesday.
There's a facebook page for it here with the details, but we will be in the bar from 6 - 8.30 pm Wednesday 20th April. The bar has good food, drinks and coffee, and the purpose of the meeting is to establish connections and networking opportunities with like-minded people in a fun, friendly environment. The more the merrier - we'd love it if you dropped in!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

New colour flock now in stock

Check out my new colour of Flock flying ducks, now available in scarlet red! Boom!




I have some more surprises up my sleeve for this range - watch this space!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Registering and protecting your intellectual property...

Is easier than you think. In the United Kingdom, as soon as your design is made or designed and recorded in a tangible form, you own the copyright.
The down side of selling on sites such as etsy, is that now and again, some cheeky **** will copy your work. The upside of selling on etsy IP wise, is that your designs are dated and recorded, assuming you've sold any, in your sold items.
So there you have it - strike one - copyright. United Kingdom copyright is valid worldwide and this is your first line of intellectual property body armour.
Next up: Registering your design.
I was terrified of this for some reason. I though it would involve endless forms and thousands of £... Not true.
If you are in the UK, you can check out how to register your designs here:
http://www.ipo.gov.uk/
You can get a form to fill in here:
http://www.ipo.gov.uk/df2a.pdf
and there are guidance notes about filling it in properly here:
http://www.ipo.gov.uk/df2a-notes.pdf
If you need help with it, you can call them Mon-Fri office hours on 0300 300 2000
It is really not as difficult as one might imagine. You fill in a short form, add photos or drawings, and that is that.
This service is here to protect you, the designer, and safeguard your interests, and your property, worldwide against intellectual property theft. Don't stand for it! How much do you value your design? It costs from £60 to register a design. It is money well spent.
The next part of your defence could be to join a body like ACID. For a small business, this will cost you around £175. Upon joining, you get an hour's free legal advice per problem, as well as having access to network of specialist solicitors who will give you discounted rates.

So what should you do if you think someone is copying your work?

The first step is to gather evidence. Do this before you contact them. Take screen grabs if they are selling online, and gather as much evidence as possible. Get good legal advice and find out for definite that your design is being copied. There are some really good guidance notes about that here in the ACID application brochure if you are unsure. They dispell some myths, such as the idea that if someone slightly changes an element then it is no longer considered copying. This myth is not true.
Next, ask them to stop. Tell them to remove from sale immediately all your offending material. You can also call them out publicly on sites such as you thought we wouldn't notice if you choose to.
If that doesn't work, send the legal dogs in if you have the funds to do so.

I will not tolerate dishonest, shameless, sneaky people who want to rip off my work, and if you're a designer, neither should you.
If you're reading this and you have copied, or intend to copy my work, beware. Most of my designs are registered or have registration pending, and I will have no hesitation in sending in the rottweilers.
Would you tolerate someone stealing your purse? Would you think it was OK to steal money from a stranger? When you steal someone's intellectual property, you are doing just that. It is not fair, it is illegal, and I will not put up with it. Don't get me wrong, I'd much prefer that the fluffy world of etsy was as fluffy as it seems and we could all play nicely with the other kids. But when one of those kids steals my designs, I just will not tolerate it.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

New work

I have been working on a project for a company recently, and here is part of the work in progress...

It will comprise a flock of 30 ducks, and I am excited to see the photos after they have installed the piece.

Also new this month is a poppy serving bowl. I realised I hadn't made any of these for ages when a lady asked for one as a special order some time ago. When hers came out I was so pleased with it that I decided to start running them in my shop again, and the first couple came out today. This one's about 6 3/4 inches across, which is a good size for snacks, dessert or as a small centrepiece.
Your comments are as always very welcome!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

I made...

A new treasury on etsy, and you can see it here. Please check it out if you have a moment! It contains some beauties, such as this from twoinspireyou


and this from okapiknits...

Love these soft stylish colours. Beautiful!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

New items in Spring colours!

Spring colors for those of you in the US ;) I still now struggle with that concept. I know where you are dear readers, and I know that you mainly live in the US. And I also know that on some level you will think I have spelled words like colour and humour and enquiry incorrectly.... I hope you'll forgive what you might see as my poor spelling, and understand that we just spell some words differently to you!
Anyway... I digress.... I got all excited this week, because I saw my first snowdrop. I have one little snowdrop that clings on to life year after year when all the other ones I planted at the same time never made it past season one. And finally, this year, it has a little sibling - yes, two snowdrops! Sibling snowdrop is still in bud, but number one is in as full a flower as a dainty little snowdrop can manage, and this can mean only one thing - Spring is nearly here!!
Which brings me to my new glaze colour... I previewed it last week here, but there are finally a couple of items in my shop in this colour, and here's one of them - Birds of a feather wall art ceramics in springy lime glaze.

Monday, 24 January 2011

I thought things would be quiet after Christmas...

How wrong I was! Of course I am not complaining about this fact, but it has been a craaaaaazzzy busy few weeks. My poor kiln has been on almost constantly, with a few breaks whilst I unload and then load him up again.
I have been working on wholesale orders for some new stockists, including Mercer & Wells, who have two fabulous London stores, and a window display for Stephanie Rose, a specialist florist in Hertfordshire. I can't wait to see how that looks when it's installed!
Aside from that, I have introduced some new colours in a few products, including zesty lime green for my Flock sets of flying ducks...
And also coming soon for Spring is my new key lime glaze for my lace imprinted items. Here's a preview of that, pictured here alongside my Wedgewood and Seafoam bird bowls...
Opinions on the new colours are very welcome of course! Most of my special orders will be out of the kiln in the next couple of days too, and there are one or two pieces that I am really looking forward to seeing.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Treasury...

OK, I have a confession to make. I have now been selling on etsy for over two and a half years, and until the other day I had never published a treasury. OK, I had messed around with the idea, started a few collections, and then got really fussy and precious about it and never shared what I found... And then the thought struck me, just how selfish that was. I have been featured in countless treasuries made by other users, and this has generated huge amounts of traffic to my site, and huge amounts of sales too over the period of time I have been on here.
So finally, here it is...
I give you.... (drum roll please) Anarchy in the UK!


I have tried to do something a little different, both in terms of content and theme. I hope that comes through! There are lots of tenuous and subtle links to anarchy and punk, along with some not so subtle UK references, and I found some great items by sellers I hadn't come across before too. Click the image to go through to the list. The drawing of the shoe is absolutely breathtaking - it's aVivienne Westwood shoe drawn in pencil, and the artist, IleanaHunter has amazing skills!! Other faves are renegade potter carriereichardt's print, fight to be arty. Check out her ceramics too. Fab, and also fitting in a time when students in the UK have been protesting, and even rioting, about the cuts to higher education. I feel for teenagers today whose ambitions to study at university have been affected by these cuts. We will all live in a poorer society when only the rich can afford to study the arts.
Politics aside, this treasury malarkey has been a learning curve too. I am a bit of a perfectionist with things like this, and perhaps being more decisive would have been a good idea, as then it might not have taken quite so many hours... But one thing is for sure, I will appreciate all those lists I get put into just a little bit more from today onwards. Thank you to all the people who have treasured me - believe me I treasure you too!

Friday, 7 January 2011

THE RESULT OF THE POTTERY LOTTERY!


Cheers, applause, whoop, yay!
Her absolutely free lovebird bowl is going out to her next week.
Getting positive feedback is one of the nicest things in my job. The internet can be impersonal, and it is great to hear what works, and have that as a point of contact. Here's what the winner said about me:

"Positive feedback as always! Your items are absolutely beautiful and i've been recommending you to my friends. I have my eye on another dish so i'll be back soon i'm sure! Many thanks, S."

We picked her out at random after literally putting names in a hat, shaking it up and picking one out. So congrats Stonefox, you are the winner!!!!

Happy New Year!

Hope everyone reading had a lovely time. I love this time of year - out with the old and in with the new! I'm not one for going on short-lived detoxes, diets or gym memberships, but I do love returning to normal, maneageable workloads after crazy busy October-December, and then Christmas and New Year celebrations. I have been flat out this week, as I am completely out of stock of some items, and wholesale orders are still coming in. If there's something you've seen before Christmas that you'd like, please get in touch, as most items can be made to order in approx 4 weeks, sometimes more quickly.
The draw for the pottery lottery is nearly here too - I'm hoping to anounce the results tomorrow! Watch this space!

Anyway, before I sign off, I thought I would share this image of an unusual hydrangea that I took last year.

It might seem unseasonal, but it I love the cool pastel green tones, and it makes me feel optimistic and look forward to Spring. Bring on longer warmer days - winter's half way through and summer days will be here before we know it!