In the Hot Seat with Julie from Ceramic Fitch24. 11. 2020
Tell us about your ceramic work? How did you get started?
A two hour evening class once a week, sparked my interest for working with clay.
I hadn’t thrown on a potters wheel before, just seen people transform a ball of clay into such wonderful forms. It looked difficult and was up for a challenge.
I remember after my first lesson feeling so excited and motivated about the opportunity to create on a wheel.
Even though, after the first few classes I struggled to even centre the clay. It was only a short time before I felt in control and understood how to work with the clay to form shapes.
The greatest learning for me was that to control the clay on the wheel It required total concentration and everything else that was on my mind for that day completely disappeared. The impact of being able to do that I feel in love with.
I have a creative mind and my education and career reflected that. Yet I’m a very practical person, I like things to have a purpose. Which is why I favour functional products. Tableware and other house hold items are the main focus for my ceramic range.
Tell us what products you make and what are you working on at the minute?
Functional table wear with a difference, an alternative to what’s commercial available.
An item that strikes interest alone within a setting yet also functional for everyday use.
A double walled bowl is a popular choice as it’s so versatile. A cake stand or cheese board, then turn it over for a dip and chip bowl or there are so many other uses as a sharing platter.
A simple bowl within my range has 3 spouts. These are so useful to rest the spoon, pour out liquid and they make handling easy. Horticulture fills my home so the development of my planters was a real personal experiment.
I throw the planter and drainage tray all in one piece. When the clay is leather hard I insert 2 drainage holes into the pot. This way the water can be poured directly into the tray and the plant feeds when required. This also really helped with my inability to keep plants alive!
Currently I’m working on the planters and producing a variation of sizes along side the development of items such as a soap dish. Traditional soap is becoming very popular again and there are some fabulous qualities that come with it. My aim is to produce an attractive soap holder that includes some form of drainage for the residue.
What do you wear when you’re working on your potter’s wheel?
Having a potters apron is an essential item when on the wheel as this allows you wear pretty much what you like.
The lower half of the apron has leg panels to protect you from the spraying clay.
Clay gets everywhere there is no point even trying to stay clean, it washes off easily so for me it’s like a traditional house coat! Julies apron is hand made by Sarah Honeywell.
And when you’ve left your studio and dressing up for an occasion, what’s your to-go outfit?
If I’m going out for the evening I love to wear a easy flowing dress, maxi with long sleeves and a subtle floral print, nipped in at the waist suits my shape. Shoes would always be flat and more casual than the dress. Comfort is really important to me and so is a oversized sweater and cardigan.
Feminine with a little bit of grunge.
Any fashion faux-pas you'd rather forget?
I had a great fashion disaster a few years ago when purchasing a thigh high pair of suede designer boots. I admired them for a while, not my normal style but they were a real statement and I felt so good wearing them. I had chosen to wear them when flying to Holland, I discovered at security control one of the full lengths zips were faulty and when trying to remove them the zip would not budge! This resulted in having to cut myself out of them after missing the flight.
Red faced and embarrassed about the scene I created with a audience. My footwear purchase are now much more considered.
Yogi was born in the 90s, what were you doing, what were you wearing and what were you listening to back in the day?
A neon yellow pair for trousers that can only be described as high visibility work wear were a favourite while I was waiting for the bottom 12 inches of my ridiculously long frayed, flared jean to dry after soaking up every puddle within 10 minutes of wearing them.
A large percentage of my time was spent at the Pink Toothbrush in Rayleigh Essex where I jumped around to Indie, alternative and grunge music.
Most of the 90s I was a student studying fashion and textiles and finally graduating in 1997 from Winchester School of Art with a BA (Hons) degree In Printed textiles.
What is your favourite Yogi style and why?
The wallabie style (willard) takes me right back to a very well loved pair of purple ones I owned in the late 80s. So comfortable they just cushion my feet and reflect an iconic look the works well with most of my wardrobe.