Designers and makers: A chat with Taz Pollard

May we introduce you to Taz Pollard a potter from Devon and one of our recent discoveries.

Where is your home town and where are you based now?

My home town is Barnstaple in North Devon and despite plans to move to London after University I still live in North Devon but in a little village on the edge of Exmoor.

What’s on your bedside table?

Hand cream and a pen. Hand cream because working with clay makes your hands really dry and a pen because I get my best ideas in the middle of the night.

What homeware item do you seek to find the perfect version of?

Mugs. Tea and coffee taste so much better out of a decent handmade mug, my favourite are the two that taper in at the top. I am so busy that I often forget that I have made a drink and these two designs keep the tea hotter for longer.

What have you made that you are most proud of?

Yellow Daze. I love the combination of form, colour and plastic wire. It is a fabulous piece which very quickly found a home.

What is your background? How did you get into ceramics?

I was lucky enough to do a GCSE in ceramics at secondary school and I have been making ever since. Most recently I completed an MA in ceramics at Bath Spa but I remember from my first day at school there was a class making with clay and that was all I wanted to do.

Describe your design process:

My design process involves sleepless nights and lots of problem solving. Ceramics is a very technical subject so getting from bright idea to finished product can be tricky but that is what I love the most about what I do.

The house is on fire, what do you grab?

We had a similar situation recently where my kiln was giving off very high levels of CO so we had to evacuate the house in the middle of the night. You really don’t think about anything else other than getting your family out, nothing else matters.

Describe your style in three words:

Bold. Quirky. Neon.

What is your current obsession?

Neon flocking. It’s amazing stuff, I have to restrain myself from flocking everything.

What does the future look like?

Exciting, I have had an amazing amount of work since completing my masters and I can’t wait to see what the next project will be.

Our range of Neon Dipped Cylinder Vases are now available to buy online..


Designers and Makers: A Chat With Katie Leamon

We would like to introduce you to Katie, Katie designs our very popular black and white cards. They are selling fast, a particular favourite with our customers is the ‘You’re Lovely’ card. Which is very heart warming. We wanted to get to know Katie a bit better so we sent a few questions her way….

1.What is your hometown and where are you based now?

I was brought up in the essex countryside, near harlow, but now live in Brixton, London.

2.What is on your bedside table?

I like to have flowers around me as much as possible, but absolute staples are lip balm and a bedside lamp for late night reading or drawing.

3.What home ware item do you always seek to find the perfect version of?

Antique chinaware is my weakness, I have tonnes of it. I am always drawn to the delicate patterns, intricate chinaware and pastel shades, although sometimes the most imperfect ones that show they’ve been used and loved are the best!

4.The house is on fire, what do you grab?

To be honest in a fire I think I would just get out, but if I was thinking straight id try and grab my phone so I could actually do something helpful when I got out! As for material things, the only thing would be a little trinket box I got as a child that houses lots of special bits and bobs.

5.What is your greatest source of inspiration?

Friends, family and colleagues, I work at a Studio space in Waterloo and we have a great buzz around the studios from a whole host of disciplines which helps add some dimension to your ideas. I also love magazines such as Uppercase and Selvedge and design blogs like ‘confessions of a design geek’ and ‘paper crave’.

6.What home ware item do you own that is most coveted by your friends ?

Shelving unit my brother made me for Christmas from disused crates.. I love it, as does everyone at the studios!

7.Describe your range/ collection in three words:

Tangible, classic & British

8.What would surprise people about you?

Umm thats a hard one…  I guess it might be surprising that I don’t actually speak French despite the fact I have a lot of designs that involve french typography! I just love the language and think it suits the brand! Other than that I think the brand is a good representation of me personally! Oh an maybe that you pronounce my surname like the fruit ‘lemon’!

9.What is your current obsession?

Baking carrot cake – has to be the hummingbird bakery recipe

10.How would you describe your style?

Vintage British meets whimsical contemporary chic!

11.What are you working on at the moment?

I’m always juggling a few things at once, but I am working on some gold foiled cards for Christmas and an exciting commission with Caramel baby & Child and Selfridges but won’t say much more about that at the moment!

12. Briefly describe your design process:

I tend to sketch and write down ideas as they come to me, even if I haven’t got time to design that week. I then come back to those ideas and those I have been thinking about or can envisage on a card/wrap/notebook I will develop and draw up properly before scanning it and finishing it off/clearing it up on photoshop. If the design is for the hand printed cards the design is then sent off to be made into a rubber stamp. I have a bad habit of working backwards, I will envisage something as an end product then try and create it but I sometimes wish I just had time or the patience to see how a design evolves.