fbpx
Artisan Ceramic gifts from Blue Fish

Blue Fish Ceramics

An Oasis of Tranquility in the Artisan Producer World of Ceramics

Ceramic products

I grew up in 1970s Manchester on a council estate in a big Irish family.  Being from Burnage my claim to fame is being in the same class as Noel Gallagher. Mine was the archetypal tough working class upbringing but peppered with house parties, music and lots of trip to Ireland in holidays to visit extended family. My grandfather was Estonian and built boats in Cork harbour. My husband has an Italian mother and Latvian father so it’s fair to say my two girls (15 and 13yrs) have lots of different cultural influences.   

Charming Cheshire Ceramics

handmade products

By training I’m an engineering scientist. I’ve a PhD in physics so I guess you can say that my creativity started down the scientific route. I’ve always loved making, creating and figuring out how things work. I play the cello and have always had some craft project on the go; knitting, home furnishing – even house rewiring!

 

These have only ever been hobbies though until five years ago I started a night class at Mid Cheshire College, looking for something to help me relax from a demanding job. I’d put all my work issues to rights in my head as I worked with clay. I fell in love with clay the minute I got hold of it and was totally hooked. Each day there is something new to learn or try; it’s like driving a new car every day. And throwing on the wheel is so much harder than I thought it would be.  I like a challenge.

 

When the awful news came that our Mid Cheshire college and its lovely ceramics studio was closing all the class were gutted. Rather than give up, a few of us got together and rented space in a local farm to set up our own studio. Things have snowballed since then.  Our group decided to run workshops and classes to raise funds to pay for materials and improvements to the studio.  Just one year on we now have waiting lists for our six-week courses. I teach a weekly evening class and Saturday workshops. This was never really planned, it’s evolved naturally.

My Signature Artisan Ceramic Products

Raku – my signature work

I love to experiment and try new things so I create a pretty wide variety of products. I’m drawn to the concept of ceramics you can use – beautiful, unique but functional pieces. I want to give people that everyday small pleasure of having their morning coffee in a beautiful cup that they can cradle because it fits their hands just the way they like it, or serve a meal for friends on tableware that does justice to the meal they’ve lovingly made. Or put their flowers in a practical but unique vase. In terms of style I make simple, modern or organic forms with texture and layered glaze effects.

 

I am working on Raku and developing this to be my signature work. I’m fascinated by the history of this famous tea ceremony. It’s an extreme making process and tends to be reserved for display pieces rather than functional use.

 

Everyone who picks up a raku pot loves it and asks what it is. There is very little of it around. I want to give a little piece of ancient art that someone can have for their own and make use of.

I love to experiment and try new things so I create a pretty wide variety of products. I’m drawn to the concept of ceramics you can use – beautiful, unique but functional pieces. I want to give people that everyday small pleasure of having their morning coffee in a beautiful cup that they can cradle because it fits their hands just the way they like it, or serve a meal for friends on tableware that does justice to the meal they’ve lovingly made.  Or put their flowers in a practical but unique vase. In terms of style I make simple, modern or organic forms with texture and layered glaze effects.

 

I am working on Raku and developing this to be my signature work. I’m fascinated by the history of this famous tea ceremony. It’s an extreme making process and tends to be reserved for display pieces rather than functional use.

 

Everyone who picks up a raku pot loves it and asks what it is. There is very little of it around. I want to give a little piece of ancient art that someone can have for their own and make use of.

I’m pretty confident researching and giving new techniques a go. I’m methodical and organised so will have an idea, make a plan, take notes on how it went and refine. I’m not phased if something goes wrong; I learn from it and move on. I learnt the basic techniques at college with a great tutor and then looked around and found inspiration everywhere.

 

My ‘have a go’ approach and perseverance means that I usually develop a way that works for me.  Learning to throw on the wheel is a classic example. There are so many different styles and approaches. I basically gave up a year of my life and practiced, practiced, practiced until I found what works for me.

I’ve never run a business and have always worked in academia and the public sector. The studio I’ve co-founded is a not for profit collective (see the story of the Cheshire Clay Collective in Clay Craft magazine). We’ve achieved a huge amount by in the one year since we came together and learnt so much in the process.

 

I’d like to establish a reputation as a maker of high end products and use the collective studio I work from to support the ceramics community. A lot of high profile events and names tend to be in the south of the country. I want to get those big names up North and put Cheshire on the ceramics map.

Producer Gallery

take a look