being the inquisitive little feltmaker that i am, i thought it might be interesting to hear about other maker's stories. if you would like to be featured, please leave me a comment and i'll get in touch with some questions for you.
so, grab a cuppa, put your feet up and lets meet charlotte from charlotte hupfield ceramics ...
Please introduce yourself …
Hello! My name is Charlotte Hupfield. I am a Ceramic Designer/Maker, living and making my work in Northamptonshire, UK. My passion is clay! I have a beautiful cat named Molly, I have a huge soft spot for anything earthy, natural & organic, I enjoy going for walks in the woods, I love to sit out in the garden on a summer evening chatting with a glass of wine, sunshine makes me smile. My favourite foods are pizza, roast chicken & marshmallows (although not all together!), and I love trying tasty new recipes.
How would you describe your work / style?
I sell a range of unique handmade ceramic items including vases, bowls, sculptural vessels, clocks, sets of coasters, wall plaques, letter racks, hanging decorations and accessories. I’m always coming up with new items and designs. Each item is an individual one-off so no two pieces are ever the same. My main source of inspiration comes from the natural world and I hope this shines through in the style of my work.Who, or what, inspires you?
I’m inspired by everything natural - especially close up surfaces such as tree bark, rocks, and plants. I like to photograph these types of things whilst out walking, I’ve always got my camera with me! Whilst concealed amongst these natural surroundings in the landscape, I feel relaxed and at home. I find it amazing to see the changes in rocks and coves caused by weathering and erosion from the sea, bumpy and colourful linear patterns found within fields and hills, and the surfaces in nature where no two marks are ever the same – it is this particular aspect that my ceramics connects to.
Do you sell your work? If so, what helped you decide to start selling your work?
I started selling my work towards the end of my degree where I specialised in a BA (Hons) in Surface Decoration, 2008. It was part of one of my modules at university to get my work out there into some sort of venue, and I decided to approach a local gallery about displaying a selection of my work. They ended up selling a few pieces in a short amount of time which was such a great feeling, and this made me want to start selling my work everywhere I could.
Where can I buy your work?
My work can be purchased from various online shops including;
My direct online store: http://www.charlottehupfieldceramicsshop.com/
Swanky Maison: http://www.swankymaison.com/about/charlotte-hupfield-ceramics.html
Gift Wrapped & Gorgeous: http://www.giftwrappedandgorgeous.co.uk/supplier_13896-products.htm
Made by Hands of Britain: http://www.madebyhandsofbritain.com/makers/charlottehupfieldceramics
Wow Thank You: http://www.wowthankyou.co.uk/store/supplier.php?secondary=26#
My work is also available at different galleries and outlets (see the Stockists page on my website), and at various craft fairs and events I am attending throughout the year (see Events page on my website).Do you have a website or blog address?
My website is http://www.charlottehupfieldceramics.com/ and my blog is http://www.charlottehupfieldceramics.blogspot.com/ I love my blog and enjoy reading others, it's great way of networking with other like-minded people and sharing thoughts, tips, ideas and experiences.
How did you learn your craft and how long have you been creating?
It all started with my fascination with clay at school, which led me to develop my creative skills at college where I completed various A-Levels including 3D Design, Fine Art and Art & Design. This broad range of artistic skills and knowledge got me straight into university where I studied a BA (Hons) in Surface Decoration. I have always found surfaces, patterns, textures and colours the most visually appealing. Throughout this 3 year course I specialised in ceramics and focused on developing my own style of work. I have now been continuing to make and develop my work from my workshop in my garden for the past 2 years.Is there any other craft skill you would like to learn?
I always enjoyed textiles in college, and would love to be skilled on a sewing machine.
Have you had any work featured in magazines/books/galleries?
My large organic structures which were part of my degree show pieces of work were featured in the Ceramic Review magazine, and I have also been featured in the Creative Connections magazine. My work has been displayed in various different exhibitions.
If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be …
Probably dreaming about doing it :)
I couldn’t do this if it wasn’t for …
My mum and my boyfriend for all of their appreciated support.
Describe your perfect day.
Preparing loads of delicious food and inviting my friends & family over for a relaxing day in the sunshine, and then discovering my e-mail inbox was full of orders and sales!Describe your proudest moment.
When I passed my driving test about 6 years ago, I was convinced I'd failed!
What do you do to relax?
I like to sit out in the garden with my feet up on a warm day. I also enjoy snuggling up on the sofa with a good film.
Marmite … love it or hate it?
Hate it :)
What animal would you be, and why?
Probably a cat. My cat Molly is so laid back and doesn't have a care in the world. Oh, and she gets to sleep when she wants, for as long as she wants!What’s your weakness?
There's not a day that goes by where I can't resist checking my e-mails, reading blogs, and reading the Folksy forums.
How do you keep motivated?
Listening to music while I'm working keeps me motivated, I somehow manage to get lots done. If I’m ever feeling stuck for inspiration (which does happen from time to time), I dig out a book I own called Sources of Inspiration by Carolyn Genders and have a good flick through it. This book guarantees to get the creative juices flowing again!
What do you wish you’d known when you first started out?
That my 'to do' list would always be about 10 pages long, so that I could prepare myself to be more organised!What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Don't let things that get in your way put you off. Follow your dreams and keep at it, no matter if other people think what you're doing isn't right. It is a lot of hard work, and can take up a lot of your time, but it is important to take breaks away from things every now and then! Learn to take really good photographs of your work to show off its high standards, and most of all enjoy it all.
thanks for taking the time to chat charlotte, glad to know i'm not the only one with a 10 page to-do list! don't know about you, but i seem to add three more to-do's for every one i manage to tick off :)