I wrote this article for the Artists in Business blog, as they have a “In The Studio” section and feature a few artists every month. I had a message today saying I’d been featured for December, and here it is:
Ceramic Artist Charlotte Hupfield
“My passion for ceramics started from an early age, and it was at university where my skills, techniques, understanding and creativity developed. After graduating in 2008 I have continued to develop my ceramics over the past 18 months.
I began by working from home which wasn’t ideal as it got rather messy and storage space was limited. When everything took off 6 months ago I decided it was time to have my own creative space to produce work.
My workshop in the garden has been a life-saver and I don’t know what I would do without it now. It’s nice to sit out there at my leisure with a cup of tea. It’s also great to have so much natural light coming in through the windows. I have the occasional friends that sometimes come to say hello, such as the robin who watches me through the window, and the squirrel who jumps about on the roof! There is a big Christmas tree right outside the window, so I’m looking forward to the sight of it decorated nearer to Christmas.
I enjoy cleaning, tidying and organising my workshop every now and then but it soon gets untidy again! I made my own ceramic plaque which hangs on the outside next to the door. My plaques have been quite popular this year and I’ve made several for other peoples’ craft cabins and studios.
It gets a bit stuffy in the summer but it’s nice to have the door open with fresh air coming in. On the other hand, I’m just starting to experience the winter weather! I’m lucky to have a hallogen heater which heats up the small space and soon makes it feel warm and cosy.
My current work ranges from handmade items inspired by the natural world such as vases, bowls, sculptural vessels, coasters, plaques, clocks, letter racks, candle shaders, as well as smaller items including magnets, keyrings and brooches. I’m looking forward to lots of future design and creativity in my workshop.”
We didn’t wake up to much snow the other day, instead it started falling during the day and gradually got thicker. It has been so nice to see it all so close to Christmas. Hopefully it will stay like it for a while!
Molly ventured out into the snow for the first time, she didn’t quite know what to make of it at first but once she’d been all round the garden she didn’t want to come back in! Her paw prints looked cute, and she kept sneezing every time a snow flake touched her nose.
There were lots of icicles about too – very pretty!
I had a nice surprise last week when my leaflets were delivered, especially because I got an extra 100 free. It took me ages to design them, so it was nice to see all the hard work finalised. They look great in the leaflet holder that I bought.
I’ll have the holder on display at craft fairs, give some out to the galleries that stock my work, and put one in with every order that I send out.
Not sure if I will be blogging again before Christmas, so if not I hope you all have a brilliant time, have lots of festive fun, eat & drink plenty, and go careful in the snow!!
Do you have any of your art work or crafts around your house?
I wont begin to think about my work that my family and friends display around their homes, theres loads! I’ll save them for another time. Here’s what is displayed around my house…
a vase on my bedroom window sill.
a bowl in the bathroom.
a sculptural vessel on top of the freezer in the kitchen.
a coral coil pot in the garden.
and another vase on my desk where I keep pens.
Its been a busy weekend sales-wise for me, it is very exciting!! My online shop seems to be attracting a lot of visitors since I added more new items, and I’ve also had sales on Folksy, plus my first ever sale on MISI. I had some spare sheets of cardboard lying around so Dave suggested he could make me some custom handmade boxes for my orders.
Here are a couple of them. They are made to size to fit the product, plus extra space around the edges for packaging. They look fantastic, isn’t he clever?!
The lady who bought one of my clocks asked me to send it direct to her son because its a gift. She wanted this on the gift tag… “Time goes quicker as you get older.”
I’m pleased to announce a new stockist of my ceramics – The Vault Gallery in Bristol.
It is a new gallery that has only been open a few months. The gallery owner bought one of my vases at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta in August this year, and later contacted me asking if I’d be interested in displaying some of my work in her new gallery.
There are only a few bowls, vases, plaques, coasters and a clock for now but I’ll be sending more work in the New Year. The gallery website is still being built at the moment so I’m looking forward to seeing that when its finished.
The lovely owners of Made-It also hosted a small selection of my work alongside other contemporary crafts at a craft fair in Yorkshire a few months ago, I forgot to post this picture!
Its feeling very Christmassy around the house now that the tree and all of the decorations are up. The theme this year is pink and gold. I like going home every day to walk into a nice cosy decorated house. My favourites are the hanging stars, and of course the ceramic Merry Christmas plaque that I made! The plaque is for sale in my Folksy Shop.
Molly has already discovered the baubles and that they eventually drop off the tree if she keeps poking them with her paws. It’s funny watching her chase them around the house!
I wanted to put tinsel around the big pine tree in the garden but I thought the birds might try flying off with it.
Lots of lovely goodies have caught my eye on Folksy recently, and they all seem to be made of fabric. Here are just a few of my favourites:
This Jam Jar / Tin Can Wrap by The Cotton Potter is absolutely gorgeous, and such a nice idea. I want to buy one for someone for christmas but may buy one for myself to wrap around one of my little vases and keep my pens in it.
This Christmas Tree Garland by Kirsty Elson Designs is really pretty. It would look great across a fire place and would brighten up any room.
I also found this cute fabric brooch made by PANTSANDPAPER, I’m thinking of buying this to pin on my new bag that I’m getting for christmas!
Folksy is going great for me sales-wise, I think a lot of buyers have been buying my ceramics as gifts for christmas. I am always restocking my shop, check back for newly listed items!
I took part in a secret santa swap on the UK Crafts Forum this year, it was fun!
I posted my gift last week, I made this decorative wall hanging with 2 red ceramic trees and a white oatmeal star at the bottom. They are all attached together with thin wire. I hope the recipient likes it!
I received my gift yesterday, and have been a bit naughty! I kind of opened it… but I didn’t realise that it was my secret santa gift until I’d opened it! It was this pack of 10 cards made by Emma of Kullakita Cards, they are all perfect for me because they all have photos of natural things on the front which is what I love. I think I am going to use them as Thank You cards. The cards with pebbles on are my favourite. I want to say thank you to Emma but I don’t want her to know I’ve opened it!
I think I am just about ready for Christmas now, but its hard to know when to stop buying presents!
What does Christmas mean to you? This blog – ‘Creative and Faithful‘ is an interesting read. I’m looking forward to viewing my entry which will be posted on there in the next few days.
I graduated in 2008 and haven’t ever featured any photos of my Degree Show on my blog, so here they are!
My installation was quite a large arrangement, I had a family of 4 different sculptural vessels, a bowl, 2 framed prints and another ceramic piece which I called ‘Rocking Form’ because it had a curved base. My prints were collographs of a large printing block I had made with loads of different natural objects and patterns stuck on it, then I used the block to roll my clay onto, and piece together into organic forms.
It took ages to decide how to arrange each piece, and also where to display the plinths so that they could be walked around. I remember putting up all the wooden boards around the edge of the room and painting them all, not knowing where my work would be situated. Then when we all got told I couldn’t stop painting the walls around my space to make sure they were perfect!
Our degree show was called ‘Creo‘, which means “I create” in Latin.
These sculptural vessels look great outside. Since my degree show, I’ve entered these pieces into 2 different exhibitions – Showborough House Sculpture Garden in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire (see image of my family of sculptures at the bottom of the page), and Sculpture in the Sanctuary in Nottingham, where I sold one of the large sculptures.
Below: Mother & Father Organic Structures
Just before our degree show, we all took part in a group exhibition at The Custard Factory in Birmingham. Its a really nice venue.
The exhibition seemed to attract a wide audience, and there was a large mixture of Contemporary Crafts. We all made our own questionnaires to gain audience feedback about the work on display which turned out to be really useful.
I am really pleased with how far I have come in the past 18 months after graduating… I have my ceramics in 5 galleries with 1 new shop interested, I’ve exhibited and sold my ceramics at 11 craft fairs and international events with more booked for 2010, My work has been in 5 public exhibitions, I have had my own solo exhibition with an open day and feature in the newspaper, I took part in Open Studios, my online shop on my website is up and running, I was listed Crafter of the Month on UKCFIS newsletter, I’ve been asked to make special pieces of work as commissions, and I’ve got my own workshop where I can make anything I want, whenever I want.
I wonder what the next 18 months will bring?!
I’ve been making a few of these vases recently and thought it would be nice to show one being taken out of the mould. This shape is my favourite, its so slim and elegant. Although my vases are cast in moulds, each one is still individually unique because I decorate them in different ways. No two vases are ever the same!
I haven’t made much else over the past month, the workshop has just been used for dumping all my stuff in after craft fairs and I haven’t been bothered to tidy it, but its been nice to have the break!
The vase above will have a rustic and natural decorated surface like the vase below, but it will have scorred lines running down it. Its a present for Daves mum for Christmas, I hope she likes it. This actual vase in the photo below is for sale in my Folksy shop, with other new products coming soon.
I’ve got lots of new ideas for new things to make, such as ceramic buttons and tea, coffee & sugar pots. I’m going to wait til the new year before I start on a new batch of work. Until then, I can’t wait to……
I also couldn’t resist showing you how Molly has grown!
She has been a little under the weather this week with sore gums from teething but she is much better now, and back to her original mischievous self. You can see that beady look in her eyes here! Still worried about what she will do to the christmas tree when it goes up next week, I can just imagine her biting a bauble and trying to run off with it, taking the whole tree with her…….
Well its 1st December already! Where has this year gone? Time to start talking about Christmas and presents, woohoo!
I’m thrilled with this handmade personalised exploding box for my mum, its for Christmas and I can’t wait to see her open it! It was made by my friend Kaz of Kazzells Crafts, she is brilliant! Check out her blog to view some of her other amazing creations.
The box literally ‘explodes open’ in your hand when you have untied the ribbon and taken off the lid. It’s full of photos of me and my mum, decorated to my requirements and contains personalised wording such as “Always remember our special memories.” My favourite is the little enveloped pocket… once you think you have looked at everything inside the box, theres more inside the pocket! The middle section also spirals out and opens up like a flower, revealing another surprise photo.
The box is completely handmade from paper and card, and has also been hand painted. I feel very lucky to have had 2 of these boxes made for me as gifts now, Kaz is very talented!
Do you remember the other box I asked Kaz to make me for Dave? Click here to see it. Amazing aren’t they?