I was born in Ripley, Derbyshire and at school I was sent work experience in a bank even though my favourite and best subjects were art and music ! After 3 children, one marriage and doing the thing they told me I would do at school...."go to work in an office as you are just going to have babies"....
I went to university to study a design degree at the ripe age of 31!
Since graduating at Derby University with a first class degree in sustainable design in 2004 I have been working as a part time designer/maker and part time teaching.
I am a ceramic artist designer and have just exhibited some work at the Tate Modern ( Below).
I moved to Cornwall in 2014 to work for the Tate St Ives where I had a studio making my ceramic wares. However I was there only a year when there was a fire in the studio and then the Tate closed for a year; so I was out of work.
So I decided to start my own pottery painting cafe in 2016 called 54 Lemons, where I facilitated arts and craft workshops and pottery painting, as well as delicious organic coffee and homemade cakes.
Below are some testimonials from Trip Advisor :
My 4 and 7 year old loved painting a bowl each (as did I). It was great to be able to sit and have a coffee and cake whilst the kids were entertained. Really welcoming environment and great value for money. A really nice keepsake from our holiday and fantastic to eat our breakfast out of ;-)
A moment of mindfulness
Visited 54 lemons with my boyfriend after coming across on it on Pinterest - what a fantastic find! Highly recommend the cafe, coffee, and ceramic painting, and thought it was a lovely atmosphere with a great selection of pottery books to inspire you. A really wonderful way to spend a morning - and they will post your ceramic to you once it’s been fired!
Fabulous few hours
Really enjoyed a couple of hours here. I'd contacted Michaela before our visit, and she was super helpful - I explained my son and I were novices, but had a homework project to complete whilst on holiday in the area. She was super helpful suggesting best way to tackle our task with the time we had.
The cafe itself has a lovely relaxed atmosphere ( even at half term), with fabulous coffee and cakes.
We'd opted to create our own clay piece, but they offer a fabulous selection of pottery to paint, from plates, mugs to Christmas decorations. Truly a fabulous little place.
Would highly recommend a visit.
While in Cornwall I had met and married a man whom turned out to be violent and abusive. After making police statements and being homeless for 3 months with my 10 year old daughter we came back home to Derbyshire, I managed to pack up the house and cafe/studio into 2 vans and come home.
New Me.. New Plan
My new plan is to restart my pottery and run workshops again. The cafe will also be used as a community place for different events. My aim is to help vulnerable people and children who have been, in or are still in, domestic abuse by providing workshops, advice, coffee and cake etc whatever they need.
Much encouragement is needed after abuse, before a person believes they have value again. My aim is to help these women and children get it back and be free again, and I hope to do it through pottery! Creativity and making has such great mental health benefits and has proven time and time again to be therapeutic.
A beautiful story of restoration I just heard recently was of a Picasso painting which was ripped accidentally by its owner ! The painting was worth $139 million before it was damaged after restoration the picture went on to sell for $155 million! We are more valuable for what we have been through.
I have a premises in Ripley Derbyshire ( video below) to restart my pottery studio and cafe. I have all my equipment including my kiln. The money raised here will be for refurbishment such as ; heating, lighting, a skip, a sink, marketing materials and a wheel to throw on maybe !
Extended funding will be for a lift to get to where we are on the second floor.
I also have ideas beyond this; for a creative hub and a secret cafe. I would like to help children in schools who have been bullied as this can often lead to low self esteem and future of possible acceptance of domestic abuse.
The money will also be used to get myself some training from Womens Aid in helping domestic abuse victims.
More Future Me... Look at me go!...
I had 3 exhibitions booked for this year so far but....
Now due to Covid-19 I have had 2 exhibitions cancelled and 1 postponed.
The 1st ...Sheroes exhibition original date March 20th, I was making ceramic hearts to highlight domestic abuse :
The 2nd .... The Hepworth Wakefield Ceramics Fair this was postponed until September where I will be selling paper clay torso's Him and Hers !
The 3rd ....I was chosen to exhibit for Earth & Fire Ceramic Fair:
This has been cancelled however there is an online catalogue above which can be downloaded ( click link above)
More to come.......
I would like to make a sculpture in honour of the people who died of COVID-19.
I make ceramic hearts frequently in my practice and I would like to make a heart for every person who died in the pandemic.
Eventually I will make these hearts into a sculpture of some kind.