As you know our IG challenge is to to focus on our work-in-progress. I have an on-going goal that 'one day I'm going to be good at throwing in porcelain' (which is more difficult than normal clay believe me!)- its not a very smart goal I admit, so it was really nice the other day to realise... actually I've made some improvements. I can give myself a pat on the back for the hard work that I've put in. Of course, I'm not going to rest on my laurels either as now I'm getting excited to think about what other new shapes I can play with.
I'm excited to be announcing May's sponsor as Folksy, the on-line market place for modern British Craft, who are providing the lovely apron pictured below, a ruler and a Folksy Plus Account, which means free unlimited listings for a year. Such a shame I can't take part!
For people who haven't heard of Folksy what's it all about?
Folksy is all about craft. It's a place where makers can sell their work, but it's much more than that. It's a community and a support network. It's a place where people who love craft can see what's being made in all the corners of the British Isles and buy directly from the makers. We've also spent years building up a huge vault of information designed to help makers grow and develop their businesses – I think our blog is one of the best learning resources around if you're a designer or maker. One of the other things that makes Folksy special is that we don't allow vintage or mass-produced items – everything has to be made by hand in the UK. We are a really small team but we are passionate about what we do.
What is your role there?
I'm the Content Lead so I create and steer the direction of the content we produce. Day to day, that means I work alongside the amazing Hilary Pullen to write and commission articles for the blog, curate the collections and pieces we feature on the site, manage our social media, design the newsletters and other marketing material and also talk to people on the forums and in #folksyhour. I meet so many incredible people doing this job and love that it feels like a big family.
How did you become part of the Folksy family?
Back in 2013, James Boardwell (our CEO) had the idea of putting on an event for makers, where they could learn what it takes to run a creative business. He knew me from Butterscotch & Beesting, which was the little company I'd created making textiles and ceramics that told the stories of an imaginary circus. I'd spoken to James before about the problems I had growing my own business, so he asked if I could organise an event that would help other makers experiencing the same kind of issues and answer all those questions. That became the Folksy Summer School and I loved every minute of it (apart from the panic I had five minutes before it started when I looked out and saw crowds of people lining up at the door and had to remind myself to breathe). After that, I joined the team properly and I've been here ever since.
I'm really lucky because it's a job that combines lots of the skills I've gained over time. I studied Art History at university and then worked as a curator and manager of an art gallery. Then I took a bit of a curveball and worked in publishing for 10 years as a sub-editor and production editor, before starting Butterscotch & Beesting. Things have changed so much since my first job in the art and craft world back in 1997 – remember the world before Instagram and SEO? There are constantly new things to learn and you have to keep up. It's definitely not all drinking tea, eating cake, with a little bit of making in between!
If you haven't joined in already I hope you might be inspired to do so....
I've also listed a couple of the items from my process shots above in my folksy shop.
How do I take part?
What does #wips stand for?
If you are an artist, baker, knitter, weaver or any kind of maker then the challenge is to capture part of your process, and style your creation alongside a flower or some greenery to celebrate that moment of making. #wips of course stands for #workinprogress, so its not just knitters who can take part. Just use the hashtag #wipsandblooms and tag myself @ceramicmagpie and this month's guest judge Camilla @folksyhq.
Prizes this month will be provided by Folksy.