What a week it was...

It was one busy week. So busy in fact that it took us a week to recover and report back. We've taken a selection of pictures from it, so you can take a look for yourselves. Over Saturday and Sunday the 5th and the 6th December we had the most jam-packed Winter Sale ever, and sold over 1000 pots. The proceeds all go to support early-career ceramicists in establishing their businesses. In addition, we raised over £1700 for medical emergency supplies for one of our students, nurse Hannah Goodwin, to take to Calais to help refugees set up a medical centre.

We were also part of Hey Clay, the initiative by the Craft Council and the BBC's Get Creative to get more people getting their hands in clay. We ran free taster sessions with our resident artist Ben Sutton throughout Friday the 4th.

Tallie spent Friday 4th at the Treasury meeting George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and other small business owners, as Turning Earth has been chosen as one of the Small Business 100 - a group of businesses that represent the diversity and innovation in the sector. She learned that small business makes up 60% of the UK private economy. This means that a well-organised small business and co-work movement should be able to influence policy to support more sustainable, decentralised industry, which is what Turning Earth is all about. Together, small businesses dwarf the multinational corporations that the likes of Osborne meet every day and we hope to see them gaining more influence. Organising under the banner of Small Business Saturday seems like a good first step.

For now, we will wish you a Happy Christmas, take a breather, and come back refreshed in the New Year. Our next studio sale will be held on Easter Saturday, 26th March 2016.

 We have never seen so many people at one of our sales! Click through the images to see more pictures of the event.  Image: Sabrina Dallot-Seguro

We have never seen so many people at one of our sales! Click through the images to see more pictures of the event.

Image: Sabrina Dallot-Seguro

 Image: Sabrina Dallot-Seguro

Image: Sabrina Dallot-Seguro

 Turning Earth artists donated lots of pots to raise money for emergency medical supplies for refugees in Calais. They sold like hot cakes and we made £1700 for the relief effort. To donate, please click through this link:  https://crowdfunding.  justgiving  .com/refugee-first-aid    Image: Sabrina Dallot-Seguro

Turning Earth artists donated lots of pots to raise money for emergency medical supplies for refugees in Calais. They sold like hot cakes and we made £1700 for the relief effort. To donate, please click through this link: https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/refugee-first-aid

Image: Sabrina Dallot-Seguro

 Coil pot by one of the Hey Clay students.

Coil pot by one of the Hey Clay students.

 Hey Clay for the Crafts Council and BBC Get Creative. On Friday the 4th December we ran a couple of free coiling workshops with Ben Sutton to give new students the chance to get their hands in clay.

Hey Clay for the Crafts Council and BBC Get Creative. On Friday the 4th December we ran a couple of free coiling workshops with Ben Sutton to give new students the chance to get their hands in clay.

 Turning Earth founder, Tallie (second from right), with Michelle Ovens MBE and other members of the Small Business 100 at the Small Business Saturday Fair at the Treasury on Friday 4th December 2015.

Turning Earth founder, Tallie (second from right), with Michelle Ovens MBE and other members of the Small Business 100 at the Small Business Saturday Fair at the Treasury on Friday 4th December 2015.

 A silly selfie with George Osborne to a) prove it happened and b) because one of the other small business owners shouted "what about the girls?" as he was being ushered away, so the Chancellor was forced to stop in his tracks. Hopefully the voice of small business can be as effective at influencing the government on bigger issues.

A silly selfie with George Osborne to a) prove it happened and b) because one of the other small business owners shouted "what about the girls?" as he was being ushered away, so the Chancellor was forced to stop in his tracks. Hopefully the voice of small business can be as effective at influencing the government on bigger issues.

 Tallie with Michelle Ovens MBE, the pioneer behind Small Business Saturday UK.

Tallie with Michelle Ovens MBE, the pioneer behind Small Business Saturday UK.

Getting excited about our Winter Sale!

Our Winter Sale is coming up on Saturday the 5th and Sunday 6th December. We will be selling pots from 50 ceramicists, as well as mulled wine and street food.

There will be a maker table with demonstrations of different techniques, including throwing, slab rolling, pinching and screen printing.

The sale coincides with Hey Clay weekend, a collaboration between the UK Craft Council and the BBC's Get Creative to get people to put their hands in clay. On the Friday before the sale we are running two taster sessions for Hey Clay, to give people a chance to see what we do. That weekend it's also Small Business Saturday - a day to encourage consumers to patronise small businesses in the UK. Turning Earth has been lucky enough to be chosen as one of the Small Business 100 so we are doing our best to be ambassadors for the cause. It's going to be a busy weekend for ceramics and for all of us at Turning Earth!

We made these beautiful postcards of work by our members as flyers/postcards to advertise the sale. Look out for them around London!

Spoon whittling arrives at Turning Earth

We've noticed that handmade wooden spoons look beautiful with the ceramics we make. So we thought we'd invite expert spoon makers, Yoav Elkyam and Adam Hawker, in for a day of whittling.

They taught two courses and twenty of us got to try the craft. It's incredibly relaxing: no kilns, no glaze... just you and a piece of wood. But - as we soon learned - the knives do have to be very sharp. You can't relax too much! Still, we were pleased with the results.

The spoon in the picture is my first ever try, and I absolutely loved making it. We're looking forward to hosting more of these kinds of workshops in the future.

 

-- Tallie

ITV's Giovanna Fletcher takes 5 at Turning Earth

This week we were excited to receive a visit from ITV's Giovanna Fletcher, who has been exploring activities that people do for their 'me time' for the Lorraine Breakfast show.

We felt quite smug at finding ourselves ahead of the curve, after learning that Lena Dunham has been tweeting about "the indie ceramics renaissance that's happening now" and that David Beckham has been trying a bit of 'paint your own pottery'. Apparently everyone's into ceramics these days. But to hear it described as 'cool' gave us something to think about - it isn't the first word that springs to mind when thinking of our daily life in the studio. Still, we will celebrate finding ourselves in the right place at the right time. Hopefully it will get a few more people into the craft, which we reckon is truly good for the soul. And perhaps it will also bring more people to our studio sales and help our artists make their hobbies self-sustaining. At the moment, that's the dream. 

Giovanna gave it a go with a little (no, actually a lot) of help from Ben Sutton, one of our resident throwers. In spite of the to-be-expected Ghost references, he got away without doing a Patrick Swayze impression. I was a bit disappointed, to be honest.

-- Tallie 

Strictly Come Dancing visits Turning Earth

To say that Turning Earth teacher Tessa Barrett was excited when she heard that Anita and Gleb from the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing would be coming to the studio would be a bit of an understatement. Tessa, who is also a dancer in her other life, is a real fan of the show, and she had a great time taking the two stars for a spin.

As Tessa pointed out on the day, dancing and throwing are quite similar skills. You have to stay centred, have good coordination, know how to be focused and relaxed at the same time, etc etc. As a professional dancer, Gleb, it turns out, was naturally good at it (though we have to say not quite as good as he looked on the show - television editing is a wonderful thing).

Although we too love to turn the studio into one big dance floor - we do it with enthusiasm when we hold our member parties - we have never seen Turning Earth looking quite so glamorous as it did with them in it.

-- Tallie

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Turning Earth One-Year-Anniversary Studio Sale 13th December


To celebrate its first anniversary, Turning Earth Members’ Ceramics Studio is holding its very first studio sale. Exhibitors include our established artists and studio members just beginning their professional journey in ceramics.

There will be throwing demonstrations, refreshments and pots from £1!

VOL will be onsite with a converted horse box, selling beautiful dishes from their Dutch Smokery.

Come and support Turning Earth members, learn more about the studio, and celebrate our first birthday with us!

When? 1pm until 6pm, Saturday 13th December 2014.

Where? Arches 361-362 Whiston Road, London E2 8BW – nearest stations Hoxton and Haggerston on the East London (ginger) Line.

Turning Earth progress update!

Our new location…

I have been working on this project, as many of you will know, since October 2012, helped on the way by several wonderful volunteers. After many false starts and dashed hopes we have finally found an excellent place for the studio, far better than any we’d yet looked at, and now predict we will be able to open this September.  It will take a while to pin down the details of the lease, and until we have done that I can’t disclose the location, but I will whisper ‘Hoxton’ quietly and hope that is enough to excite you. As you may know, Hoxton and Haggerston stations (which are equidistant from the space) are both on that new and wonderful line that runs regularly to Highbury and Islington, 11 minutes north, and down south to New Cross, only 20 minutes away. It’s really easy to get to from many parts of the city. It’s also a great place to spend time, with lots of artists and craftspeople based in the area, wonderful parks, and some interesting new cafes opening up. The Geffrye Museum (home to the annual Ceramics in the City exhibition), is right round the corner. As well as the great overground links there is a bank of ‘Boris’ bikes outside the studio, which is within spitting distance of the canal. We love it. I can also reveal that the studio has a large, private yard that we will transform into a lush garden, where you can expect to spend many an industrious hour being creative while the sun shines. Enough, I’ve said too much already!

Earth Turner Preview Event – Wednesday 26th June

The third piece of exciting news is that our Earth Turner night, a preview and fundraising event, has been set for Wednesday 26th June in a location very near the new studio. If you would like an invite, please sign up and get on our mailing list. We’d love to meet you!

The event is primarily a ‘meet and greet’ for all our supporters and potential members. There will be 3D renderings of the new space, moodboards showing the feel of the studio, throwing demos and free refreshments. We will announce our location that same evening. It will be a great opportunity to talk to us one-to-one, find out more about membership and/or pottery classes, and to network with other ceramicists and hobbyists. If you are a beginner and feel interested in taking up a new craft, come along and find out more – Turning Earth membership may well be for you.

During the event we will be launching our crowdfund campaign, where we aim to raise an ambitious £10,000 with the aid of advance sign-ups from future members and pledges for collectible pieces from our supporters. We will be offering rewards of Turning Earth merchandise (mugs, t-shirts, aprons etc) for crowdfund pledges from as little as £20. We warmly invite you to become an Earth Turner for Turning Earth.

We are extremely thrilled at the generosity of the many people that have jumped on board to help us with our quest to spread the word about the studio. Five high profile London potters, Norman Yap, Lesley McShea, Ali Tomlin, Tina Vlassopulos and Daniel Smith, have so far donated work to reward those that make pledges to help us. We would like to thank them from the bottom of our hearts for being our very first Earth Turners. It’s an amazing thing to do for a new project, and we are very honoured that they have gone to such a tremendous effort on our behalf.

Please continue the great work and keep spreading the word about the studio to all your friends, coworkers, family members and students, or anyone else you meet that might be interested. The more people that know about the project, the more likely we are to hit our crowdfund target and kickstart the studio.

Thank you all, and see you on the 26th!


Tallie Maughan, Founder