Libby Ballard

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MAKER’S INTERVIEW

Libby Ballard

Comfortable with getting her hands dirty we wanted to know what else motivated Libby. Here are her answers to our 10 questions...


1 - where do you live and work?

I live in a little village 10minutes from Bath and work at The Pound Arts Centre in Corsham. A wonderful little art centre based in an old school. I am 1 of 3 Artist in residence working in some renovated studios which where part of the old school building. 

2 -  has making always been important to you?  what did you study?

I have always been interested in getting my hands dirty and working in a hands on way. I studied at The University of Brighton, graduating from 3D Materials Practice WMCP (Wood, metal, ceramics, plastics) in 2013.

3 - what made you decide to start your own business?

It has been quite a steady process. I moved to London after graduating and I needed to work for the first year to save up a bit of money so that I could afford a studio space. I took various jobs, as a ceramic technician, teaching pottery classes, working for other ceramicists whilst having a little table space of my own at Wimbledon Art Studios. It took me a couple of years to really get some work together that started to develop into my range. Slowly I started doing more markets and getting seen a bit more. The busier my practice got I slowly started to stop a couple of my part time jobs. But I then got to a point where I wasn't earning enough in part time jobs to pay for my tiny table space in a shared studio but wasn't having enough time to make enough work to sell as things where picking up selling. So thats when we moved out of London to get an amazing studio and after 8 months I went full time in Feb 2017 and haven't looked back! 

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4 - what are the challenges of running your own business?

Challenges are having enough time to do it all! Running your own business as most people say is juggling all the different parts of your business but doing them all to your best ability! 

5 - how do you develop new products?

I love being outdoors either in fields or by the sea. This is what inspires me and just walking and exploring and taking photos of colours, textures that inspire me along the way. I then just sit at my wheel and have a play! I have an idea of the products I want to develop and then just alter as I go along! 

6 - how do you plan your days?

Every day is so different! I tend to do an hour or 2 of admin and emails in the morning. Then get on the wheel and throw what orders need doing. The afternoon will then be packing up orders and taking them to the couriers on the way home. Other days can involve mixing up glazes, adding handles or photographing products. 

7 - what excites you professionally?

Mixing up new glazes and experimenting with different recipes! Seeing what happens when you overlap certain colours and how they look on different products! And opening the kiln after 2 days is always a great surprise whether it be good or bad! 

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8 -  when you’re not spinning the pottery wheel what do you do?

I love walking in the countryside around where we live. Going down to the seaside to camp and explore new places!

9 - what is on your ‘to-do’ list of dreams?

I would love to run a small B'nB on the coast where breakfast would be served on my tableware. With a large-ish studio in the garden where people can come for weekends away to learn to throw and being in the fresh sea air! Continuing to develop my ranges and ship them out to stockists around the UK. 

10 - what is your most treasure possession?

Photos…of holidays we’ve had and places we’ve been.