Each week we bring you a short interview with our featured seller, this week is Margaret and Catherine from Clay and Wood Works.
Business Name: Clay and Wood Works
Makers names: Margaret Glackin and Catherine Faley
Margaret’s work is influenced by her interest in politics and the built environment. Her sculptural pieces tell a story and are formed by working through a particular issue relating to society today. Her domestic work has been designed to be both functional and aesthetic.
Catherine is a designer-maker working in rescued timber from demolished buildings. Her artisan furniture and household items hopefully challenge the throw-away society.
Describe your style in no more than 3 words: inspired by life!
What do you sell in Fabrication? Various ceramic items: tableware, Yarn Bowls, Nibble and Olive sets, Tankards, etc and from reclaimed wood: tables, benches, towel rails, boxes
How long have you had your own business and what made you start it? Margaret: I’ve been in business for around 8 years and turned professional following a ceramics course at Harrogate college. My sculptural work is heavily influenced by my previous employment in Housing, my interest in politics and the built environment. Such topics are displayed in various of my pieces where the themes of longing for safe space can be seen. I also aim to challenge the perception of neglect and disregarded people and objects.
Catherine joined the business 2 years ago after giving up her (paid!) office job to concentrate full time on a life-long love of working with wood.
What is your workshop / studio like? About 12 years ago we moved to a house where the garden was of sufficient size to build a studio. Following a self-build course Margaret drew up the plans and obtained planning permission. The result was an environmentally friendly, “post and beam” timber built workshop (along the lines of the Walter Segal method) consisting of such elements as recycled timber and hemp and cotton insulation. Catherine was using part of the studio to carry out her woodworking but it was becoming more and more cramped, so last summer we built a second studio for her.
What are your beverage and snack of choice when working? tea, coffee, anything with caffeine!
What do you find the biggest challenge of running a micro-business? Working from home can make it difficult to switch off and take time out. We spend far too long discussing work when not in our studios and have to make a conscious effort to take a day off. Finding time to do the admin jobs is also a struggle at times but it is equally important to making in the workshop. Keeping the website updated can be a full time job in itself at times!
If you could go back in time, what would you tell a younger you? Nevertheless the pleasure of working for yourself can’t be underestimated and you never tire of hearing lovely comments from customers.
What advice would you give to someone who’s just starting out? Rely on your friends when you need some extra help with “non-making” jobs, and seek out good business start-up courses.
Why did you join Fabrication, and how long ago? Margaret has been member since it began. Catherine joined a couple of years ago