Monday 29 November 2021

Colour Crush

 Well, its been a while hasn't it!?

I thought I'd just pop in and say that although I'm not blogging regularly on this platform, you can still find lots of lovely posts over on my instagram account, so please come and follow along if you fancy it, I'd love to see you over there.


Here are a few of my recent colour crush posts...

(image credits can be found on the post over on instagram)

x x x


Wednesday 2 June 2021

Meet the Maker - Leanne Ball | Rolling Roses

A brand new regular feature where I’ll be interviewing and showcasing the amazing talents of crafters, designers, makers and creative indie businesses!

First up is the super lovely Leanne of Rolling Roses who creates the most beautiful, decorative ceramic jewellery and homeware pieces.

1. Tell us a little about Rolling Roses... 

I have loved making since being a kid and playing with 'Get Set' craft kits and Fimo.

I progressed to clay in art classes at school and was instantly addicted. I went on to study Contemporary Crafts at Lincoln University, specialising in ceramics. After graduating I shared a studio with a friend for a while before taking the plunge in 2013 and buying my own kiln and converting our little outhouse into a small studio space. I began experimenting with porcelain and just loved it's delicacy and purity. I live in Nottingham, a city known for it's lace heritage and became obsessed with lace after visiting an exhibition.

I found that the beautiful and intricate patterns found in lace took so well when impressed into the clay surface. Inspired by the beautiful detail created I began to work on a range of functional and decorative homeware combining both materials.

The name Rolling Roses comes from the process of rolling the often floral lace into the clay.

Celebrating the purity of the porcelain with a soft pastel colour palette and hints of gold, the Rolling Roses range has gradually evolved ino a recognisable collection of feminine ceramic homeware with a complimentary range of jewellery.

2. What did you do prior to starting your own business? 

Until last year I have always worked full time alongside making and gradually building up the Rolling Roses brand. I have been lucky to work in roles in the Interiors and customer service sector which I love, enjoying the creative and social side of this work.  After graduating University I worked as a visual merchandiser and Deputy Store Manager for a lovely interiors company for a number of years.

When we were sadly made redundant I began working as a Customer Account Manager for a local family run company who manufacture art for retail and industry, looking after printing and contract work for other small businesses and Interior designers.

After my maternity leave ended I decided it was time to concentrate on Rolling Roses full time and work around family life.

3. Can you talk us through your creative process... 

I've never really been very good at translating my ideas to paper. Instead I prefer to try and work out my ideas by hand, getting a fresh piece of clay and experimenting with shapes and sizes until I find something that fits. Often the lace prints themselves determine how a piece might work and firing in itself is a process that can be very experimental. There are often surprising results when you open the kiln so I am constantly having to evolve and rethink ideas.

4. What inspires you? 

As with most designers and makers no doubt I am constanty inspired visually, whether it be from nature, architecture, colours or other objects around me. I love little details such as those found in vintage tea sets, or the shape of a spoon and of course the lace I source is a constant inspiration. I can't wait to be able to visit exhibitions and craft fairs again as being amongst other creatives is always so inspiring.

5. Where can we buy your beautiful creations? 

I have an Etsy shop where I sell my jewellery range and a few homeware pieces. I'm hoping to expand this to include some of my lace printed range. I also have a number of fabulous stockists throughout the UK, details can be found on my website. And when they are up and running again I take a full range of my work with me to Craft Fairs and Markets.

6. What does a typical work day look like for you? 

Currently there is no typial work day! I run Rolling Roses around caring for my 21 month old little boy Felix. I squeeze in working whenever I can, usually an hour or two here and there in the morning before my partner goes to work or during nap time. And then as much as I can do in the evening and usually a day at the weekend if we don't have plans. Post runs are usually done with Felix in tow and involve a very slow toddler walk looking at every stick and stone on route and usually via the park.

7. What are the best and worst things about running your own craft business? 

The best thing is being able to play with clay as my real life job. I absolutely love making and feel so lucky to be able to earn a living from it. I only have a tiny little studio at home but it's my happy place and I instantly feel calmer the moment I get my hands into some clay. The flexibility of running my own business means I also get to enjoy spending my time wth Felix and can work as and when I can even if it is a bit sporadic most of the time. The worst thing about running my own craft business is being responsible for everything. Not only do I make all of my stock from scratch, I have to be the admin, accounts, social media manager, packer and dispatcher and everything else in between that comes with running your own business. As a maker I love the hands on side of my business but am not so great at keeping up with the tech side of the business and feel less confident with anything involving a screen rather than a lump of clay.

8. What’s your most popular product, and your own personal favourite to create, and why? 

My most popular product is hands down my stud earrings, in particular the tiny stud and heart designs. These always sell well both online and in my stockists, I think because they are such an affordable gift and can easily be posted. At Craft fairs and markets (ha remember those?!) my lace printed tealight holders are always popular and these are probably my most favourite to make.  I've been making these for a number of years now but I never get bored of making them. Each one is always unique and I like experimenting with different shapes and designs. I have a few new ideas to experiment with when I get chance...

9. With us hopefully getting back to some kind of normality soon,

do you have any exciting plans for the year ahead?

I can't wait to get back to selling in person at markets. At present I don't have any in the pipeline, however I'm keeping everything crossed for some of my favourite events to be up and running again this Autumn and Winter. I am currently exhibiting at Unit Twelve in Staffordshire as part of the 'Terroir' exhibition. This runs until the 28th August and is such a beautiful gallery space. I'm so honoured to be exhibiting among so many talented makers.

10. Tell us five random facts about yourself... 

*I answer to a number of nicknames, Lea, Ballene, Nanna Ball, Lady Leotard, Lan Bean, Bob and Yan to name a few. 

*I don't like regular tea or coffee.  But I do love a good cup of peppermint or lemon and ginger tea, wild I know!

*One of the reasons for the above is that I'm lactose intolerant so I stopped drinking tea due to the milk. However it hasn't stopped me eating chocolate or ice cream...  I'm a total ice cream addict! Thank goodness for lactase tabets!

*I did Ballet until I was 17 and then again for a while before having Felix. I'm not a natural by any means and actually hated doing any stage performances but I love the dance and exercise and would like to take classes again.

* I LOVE to travel (or at least I did before the last year) and have a constant wishlist of places I would like to visit.  I Interrailed one summer, travelled around the East coast of Australia, and have been lucky enough to visit so many beautiful countries for holidays.  A particular favourite was Mexico, so diverse and the food was amazing. In 2018 we were very greedy and travelled to the Azores, Indonesia and Iceland.  I can't wait until we can go exploring again as a family and until then we're very lucky to be able to use a family caravan on the beautiful Norfolk coast.

x x x
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