Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Charlotte Hupfield and I am a Ceramic Designer/Maker based in Northamptonshire. I make individual one-off items from my workshop including vases, bowls, sculptural vessels, clocks, coasters, plant markers, hanging decorations and accessories for the home and garden.
How long have you been crafting?
I’ve always been a creative person but it was at university where I really focused on Ceramics and specialised on developing my own range of work on a 3 year degree course based on ‘surface decoration’. Since graduating in 2008, I have continued to develop and broaden my work from my workshop at home. My work space is in the garage and it is great to wonder out there with a cup of tea ready to set to work.
Which materials/colors/techniques interest you the most right now? What is inspiring you, creatively?
My work is inspired by the natural world, in particular the decorative and colourful elements of the landscape and seascapes. I am very interested in textures and surface decoration – I probably work backwards because I tend to think of a surface design first, and then decide how this particular decoration will work on which form. I use lots of natural and rustic colours in my work. Sometimes I am inspired by things that most other people wouldn’t stop to look at, such as a section of mould on a log, or a patch of colourful rust.
What is your niche? What sets you apart from other crafters?
Each piece of my work is special to me, as everything I make is a one-off, so no two pieces are ever the same. I think this makes my collection of work somewhat different to various other ceramic artists because I don’t make large batches of the same item. If I do create pieces that are similar, I always try to manipulate them in some way so that they are different. It is important for the customer to know that they are the only person in the world to own the work that they have purchased. My mission is to offer one of a kind ceramic art that is creative and unique.
What piece of advice do you wish you had, when starting your business?
I wish I had known to be prepared for extra long days, there really isn’t enough hours in the day! Also not to try and take on too many things at once and be too ambitious, as it can become a little overwhelming!
What has been your greatest success?
I’m so proud of lots of little things that have happened over the past few years. A few to mention would be supplying my products to all of my current lovely stockists across the UK, the exhibitions I have taken part in, my continuously growing customer base that I am extremely grateful for, all of the custom orders and commissions, a recent feature in Vogue magazine, and also a recent review of my ceramic plant markers in Amateur Gardening magazine where they were voted as ‘Best Buy’.
What are your dreams for your business?
In time I would love to be able to manage my ceramics full-time. I would also love to run a teaching group or weekly workshops at some point in the future. My dream would be to have a huge workshop and lots of kilns, and to have assistants helping me… everyone can dream can’t they!
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