I’m doing a prize draw!
All purchases made in my shop over the weekend of the Digital Craft Festival will automatically be entered into my prize draw. The prize…. this unique commemorative jug made especially for the event! (UK p&p included)
Each item purchased is a seperate entry e.g. 2 cups means two entries!
The Digital Craft Festival taking place from the 26th – 28th March 2021.
The Digital Craft Festival taking place from the 26th – 28th March 2021. It’s a wonderful & fun filled weekend of craft demonstrations, interviews and workshops and I’m doing a ‘ make along’ pottery class on zoom. I’ve just sent the first batch of clay and materials to participants… hurrah! The package includes terracotta clay, a pot of slip. some card templates and a hand made clay stamp.
Please note the deadline for purchasing tickets is Monday 22nd March, this will allow plenty of time for your clay pack to be arrive in the post.
I will show you step by step how to make your own clay bug house and you can make along with me! No previous pottery experience is required, the session will be light and lots of fun!.
You can purchase tickets for my virtual craft workshop here!
I’m also launching lots of new designs in my shop especially for the event!
I will be posting on my Instagram over the weekend too @sarahmonkceramics
Looking forward to seeing you there!
Spring is emerging here in Herefordshire. The primroses and daffodils are starting to come out in the Pottery garden, hurrah! So….. I have been inspired to make a collection of mini planters and flower bricks. These have been created especially for the Digital Craft Festival which will be held online on the 26th – 28th March.
These pieces are created by assembling soft slabs of terracotta clay. I gently crimp the edges together with my fingers and then decorate them with painted slips and sgraffito. They’re all unique, no two are the same!
I’m super thrilled to be taking part in the Digital Craft Festival ! It promises to be a funfilled weekend of craft demonstrations, interviews and workshops on Instagram, Facebook and zoom. In fact, I’m taking my very own zoom class here in my studio. My virtual craft workshop takes place on Saturday 27th March at 2pm. I will show you step by step my slab making process and you can make along with me! I can post clay if you book by the 22nd March. It will be relaxed with a strong emphasis on fun! No previous pottery experience is required.
PLUS the weekend provides an opportunity to buy direct from the 150 selected designer makers websites, across all craft disciplines, from all over the world! I’m launching lots of new designs in my shop including my spring flower planters and flower bricks especially for the event!
Here’s some of my most recent pieces for the Digital Craft Festival. Fresh out of the kiln this week are espresso cups, plates butter dishes, lemon squeezers and egg cups. I’m very pleased with the results!
The Digital craft festival is an online event showcasing 150 international makers. This will include talks, demos and films. It takes place from the 26th – 28th March 2021.
As part of this event I will be running a virtual craft workshop on Saturday 27th March at 2pm. I will show you step by step how to make your own clay bug house and you can make along with me! No previous pottery experience is required.
The Digital Craft festival is going to be lots of fun and I hope you can join me!
I will be posting on my Instagram over the weekend too @sarahmonkceramics
I’m super thrilled to be taking part in the next Digital Craft Festival taking place from the 26th – 28th March 2021. I’ve enjoyed this event lots in the past….. it’s so lovely! A funfilled weekend of craft demonstrations, interviews and workshops on Instagram, Facebook and zoom. PLUS the opportunity to buy direct from the 150 selected designer makers, across all craft disciplines, from all over the world!
Crafts Festival founder, Sarah James spearheads the interviews in the run up and during this event. I’m really looking forward to getting involved!
The Digital Craft Festival is an opportunity I would ordinarily have to pass on, what with the 3.5k class participants that pass through the doors each year at Eastnor Pottery. Now the Studio is currently closed to visitors I have more time to focus on my own work. I’m launching lots of new designs in my shop especially for the event!
I think flower bricks are fabulous! During my student days studying for a ceramics degree I spent a fair bit of time sketching objects of antiquity. The V&A Museum in London was (and still is!!) a favourite of mine. I remember a wonderful blue & white 18th century flower brick. A rectangular ceramic box vase with a number of small holes in the top so the flowers are kept in position. I found it very inspiring and have enjoyed making box containers of various shapes and sizes ever since!
Here’s a selection my most recent flower brick designs.
The making process
I make a protoype from cardboard first. I cut out templates. Next I roll out a flat slab of clay using a rolling pin ( a bit like rolling pastry). Carefully placing the card on top of the slab I cut out the shapes. Assembling the clay pieces at the correct time is crucial. The clay must be strong enough to hold itself up but still have moisture to minimise cracking. Once assembled , I brush it with white slip and wrap it in plastic overnight.
I enjoy the inherent qualities of slipware. White slip brushed over terracotta is the perfect surface for sgrafitto. I work quickly, scratching into it with simple doodles and scribbles. I finish off with a fun session splattering coloured slips with a paint brush. I place several pieces on a board at the same time and just go for it! Occasionally I miss and prefer what’s landed on the board!! My work is all about mark making and building up layers of colour, one piece could have up to 5 or 6 layers.
I finish off my pieces with cute little feet.
Finished off with a clear lead-free earthenware glaze. This makes them smooth to touch and durable for everyday use.
I have a flowerbrick at The Contemporary Ceramics Centre online shop! (Now SOLD) 27/11/20
I will be adding some of these to my online shop soon!
My latest obsession is soap dishes. After ditching the use of plastic at home, I turned to using solid shampoo and soap bars. Originally making one for my own bathroom, I now make them in all shapes and sizes. Some are mini colanders (for nice chunky soap), some are round dishes, others are boxes with little feet. I’m constantly re-developing them with endless possibilities for design.
This hand made circular soap pillow is slab built and press moulded in terracotta clay. It’s brushed with a thick white slip and splattered with cobalt blue. I’ve added some small raised clay blobs and scewer holes to allow your soap to dry out in between uses. Finished off with a pie crust rim and supported by four dinky little feet.
This Sarah Monk Ceramics original will give a contemporary art feel to any zero waste bathroom.
How could I resist?
When Hellens Manor invited me to provide a piece for their sculpture trail it was an immediate ‘Yes!’ The Manor has been described by Country Homes Magazine as ” The jewel in the crown of Herefordshire homes”. A privately owned Tudor house set in atmospheric grounds. I have enjoyed many happy visits there.
Hellens Garden Festival hosts an annual fund raiser for two charities: St Michaels Hospice and Back to the Wild. It usually takes place over a weekend and showcases the best of local growers, producers, makers and foodies. Speakers, interactive demonstrations and music make for a very engaging event. Very well supported locally, the event has an enjoyable and celebratory atmosphere. I’ve had fun running free pottery workshops under the guise of Eastnor Pottery for years!
I looked at the gardens: the ancient orchards, woodland trees. Hellens Manor has a team of dedicated gardeners concerned with conservation. I felt strongly whatever I was going to create needed a function and to be caring!
My initial thought was to make a pottery bird house. I set about making a clay maquette (a small scale prototype). I discovered the small scale had a charm and an intimacy all of it’s own. My thoughts turned to the smaller creatures of the forest….. creepy crawlies!
The result was a collection of little ceramic houses. Insect dwellings filled with hay, tiny twigs and seeds. Small hidey holes for bugs to dwell or hibernate. Designed to hang in trees or outside spaces. My intention was to display them in a tidy row, like houses in a street. Each house has been decorated differently in surface and colour. The idea that we live side by side in a world where we are able to protect each other and the world around us is a good one.
It was a beautiful day in August when I set out to install my bug houses. I had decided to hang them on a beautiful beech tree, just off the path in the woods.
Hellens Garden Festival ran throughout August 2020. The event raised £6700 for st Michaels Hospice. I’m looking forward to exhibiting again on the 12th & 13th June 2021 and I’m already designing new ideas!
My new designs are on display at Contemporary Ceramics Centre, the only retail Gallery in London specialising exclusively in British Studio Ceramics.
I have two new collections on show until the end of December 2020:
Breakfast Ware consisting of querky espresso cups, wobbly looking egg cups and an interesting collection of cereal bowls. The image above is a slipware cheesedish most definitely the biggest pinch pot item I have made!!
Bathroom Ware consisting of hand built ceramic soap dishes of varying shapes and sizes, including my popular soap pillows and a selection of hand thrown toothbrush mugs.
The Gallery is run by the Craft Potters Association, of which I have been a selected professional member for over 25 years. They set it up as a ‘benchmark for current practice in studio ceramics and with regularly changing display’ It’s always possible to purchase a wide range of work from functional tableware to individual collectors pieces.
My new designs can be purchased from their own online shop here!
I was invited by Contemporary Ceramics Centre to write about my design process on their blogspot which can be viewed here!! It’s titled ‘In Conversation with Sarah Monk’.
I hope you like my new designs…. I shall be adding some to my own shop soon!