It all began with Pottery by design - Pottery by Design began in 1999, making individually hand crafted ceramics, no prints were used and each item hand painted by Kate Elford.
Pottery by Design prides itself on producing original fun designs, if potters all made the same ceramics where would be the fun in that!
Kate has a fun light hearted approach to her work and gets much of her inspiration from 'all creatures great and small'. Kate began Pottery by Design attending craft fairs and events. Gradually the demand for ceramic gifts from shops and galleries grew so much that this was where the business then concentrated. Over time the business has evolved to now specialise in Christmas decorations. Kate now attends a few events at Christmas every year and enjoys getting to meet customers and receive first hand feedback. It is a personal favourite of Kate's to be creating pottery Christmas decorations, that can be used every year forever.
The Pottery by Design website was originally launched due to demand. Pottery by Design offered a wide range of ceramics that were great for gifts or presents. Each ceramic item is hand made to a very high standard. Every item is made, kiln fired, glazed and fired again, making it a long process from start to finish.
Where possible the clay, glazes and extra components that go to make the finished ceramic products were purchased in the UK, and as locally as possible. As a small UK business Pottery by Design knows how important it is to support local and national business. Pottery by Design was primarily a wholesale business and was always happy to supply new trade customers. We supplied craft shops, gift shops, national trust, art galleries, farm shops and more.
....However then customers started asking for figures, originally a few taken to shows for fun, and slowly the demand grew for 'Atop of the tier' cake toppers, so much so that the wholesale had to stop. As each item is made by Kate Elford, there is a limit to the amount of work that can be produced so the difficult decision was made to stop making Pottery by Design giftware ceramics and focus on wedding cake toppers.
It turned out to be a favourable decision, they are extremely popular and the feedback is so kind from happy customers, it's good to put smiles on peoples faces for such special occasions.
....and now the art work, well how can you say when that starts, the first time Kate picked up a crayon I guess! Painting and drawing has always been a huge part of Kate's life, and as with the pottery it is usually inspired by 'all creatures great and small' To go along with the art there is a small selection of pottery to compliment the range. Kate is focusing on one off ceramic pieces, using the experience gained from the topper making to create some imaginative fun characters.
Pottery by design still 'happens' a few times a year at Christmas events, Christmas decorations are a favourite of Kate's to make, so a few shows a year are attended. Details are on the Pottery by Design page.
We look forward to the continuing development to see how things may change in the future.