Our StoryHannah started her business in 1991 after a sell-out degree show at Bristol University. Her degree show was inspired by taxidermy and how we display animals as trophies in the home. In it were all sorts of creatures, but the favourites were the little black crows she made. She took orders to make more of the designs that were sold in her show, and found a local studio and the business was born!
She was awarded a grant to buy her first kiln and set-up her business creating sculptural creatures, mostly birds, sometimes fish or wall-mounted moose heads even. Humour has always been evident in her work, and probably helped her ride the storm of 2 recessions. She gradually got her work on display in galleries and shops around the country and abroad, and gained some very loyal collectors along the way.
In 1999 Hannah had her daughter Megan, and took a break from being in the studio, she had her son two and a half years later and then decided to get back into clay and found a local shared studio and got cracking working part-time, when her kids were napping, or in the evenings. At this point she also decided to change the way she worked, and started slip-casting, still birds! Gradually she got more interested in surface pattern design as wel as the sculpture, and other products were introduced (screen prints, books, coasters, mirrors, greetings cards) and in 2011 Hannah joined forces with a Sri Lankan company and launched her first ranges of tableware.
This side of the business really took-off, getting her designs made in for her meant Hannah could focus on development of new ideas instead of repeatedly making everything herself. She added egg cups, salt and peppers and money boxes to blend her love of sculpture with the more functional designs, all now gift-boxed they proved really popular and very quickly it has grown into the business as it stands today, with Hannah, Dave and Kate at the helm.
Hannah's designs have sold all around the world to beautiful shops and websites like Liberty, Anthropologie (US and UK) RNLI, The Woodland Trust and Graham and Green to name a few, and she is starting to look into exporting more next year, heading off on a trade mission to New York very soon. What a drag!
In 2016 Hannah added kitchen textiles to her range of products, so now you can wear her creations as well as drink and eat from them, all of the textlies are screen printed here in the UK on unbleached cotton, so along with the recycled card boxes, and Hannah and Dave's low-carbon walk to work down the garden path, the business is doing what it can to reduce waste and look after our environment. We have even been selected to supply WWF next year, so we must be good!
The studio workshop is now based in the garden of her Bristol house, and Hannah's hardest job at present is keeping up with all of the new ideas she has!
Hannah still makes and decorates a limited collection of her ceramic designs. These can now only be found on this website, here she is hard at work applying decal transfers to the new fish salt and pepper prototypes.