Crafted for Living: Liz Vidal Ceramics

Crafted for Living: Liz Vidal Ceramics

We are so excited to launch our latest capsule collection of ceramic tableware in collaboration with Bristol-based ceramicist, Liz Vidal. 

Featuring elevated kitchen essentials like mugsjugs, butter dishes and more, we’re thrilled to have partnered with Liz Vidal as part of our series of partnerships with British brands who share our celebration of slow, sustainable living and love of quality materials. 

Inspired by some of our linen bedding hues, each piece is hand-thrown and created to elevate your everyday rituals. We had the delight of catching up with Liz, asking her the inspiration behind the collection, a typical day in her workshop, and how she winds down...  

 

Tell us about your ceramics journey so far. Were you always interested in pottery?  

My first experience with clay was at school and I quickly knew that I loved it. After an Art foundation I went on to study 3D design at Manchester School of Art, specialising in craft, and then an Apprenticeship at North Street Potters in London. Working there was the most valuable experience to develop my understanding of running a studio – learning how to prepare clay, make glazes from raw materials, fire kilns, throw on a pottery wheel and start selling my work. I also got involved in producing tableware for restaurants, repeating forms over and over and over is the best way to improve your throwing skills and your ability to work quickly. After living in London for 5 years I travelled to Bali and Australia to work in other ceramic studios before returning to the UK and settling in Bristol.

Where do you find creative inspiration? 

I think I take inspiration from anywhere and everywhere. I love creating new glaze combinations and am fascinated with how colours interact. This is the inspiration behind my layered glaze designs – and I really enjoy how everyone sees different things in the geometric patterns, whether that be landscapes or argyle socks! 

What does a typical day in your workshop look like for you?  

As my studio is in our garden, I often can’t resist popping out there first thing, still in my pyjamas, whilst the kettle is boiling to check on the kiln or to take plastic off drying work.

If It’s a making day, I’ll start by checking my order list, prepping the clay and weighing out balls - for example for one of the Piglet in Bed mugs I’ll start with 400g of clay. With the radio on and warm water in my bucket, the rest of the day is spent sat at my wheel throwing items in batches. The satisfaction of having boards of pots lined up as proof of a day’s work never gets old.

Other days I will focus on glazing work, finishing pots and adding handles or sanding glazed items ready to be packed to send.

Tell us about the process of designing and making your beautiful ceramic homewares.  

Each pot is thrown by hand on a pottery wheel using a buff stoneware clay and dipped in a blend of glazes, before firing to 1260c in an electric kiln.

I don’t have any fixed method for designing my products. Every so often I’ll fit in a few hours of being creative, making a new glaze colour or trying out new forms for the first time - often shapes will pop up in my head but it’ll be months until I attempt to make them in 3D & then probably a few more months sitting on a studio shelf whilst I contemplate the glazes to use. Making pottery is a slow process so it’s nice to lean into that when trying to come up with new things.

What was the inspiration behind the glaze for your products with Piglet in Bed?  

For a Spring launch, green seemed the perfect colour to focus on for my Piglet in Bed collection. I was really drawn to the Sage and Botanical linens as a starting point – though as any potter knows glaze recipe development can have a mind of its’ own. Working with raw materials and metal oxides often produces unexpected results; the smallest change in the ingredient quantities or the firing temperature can lead to a surprise colour... sometimes exciting and sometimes disappointing! The primary glaze that we chose has blushes of minty blue crystals, varying in density on each pot, and contrasting beautifully against the fresh glossy green. I think the small differences between handmade pots are what makes them special and I feel this glaze really encapsulates that quality of pottery as a craft. 

What’s your favourite piece from your collection with Piglet in Bed?  

I love the milk jugs. They are a classic shape, really comfortable to hold and I think would fit very well on a weekend breakfast table. The butter dishes are a close second – the way the glazes are layered is reminiscent of boiled sweets!

Quick-fire round:  

What’s your favourite way to wind down before bedtime?  

A bath and a book

What’s your ideal start to a Sunday?

Can’t beat a tea in bed, eggs on toast and a walk somewhere

What’s a sleep hack you swear by? 

A few drops of lavender oil on my pillow

What can you not live without on your bedside table? 

My Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream (a magic product!) and a glass of water

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