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  • Writer's pictureKatherine Fortnum

A Month in the life of a ceramicist #15 May awesomeness!

May was really exciting! There have been so many things happening to my business Katherine Fortnum Ceramics. Being a sole trader working from a home studio my business is different to other larger businesses, it’s all run by me every last little detail from running the workshops, making new work, photographing, making and running the shop, website, social media, contacting, organising the studio ... the list goes on and on! Anyway big changes don’t come very often to Katherine Fortnum Ceramics, things take time and a lot of effort goes into these things but this month it was like having 2 Christmases all at once!


Springtime Open Studio

Every year in May (and December) I open up my studio to the public so you can come and see where I work, see what a ceramics studio looks like, look at my tools and see my handmade ceramics in person.

This year I had to relocate my open studio last minute as its a home studio and were currently in the midst of an extension, it just happened that the footings were being dug out over the open studio weekend meaning there was no access, and not only that my studio was getting extended too! This meant this year I was in the garage, it was a change but I definitely prefer it in my cosy studio!

The weekend was fab I met so many friendly faces, new and existing faces. I love chatting with all the lovely visitors and answer the inquisitive questions and tell you a bit more about the ceramics process and my work.

For a look into the whole thing, check out the Springtime Open Studio blog for lots of photos of the ceramics, setting up, close ups, sculpture making in progress!

Katherine Fortnum Ceramics Springtime open studio, May 2019



I have a lovely little kiln that kept me going for the last 4 ish years but the time has come that I need to expand, I’ve been playing with new ideas in my work and that has came in the form of creating my ceramics on a larger scale, so in order to do this I’ve needed to upscale and finally treat myself to a new kiln! WOOO! :D

I ordered my new kiln about 2 months ago, it takes so long to get it because it was made from scratch to my specifications in Germany and then shipped over to the UK. In preparation I knew my kilns new home would be in our garage, it’s a pretty industrial size so for me to run it I’ve had an electrician come and fit in new wiring so I can install my kiln into the mains system.

The day has come and my kilns been delivered I was so excited I was like a kid again! The deliver guy came and brought this huge crate harbouring the kiln. WOW the kiln is much bigger than I had expected, yes I measured the internal and external measurements before ordering but I guess things look bigger in reality than waving your arms in a size guessing gauge! Now I’ve seen the size I know I can make some large ceramics, my mind in whizzing thinking of all the things I’m able to do now, there’s no limitations I can go wild!

p.s. notice the sticker (photo bottom right), seriously they warn you not to throw the kiln, 2 people would struggle to pick it up! HAHAHA!!!


Wind chime workshop

This month’s group ceramics workshop was creating a wind chime! The workshop was great fun; the ladies did such a fab job. They both went for nature themed inspiration for their pieces, each of them creating leaf shapes by hand each inspired by their pre-planned designs.

wind chime group workshop at Katherine Fortnum Ceramics 26-05-19

My next group workshop is on 23rd June 2019 making a bird feeder.

Get in touch to book your place. Market Harborough, Leics.


New studio

I came to the decision that I needed some extra space in my workshop, I wanted to teach more people offering larger workshops and I also needed extra space.

If you’re an arty / crafty person you will know that art spreads like a disease! You just accumulate more and more stuff, more materials, more equipment and everything turns into ‘I’ll keep it just in case!’ This = hoarding, which in turn = NO SPACE!

I didn’t want to demolish my studio, so I decided on extending it making it a half size bigger, big enough to give me all the space I need!

For a look into the whole thing, check out the studio extension blog for lots of photos of the demolition, ripping it all apart, building in progress and before and after snaps!


Freya completed her ceramics course with me this month; she took on ceramics as part of her Duke of Edinborough award. She hadn’t really done any clay work apart from the odd time at school over the years. Each session we had together she did a wonderful job and is a very creative and capable young lady. I could see her skills developing each week as she became more confident and expressed her creativity.

Is your child doing their DofE? Is ceramics something they’d like to take on for their award? Get in touch!

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