I'm Hollie Cooper, a Ceramicist and recent graduate from Nottingham Trent University, based in the North West. Before studying my degree in Decorative Arts, I found my passion for ceramics during a Foundation Diploma four years ago in Lancashire, and now recently releasing my first official collection of functional pieces consisting of lighting and homewares.
So what's it about?
After securing an amazing space to set up my own ceramics studio in Lancashire, I just need that little kick to get things rolling! I will be opening up my studio to the public for tuition and classes within different areas of ceramics including hand-building, slip-casting and throwing on the wheel. The classes will accommodate those that fancy a bit of a fun challenge plus those that would like to take it more seriously, and will be offered in groups, couples or one-to-one tuition classes. I will also be offering the space for related corporate events and hired use of the equipment such as the kiln. The studio will also allow me to put my ceramic collections into production and continue to do the thing I'm so extremely passionate about, whilst creating new collections and designs along the way.
How will your pledge help?
With the money pledged, this will help me to fund the costs of my own ceramic kiln, raw glaze materials, plaster lathe, and tools/equipment for group classes (see full equipment list below). This would allow me to introduce ceramics courses and wheel tuition whilst being able to accommodate the firing processes of your work in my own studio, meaning you can take and keep your pieces with you. The use of my own kiln also allows me to expand and experiment with my own creative practice, exploring new and risky glazes and developing my work which is fundamental to me.
By raising the funds for my own plaster lathe, this will allow me to have the flexibility of creating my own plaster models for new product ideas which is a huge part of my practice. It will give me the flexibility of trying new ideas without the long-term costs of hiring external model-makers to do it for me. The process of making these models is for one of the techniques I use called slip-casting. This is a batch-producing technique in which liquid clay is poured into a plaster mould, and poured back out once a 'shell' has been formed. Once left to go 'leather hard', the piece can then be released from the mould and left to dry.
I can't wait to share my studio with the community and teach others about ceramics, I am passionate to teach others in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
I wish to equip the studio with the following in order to start pottery tuition and courses:
- SKUTT Electric Kiln (£2500 including kiln furniture)
- Glaze Spray Booth with Compressor (£1512.00) and/or
- Plaster Turning Lathe (£2232.00)
- 6 Banding Wheels/Whirlers
- 6 Rolling Pins and sets of Potters Tools including wires, ribs, fettling knives, modelling tools, towels, and turning tools.
- 24 12.5kg Bags of Clay
- Sieves, Plasticware and Brushes
- Seating / Tall Workbench Stools for 6 people.
Let's Talk Rewards!
Eeek! The most exciting part - rewards! Not only have I curated a selection of handmade ceramics to choose from, I have come up with my first FOUR class choices. These will give a beginners introduction into learning various methods and techniques. These can accommodate gift experiences, corporate parties, groups of friends and couples, there are no limits to who can come along. There are also rewards for pieces of pottery made by myself, ranging from small pieces to my newest design of marbled porcelain vases. These are perfect for just a bit of fun or for if you're hoping to take up a new hobby. (Below: Spoon rest and Jug, Above: Hanging Planter)
These experiences are perfect as gifts to your loved ones this Christmas or simply for a bit of fun to try something new. In a relaxed atmosphere of 6 people per class, you will get one-to-one help and guidance from myself. Due to the nature of the Crowdfunder, dates will be released once the studio is complete! These are all evening sessions apart from the throwing day.
Make sure you bring with you suitable footwear and clothing you don't mind getting mucky!
Make a Vase or a set of Mugs £45:
By supporting me with this generous pledge, you will be able to attend a two hour evening class to make a vase or two of your own mugs! These will be hand-built using the method of slab rolling. You will have the option to decorate it in the class and I will glaze them and post them out to you (free shipping) upon completion. There will be a limit to 6 per class for a relaxed atmosphere and one-to-one guidance, and you can be a complete beginner to take part. If you wish to fill the class as a group of 6 friends, get in touch and I will be happy to discount each individual to £40.00.
5 Week Beginners Course £150: This course will run for 5 weeks with two hour sessions per week. You will learn a variety of techniques within hand-building with the opportunity to make your own project on the 4th week. In the last week you will be able to glaze all of your work, ready for collection the week later. These classes will be limited to 6 people per class to ensure that everyone gets the required level of one-to-one assistance and help needed.
Throwing Day for Two People £160: This is a dedicated day to learn the basics of wheel throwing with anyone you wish! The days will run 11am-2pm or 5pm-8pm. and we will cover how to prepare your clay, centre on the wheel and throw simple shapes such as bowls, plates or vessels. Due to the nature of clay you won't be taking these pieces straight home with you - so you have the option of attending the studio for another session at a later date to decorate and glaze two of your favourite pieces. Want to keep this as a gift? You can opt to receive a voucher which is redeemable until July 2021.
Each reward has an expectancy date. This entirely depends on when the project aim is met and when the studio has its own in-house kiln - so these dates could fluctuate. I have tried to stick with realistic timelines and these are my strongest estimates.
If you decide to pledge and would like to keep it as a gift, you will receive a voucher to the amount which can be used until July 2021.
If you are pledging towards experience related rewards, these can be organised with me over E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about me and my project, please do share to your social media pages to help me get the word out! Any donation big or small is a huge step towards achieving my goal and will be so gratefully received.
Instagram and Facebook: @holliecooperceramics