When did you start your business and why?

When it came to opening my ceramics business, I was actually quite a late starter. However, I have always loved the idea of making ceramics from a young age.

When I was in school, I remember visiting a pottery studio in Tralee and being completely mesmerised by the people and atmosphere of the studio.

Most of my work is influenced by the surrounding countryside, such as wildflowers and summer meadows.

I have nostalgic memories of growing up in the 1970s, when there was time to wander country lanes, make daisy chains and enjoy what the countryside had to offer.

Can you explain your creative process?

My creative process is inspired by small details and really looking into things. I see a lot of detail in everyday objects, which keeps me inspired.

Usually, how a piece comes to life begins with sketching. From there, I begin working with cardboard sheets. I trace different shapes, roll out slaps of clay and then begin to form my pieces.

For more complex pieces, it takes a lot of experimentation before I’m happy with the shape. Once I am happy with the shape, I start using oxides and under-colours.

For me, pottery is quite versatile, as you nearly always get a different outcome by mixing different glazes, shapes and textures.

Has there been anything recently you have really enjoyed working on?

Over these past few years, I have really enjoyed the commission work that I have done for different people.

About a year ago, a man came to me looking for quite a unique piece. He worked as a wetland specialist who spent his time researching different plants and species found in the wetlands.

For this particular commission, I made a piece that featured dragonflies. I often find doing commission work quite inspiring, as it sometimes puts me out of my comfort zone and allows me to try different techniques.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

As much as I can, I like to come up with new work, so that is probably my biggest plan for the rest of the year.

I attend lots of fairs and flower festivals as most of my stuff is flower themed. I also supply a few pieces to different studios.

Going to different fairs and events is a great way to meet people and build up your client base.

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in pursuing an artistic career?

I feel so lucky to be able to love what I do. When you work with something you are passionate about, it’s quite simply really, just keep focused and stay working at it.

When you find your own niche, your art will begin to flourish. So, I would definitely say if you are passionate about something, definitely go for it. It’s the only way to be actually!

Sandra is part of ‘Made Limerick’ - a group of 12 artists and designers who collaborate on 113 Lower Henry Street. Her work can be found at coleceramics.ie.

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