When did you start your business and why?

I started my business around eight years ago after completing a pottery degree from Limerick School of Art and Design.

I decided to go to art college because my brother went and kept telling me how great the course was.

I have always been a creative person who loved making and creating when I was in school.

I did some pottery in school, but never really connected with it until I then started studying pottery at a higher level.

Can you explain your creative process?

If I am starting a brand-new collection, I firstly go out with my camera. I like to visit the coast, mountains and other aspects of Irish landscape. I look for certain textures of rocks, colours of water or the textures that can be found on the mountains.

From there, I then take out my sketchbook and begin sketching down different ideas or just experimenting with clay.

I like to do most of my designing on the clay itself rather than paper. I enjoy making a few little miniatures and then for the larger ones I like I then start producing them.

What inspires you?

From the beginning, I have always been inspired by Irish landscape. I go out walking everyday and find something new after every walk.

The earth has a never-ending source of inspiration. Going out into Irish landscape has kept me going for the last 17 years.

I also enjoy to do different things with my business. Around eight years ago, when I was doing a business course, it was suggested to me that I start teaching.

Initially, I didn’t have a huge interest in it, but I decided to give a few classes a go. I actually loved it and love to see people with not much confidence in pottery progress by the end of a session.

You can see it on their faces by the end of the class. I also find it lovely to give people a space to be creative and experiment with the clay.

I do all kinds of classes, private classes for those who want a more personal experience, group classes and then six week classes for people who want a deep dive into the world of pottery. This would involve exploring different glazes and focusing more on shape.

What advice would you give to someone who's looking to pursue an artistic career?

The biggest piece of advice I can give is that it doesn’t have to be perfect straight away. Sometimes and especially people who are arty, tend to be highly critical of their work straight away. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

So, begin small – you don’t need a perfect product or idea of what something is going to look like. Also be open to opportunities to find inspiration in every day life.

For Vivien's work and to book her pottery classes visit https://www.vivienomalleyceramics.com/

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