When did you set up your business and why?
During the first few years after college, my work mainly was sculpture created for exhibitions.
In 2003, I created a series of plates with drawings and I discovered my love for making functional objects.
I love to create pieces that have meaning and use. So when you gift a bowl or vase, it includes a message, which becomes a daily reminder to the recipient.
Can you explain your process?
I use a stoneware blend of clay, which gives strength and durability. I think my pieces will stand the test of time and become family heirlooms.
The pieces are handmade, with soft slabs of clay, imprinted with patterns and textures, which are given a wash of colour.
The work includes drawings or text. The 'Home Comforts' collection is decorated with a line drawing of a house with a glossy red heart.
Some pieces include text stamped into the clay with an old printer's press letter type.
What is your best seller?
My piece 'Níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin' is very popular both in Ireland and internationally. It has been sent all over the world.
So many Irish people abroad wish they could be close to their loved ones. Even those with only a cúpla focal are familiar with the Irish phrase.
This phrase, combined with nostalgic wallpaper patterns and a childlike line drawing of a house with a glossy red heart, makes it an excellent gift for all occasions.
What is it about your business that brings you joy?
I love creating pretty sentimental pieces, but the absolute joy is when someone receives the piece, it takes on a new meaning as it will remind everyone of some different memory.
What are your hopes for 2022?
I would love to continue to grow and bring reminders of joy to more and more households. It is a dream come true for me to create art and make a living from it. Long may it last.
What advice would you give to another start-up business?
A lesson I learned is to create pieces I love myself rather than try to design elements I think someone will buy – that doesn't work for me. When I follow my passion, it flows!
For further information, visit https://www.sarahmckenna.ie/