Trader Profile-Bungalow Ceramics
Our final Trader Profile for 2022 combines several of our favourite things – jewellery and 20th Century art, design and architecture! Meet Sadie, founder of Bungalow Ceramics as she tells us a bit more about how she started her business:
Tell us a bit about you and your business…
I pivoted into ceramics about 4 years ago as it was something I’d always wanted to do, so I got a job at a local ceramics supplier. I learned everything I know from books, videos and, importantly, my pottery friends! It was one of those special times when you find something that you enjoy and that keeps you fascinated – there is always something new to learn in ceramics. My little business Bungalow Ceramics started in the spare room of my bungalow in Wells (30 mins from Frome), when I designed my brutalist earrings. I stuck with a 20th Century art and design theme and expanded from there!
Where do you get your inspiration – what motivates you to do what you do?
In my case, my inspiration comes directly from art, design and aesthetic eras of the 1900s, spanning from Art Nouveau all the way up to Memphis Milano. I love researching and sketching, but as I don’t come from a formal design background I especially like my work to be accessible. Essentially if something appeals to me, I’ll find out more, study the look of the era and turn it into a wearable piece. I’m motivated to make interesting jewellery with a story.
Why did you choose to come and trade at The Frome Independent?
I visited The Frome Independent before I even started making jewellery and I knew I’d love to trade here one day! Seeing so many independent makers in one place was hugely motivational and inspiring. There is a lovely relaxed vibe and something for everyone.
What do you like about market trading – why not just sell online or through retail outlets?
As a young brand it is especially important for me to meet my customers and ask them what they think, take on board suggestions and get an idea of what people want in a piece of jewellery. I also have had so many conversations with visitors about elements of design they love, nostalgic memories and also recommendations of arty places to visit (Barcelona and St Ives are at the top of my list!).
Tell us about your own favourite or best-selling product. How much work goes into creating it and why do you think this is your strongest product?
My favourite product will likely always be my brutalist earrings, as they’re the first thing I designed. They’re made from stoneware clay which is first carefully layered and stamped with texture, put through a bisque firing, then glazed and fired at 1250 degrees. I absolutely adore the effect of the ‘dry’ glaze, which looks just like aged concrete. As with brutalist architecture itself, these are a ‘marmite’ product – you either love them or hate them!
What is your favourite Frome shop, or stall to visit at The Frome Independent?
And finally, some quick fire questions….
I rarely read fiction but I loved Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee, focusing on my favourite literary character of all time Jean Louise Finch. I can also recommend the Potters’ Dictionary by Frank and Janet Hamer, although I recognise that is probably quite niche!
Describe your dream day off
I also make things on a pottery wheel which is as fun as it looks – but I don’t spend nearly as long as I’d like on it! I’ve recently been on a course by Frome-based Tim Graham (another market trader) and learned the basics of spoon carving, which is becoming a new hobby. Pottery in the morning and spoon carving in the afternoon sounds like a dream to me!
What are you listening to right now?
I listen to a complete mish-mash of things, mostly long ‘video essays’ on Youtube while I’m making things. Youtube is the saviour for lonely makers!
What are you cooking/ eating / drinking at the moment?
Beans on toast! And soup. Not very gourmet I will admit.
Thank you Sadie! You can find Bungalow Ceramics on Justice Lane, near Black Swan Arts at The Frome Independent on Sunday 4th December 2022, along with a whole host of fantastic Designer Makers.