It’s a really busy, exciting time at Paula Armstrong Ceramics at the moment as I am finally the proud joint owner with my fabulous sister (who runs a great dance school!) of my new studio in Fenstanton, Cambs, UK! I am now working with the builders to make it into my dream studio space perfect for making and teaching.
My current studio has been great and there’s lots I will miss like the fabulous natural light but I feel like the business has outgrown it 😀 (which is something I’m still amazed that I can say!). The new studio will have a sink in the studio with a clay trap, a toilet inside the studio, a separate room for the kilns and drying shelves and more than enough electricity to fire all of my kilns – all things my current space doesn’t have.
As well as dealing with the studio move I’m exhibiting at Art Unequalled at the Maltings in Ely on 1st & 2nd June then at Wymondham Arts Centre as part of the Garden inspired exhibition 11th – 23rd June while still teaching classes and running workshops, so I apologise if I seem a bit distracted at the moment, I’m working on keeping better organised….
I’m living my dream and am so grateful to everyone who has made it possible – my Mum and sister for always believing and backing me, my wonderful family for supporting me and putting up with the odd hours and gallivanting for exhibitions, my amazing students who couldn’t be nicer or more supportive and many others that I’ve met along this journey… you have all inspired me (and continue to inspire me) and made this all possible, so THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart <3
I can’t believe I’m saying that! I only moved into my beautiful, big, spacious studio in October 2014 but I really need more space. Not for my work so much as for the fabulous pieces my students are making and the hundreds of tiles that are currently in my studio at various stages of making for the Over school commission. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad thing but it has taken me by surprise. It’s great that I’m saying it as it means I’m very busy doing what I love too so I’m happy. I’ve gone from two regular weekly classes to running five as well as Saturday workshops, parties and face painting…I’ve reached the point of having to say no to opportunities and how hard is that!
I subscribe to the Design Trust newsletter and Patricia’s current question is ‘What does success look like?’ It has popped up on my screen at a very good time for me and what with being so busy and growing so much faster than I thought it would, it is a really good question!
I’ve always dreamed of making my living from my clay work. I want to sell my work through prestigious galleries and events as well as pass on my passion for clay to students. I would like to have an excellent reputation for making unusual pieces of high quality ceramic art. I also want to work in a way that fits with my family with a degree of flexibility. I would like to be recognised by my peers and wider industry for pushing boundaries and making unique pieces. So I guess for me, success would be making my living from a balance of selling my work in selected galleries and events and teaching while still having the time to spend with my family. It is also about being featured in industry magazines and doing demonstrations at shows and events.
I suppose all of that does also come with a need for a fabulous studio space kitted out with all the facilities needed so a sign of success would also be getting a bigger studio with separate glaze and kiln rooms!