My name's Florence, but since moving to Bristol, most people have taken to calling me Flo. I've been studying ceramics for around seven years now, after falling in love with it at a taster session in Bristol University's Student's Union during fresher's week. I spent more time in that little studio than I did in the library, studying for my English Literature degree, so figured that after I graduated, I should probably steer clear from a job where I had to sit still for too long.
Functional pottery grounds, inspires, and motivates me to make things that are both beautiful and useful. The element of intrinsic practicality makes my heart sing.
After I graduated, I moved to rural Latvia, to become apprenticed to, and study under the functional ceramicist Laima Grigone, where I received a whole world of knowledge into different firings and clay bodies. Working in black clays, grey clays and local Latvian clays, I was given the luxury of time - time, space and solitude to focus on my throwing, whilst absorbing as much information from Laima as I could. I began by working on her hand-built collection, making plates and bowls in repetition by rolling out large slabs of clay. As my throwing skills improved, I was also given the opportunity to throw for her permanent collection. As well as becoming proficient in mixing glazes from chemical components, and throwing precisely, I was lucky enough to take part in some raku firings, using horse hair and paper to decorate the vessels.
When I returned to the UK I was successful in my application to become a production thrower at the Village Pottery, a respected Bristol ceramics studio specialising in restaurant ware, as well as producing their own range of ceramic vessels. Here I honed my ability to throw vessels in repetition, as well as glazing vast amounts of bisque-ware ready for firing.
Alongside this job, I became apprenticed to Bristol-based potter Phoebe Smith, whose precision in throwing and deep knowledge of the craft (along with her unending support of my development as a solo potter), was irreplaceable. Phoebe encouraged me to get my own studio space at Clayshed on Church Road, when I first began to get restaurant commissions myself, and left me to look after her studio whilst she went on maternity leave.
The studio in Kingswood was my little haven for making (a big mess) and I began teaching evening classes there in 2021. From there I moved into making for restaurants, cafes, and private clients. My work was stocked at Prior Shop at the end of that year, and since then I've been lucky enough to find great relationships with shops whose ethos of sustainability, low-impact and high quality craft have aligned with my own making beliefs.
At the beginning of this year I began working two days a week at Bath Spa University, where I teach practical skills in their amazingly well-kitted-out studios, as a Technical Demonstrator in 3D Ceramics. Through exposure to many different making styles, studio set-ups, and immersing myself in the world of contemporary functional pottery, I've been lucky enough to explore many different making styles, and finally feel like my work has settled into a place where it feels it has an identity of its own. I'm very interested to hear from any new or potential stockists, restaurants or cafes who would be keen to collaborate on collections in 2024. Hit me up and I'll happily send my wholesale price list.
Thank you very much for your support in advance,
My website is the best way to support my work, but I am also grateful to be stocked at some beautiful bricks and mortar institutions:
East Of Home, Bath