Julie Pearce began pottery classes three years ago, and now has a growing small business creating pottery items influenced by the Jersey seashore. She creates work both as bespoke items and for her regular market stall. Julie is a new member of Genuine Jersey, and here she tells us how she began her business, Seymour Ceramics.
I’m a Jersey girl, born and bred, and brought up on the beaches and in the sea around Jersey, and this upbringing has definitely inspired a great deal of my work. My business name actually comes from my maiden name, as I was keen to keep this part of my life separate from my professional career, as a director with a local Trust Company.
I started out by attending pottery classes organized by Adult Education, and run by Dave Brown, about three years ago. From the very first class, I knew that I had found my “thing”, and that this was going to become a big part of my life. A big turning point was when I bought my own kiln a year ago, which meant that I could experiment and develop my work as much as I wanted, and in my own time.
Dave Brown, as my pottery tutor, remarked that some of my work was good enough to sell, but it took me quite some time before I built up the confidence to attend my first craft market. I remember how nervous I was at that first event, and how thrilling it was to make that first sale! Now, I find myself making items not just for the craft markets, but also to order. These past few months, I have been asked to produce personalized signs, mugs and boats, which have been given as wedding presents, housewarming gifts and retirement presents. Beach and sea themed items are always popular, “Gone surfing” and other surfing related slogans are, not surprisingly in Jersey, very popular indeed.
Pottery is never far from my mind, and I keep a note book close at all times to jot down ideas – which can come at any time of the day or night! I constantly have a “to do” list of orders, replacement stock, or new ideas that I want to develop. On my days off from my day job I will be in my pottery room by 9 am, preparing the clay and working on pieces. Quite often, even after a day in the office, I will disappear into my pottery room for a few more hours work. I have never reached the point where it feels like a chore, and I hope it carries on feeling like that.
My work can be seen on my facebook page, and I can be contacted via the page for for bespoke orders. I also have some items for sale on Anina.je. I can also be found at the St Aubin Craft Markets through the Summer months.