Makers Corner: Luyi Brown

With our Spring Makers Market a mere nine days away, we’ve been catching up with our designers and makers ahead of market day.

Who is the lady behind the pottery wheel?

Hi. I am Luyi Brown, creator of Puzzle of Nature and I make ceramics which are all handmade.

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Can you please tell us what inspired you to become a maker?

I started ceramics as a hobby about 15 years ago and got hooked!

I was working full time, as most people do, but I knew that I needed to do something outside of work that would help me relax, was challenging and gave me the opportunity to do something artistic. I didn’t think I was particularly artistic at the time. I started with the guitar mainly because my friend had a guitar which she never used, but I quickly realised that it wasn’t for me. Then I remembered when I was about eight or nine, I had a taster ceramic class at my local community centre and really enjoyed it. So, I thought maybe I should try that again and signed up for an evening class at Hackney Community College and I immediately connected with it, and have not looked back. Since then, I’ve moved a couple of times to different colleges and studio spaces, but now I make my wares at In Production at Turning Earth E10.

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What is your designing and making process?

Most of the work that you will see on my website, Puzzle of Nature and Instagram are handmade and thrown on the potters wheel. I use stoneware clays, slips (colour liquid clay) and paper shapes to decorate my work and finish off with a transparent or white glaze. I leave the outside of some of my work unglazed but polished leaving the natural colour and feel of the clay.

How is your products and processes sustainable, limiting the impact on the environment? 

Making ceramics can be wasteful in many ways if you’re not careful. As I’ve improved over the years, I use a lot less water than I used to, I recycle dry clay using it again to make new plates, vases, bottles, etc, or as ingredients in slips.

Before we we say goodbye, can you impart a quote or words of wisdom to inspire others who are considering starting their own business?

The best thing I can suggest is to talk to people who are a little ahead of where you want to be and share some of your goals. The lovely thing about ceramicists is that there are people who are willing to share hints, tips and point you in the right direction. I’m sure the same goes for other fields as well.

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Makers Corner: Noriko Nagaoka

We have been catching up the talented members of the Crafty North Londoner Etsy Team and today we have the pleasure of introducing the talented potter, Noriko Nagaoka of Noriko Nagaoka Ceramic

Who is the talent behind the ceramic?
I am a potter who was born in Osaka, but have lived in London for 15 years.

What inspired you to became a maker of pottery?
When I was in Japan, I always wanted to make pottery, but it would not happen until three years ago in London, when I started taking evening ceramic courses. Another one of my inspirations is Japanese Master Potter Mr. Shoji Hamada. His spontaneous designs and clean shapes are what I strive to.

….And the design process?

I have been making ceramics part time, slowly becoming more and more full-time. In May 2017 I joined the Turning Earth Studio and since the end of August I have become a full-time potter.

Can you impart a quote or words of wisdom to inspire other makers and designers?

I love nature and most of my items are inspired by it.  Trees, ocean scenery, the mountains, waterfalls, and animals all inspirations to me.  I love food, so when I make my ceramics, I always think about how I can make food look better in my plates or bowls.  Every day I explore finding better shapes, sizes, weight or better colours on the items that I make.