This week’s featured maker is ceramicist Laura Lane, who makes covetable ceramics with a social conscience from her smallholding in Cornwall.
We asked Laura to answer some of the questions often asked by Folksy sellers.
When did you start making?
I’ve always been a maker. Even as a child I always made things, so I guess it was a natural progression for me. After I had my children, I went to uni (to study 3D Design) and that was where I was introduced to clay.
How do you sell your work?
I sell through shops, galleries and online. I also do craft fairs such as Cornwall Design Fair, The Contemporary Craft Fair, some smaller local fairs, and of course I always support the school PTFA. I’ve also been involved in an empty shops project and do the odd pop-up shop too.
How do you promote your work, and what seems to work best?
To be honest, this is where I let myself down. I have a Facebook page and I’m on Twitter, but generally I find that doing fairs and exhibitions is the most successful form of PR for me.
Is there anything that you particularly find hard about being a maker?
The main thing I struggle with is time. Ceramics is no quick fix and as a mum to three, running a small holding, and doing an MA, time is something I really struggle with. I’m the most disorganised, forgetful person, but somehow (???) things get done. Except for housework. Luckily my fella is great. I bought him a Jamie Oliver cookbook and an apron one year, and I’ve never looked back! Seriously, he’s amazing!
What tips would you give to other makers?
Hmmm… well I guess I would suggest having a range of products at various price levels. You need a bread-and-butter range: the things that keep you ticking over while you work on something exciting and new. It’s also good to have pocket-money items that will engage you with people and may lead to future sales. And then you need a more expensive range. Also, make sure you do your costings! Be aware of your costs, your wholesale pricing and your retail pricing. Knowing these details mean that when people ask you to supply them with work, you have all this info to hand and you come across as professional.