Friday Feature - 19.05.17
As part of our Meet the Maker series on our blog, we have created Friday Feature. Every Friday we will feature a team member and their Etsy shop, to give you a quick glance behind the scenes and discover more about our diverse team members.
Friday 19 May, 2017 - viCeramics
Name: Virginia Balistreri
Location: Deptford, South East London (Studio in Woolwich)
Etsy Shop: viCeramics
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:
My name is Virginia, I'm from Florence, Italy. After completing a five year programme in Fine Arts at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze (February 2014) I decided to move to London, leave family and friends to follow my loved boyfriend. I had to start my life once again, and I found a part-time job and went to a part-time ceramics studio to practice my real passion. I wasn't happy though, making ceramics part-time doesn't allow you to truly build a future around it. I left my job and found a communal studio where I could make ceramics everyday, all the time. Having space and time to practice and experiment with clay and glazes improved my technique and skills. I have my own little studio now, my wheel and my kiln. Step after step I've been growing and I keep loving making ceramics.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED ON ETSY?
I am a maker, I could make ceramics all the time and forget that there is life outside my studio. The big challenge is making the business work, too easily I could get lost in my making. The hardest challenge at the beginning was finding the courage to show my work to the world. Opening my Etsy shop was not an easy step, but it allowed me to see if people liked my work and build more confidence. I face all the challenges that any seller has to, and because each piece of ceramic is unique and different from each other, I have to spend a long time taking photos , dimensions and making the listings. I love that Etsy is a worldwide market place and that my pieces get to travel to people based on the other side of the globe!
TELL US ABOUT YOUR DESIGN/MAKING PROCESS:
I enjoy creating a mix of functional and non-functional objects, all of them thrown on the wheel. My research specialises in thrown shapes, materials and glazes. It takes me one month to make any ceramic piece, this is because the long and slow process: throwing and trimming on the wheel, drying, first firing up to 960°C (takes 1 day), glazing, then a second firing up to 1260°C. I'm always working on making new glazes using my own recipes, which is a new challenge and adventure (with many defeats too!).
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
Making ceramics makes me happy!
WHEN AND WHY DID YOU JOIN THE TEAM?
I joined the team over 1 year ago. I was looking for support, friendly faces, opportunities and events where to test myself, my ceramics, and public opinion.
To find out more about Virginia follow her on social media: