Katie Robbins's Airy Garden Studio
Profession: Potter | Location: Birmingham, UK
Katie Robbins is a gifted potter who works out of her garden studio. After working for ten years as a public relations consultant, she rediscovered her childhood love of ceramics. Katie has since turned her passion into a successful business, KT Robbins Ceramics. She sells her work at markets and on Etsy. Her love for interior design inspires her work, and probably explains why her studio is so beautiful!
What inspires your work?
My work is inspired by colours and colour combinations that I see in the natural environment. I love pink blossom, or pink blooms on a green stem, sea foam on a blue ocean, a sun-rise of pink and blue skies. I then like to use these colours in vessels that people want to use and cherish – like budvases, little keepsake dishes, plant homes or lidded containers.
What are your favorite mediums and tools to use?
I work exclusively with porcelain clay and I mainly form my vessels on the pottery wheel but also slip-cast some of my bigger forms. When working with clay I use a variety of tools, including sponges, throwing ribs, carving and turning tools.
What is one word you would use to describe your studio space?
(light and) Airy. I cheated that was three words.
What is your favorite thing about your studio space?
I love the windows that overlook the garden. As well as observing my feathered friends flying around the feeder I love to observe the changing seasons particularly spring, summer and autumn – the first blossom, the lilac, hydrangeas and hopefully lots more new flowers that I have planted this year.
What are three items in your workspace that you can’t live without?
My pottery wheel; the sink for washing said wheel and glaze buckets, and stool for sitting on whilst I throw.
What does a day in the life look like for you? What are your daily habits?
It varies quite a lot depending on if I’m throwing or glazing my work. The morning starts with a slow cuppa on the sofa next to my dog whilst I check my social media. Then breakfast shower and I’m normally in the workshop by 9.30am. I’ll throw for a few hours, have a quick lunch and carry on till about 4 or 5 – depending what I’m doing in the evening. I try and have one day a week where I’m doing admin - either working on my business, taking photographs, packing and I try and take a work related outing or trip as a boost for my creativity. In the evenings I end up doing a bit more social media and admin if needed.
How do you practice self-care throughout the day?
Twice a week I’ll go to yoga in the morning; I try and fit in a couple of dog walks and I also go swimming one morning a week. I had an issue with my back last year and pottery is so sedentary, hunched over the wheel that I really want to look after and keep my spine quite active. I also have a guitar lesson once a week – not sure if that counts as self-care - but its great to have that as me-time.
How do you store your artwork?
Once the clay has been fired I store it on the shelves in my workspace before it finds its forever home.