From Britain With Love
29 July 2012 | Admin
Thursday 5 July 2012
Last weekend was ARTHOUSE our annual open studios event here in Richmond where the borough’s artists and designers throw open their studio doors to the local residents. But it was only by complete chance that I discovered that one of the other mums in my son’s class is the very talented ceramicist Kate Holliday, so the opportunity to pop along with my son and take a peek inside her St Margarets studio was irresistible.
Kate is known for her beautiful handmade porcelain buttons, which she hand cuts then decorates using lace and other embossing materials to create surface texture, or by applying tiny ceramic transfers. The result is beautiful, delicate works of art that are perfect for upcycling an old jacket or adding a unique twist to a plain cardigan. Kate explained that the buttons are fired at a very high temperature, making them tough enough to withstand even the harshest rigours of machine washing.
While I was busy picking through the trays of brightly coloured buttons like a child in a sweet shop, my five year old son was busy getting stuck in as Kate showed him how to roll out the clay and apply different textures to create a ceramic tile. One of the joys of open studios is seeing the artists at work, and it’s such a fantastic opportunity for children to get involved and have a go themselves.
In addition to the thousands of buttons that Kate has made over the past year, she’s also found time to create a range of ceramic jewellery, and also makes larger pieces of functional and decorative ceramics to commission, such as these beautiful cast vessels (I bought the one on the right!).
You can find out more about Kate’s handmade porcelain buttons, jewellery and other work on her website www.kateholliday.co.uk, and also at our wonderful local haberdashery Mrs Moon. All proceeds from the open studio went to Kate’s chosen charity Love Without Boundaries which is dedicated to improving the lives of orphaned and impoverished children in China.