ClayHouse Designs & giveaway

Monday, September 3, 2012

             Ceramic tags by Dionne Barnes
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When a hobby meets passion and creativity, the opportunities are endless.  Cape Town-based Dionne Barnes has combined these factors and found ClayHouse Designs, a fun ceramic gifts and decorations company, which products are sure to add some whimsy and talking points to your life. SFL probed a little into Dionne's life to see what makes her tick.
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Why did you start this business?
 Ceramics started as a hobby. It was an opportunity to do something totally different from my "routine" day job. I started an evening class with my Mom which also gave me a wonderful chance to spend some time with her. It's in these classes that a love for clay developed. A passionate teacher & now friend taught me the ropes and never in my wildest dreams did I think it would become a career. I still don't really regard it as a job but more a passion. I had a few items for sale at a florist/gift shop in Somerset West. The owners (now friends), were always so supportive & encouraging of my work, they put me into contact with their friends, from there one thing led to another and its turned into a little business.

Where do you get your inspiration for the things you create?
I think really anything & everywhere. My clients, friends & family. I often have someone saying you know we would really like a small bowl for a gift for a friend, or I really like the colours blue and grey and this sparks an idea. I love hand-made items so sometimes a piece of fabric or a beautiful sheet of paper will give me inspiration for a colour combination. I love texture and the way clay allows you to imprint/impress into its surface, so I am always on the lookout for textured objects to use.

Explain a little about your process. 
"If clay teaches you anything it's patience" this was a remark my teacher often used and it's so true. Working with clay can be a lengthy process and, at times, its a very frustrating medium. My preferred method is hand-building, so from the raw clay I roll it out, cut my desired shape, wait for it to dry, and work off all the imperfections. Fire for the first time to +\-960 degrees C (bisque fire), decorate, glaze and fire a final time (glaze fire) to about 1200 degrees C. At any stage in the process an item can crack and even if and when it makes it to the final glaze firing there is no guarantee of success. So it can be rather tricky, but it is a wonderful feeling to open the kiln door and success!!


What has been your proudest moment since you started?       
When a client phoned me up, out of the blue, several months after they purchased some of my bowls and said how they look forward to using my bowls every morning at breakfast! It was so wonderful to hear that they enjoyed using them just as much as I enjoyed making them!


Any words of wisdom?
Try to spend some time each day/week doing what you love. I believe if you are passionate about what you do it will show in your product/service. 

If you have or are starting a small business do not underestimate the power of the Internet, blogs and social media. Some of these tools are free and if suitable to your business, can be very rewarding as it puts you into contact with clients/customers and they can give you wonderful inputs & feedback!


Where to next?
Well that's difficult to say, I try not to think too far in advance. My business is small and this allows me to shift & change as I want. I really enjoy this flexibility. Currently, I am having so much fun making my ceramic jewellery, so perhaps a few more items in different shapes to add to the collection. Who knows where the journey will take me next?


***this giveaway is now closed****

Oh goody, here comes the fun part! You can stand a chance of winning this whimsical hand painted Cheeky Bird  ceramic bowl and these super sweet ceramic earrings, worth almost R200! All courtesy of ClayHouse Designs.

Makes your Monday less blue, hey?


How to win:
(only mandatory entries)
*Like ClayHouse Designs on Facebook and leave a comment to tell me what your favourite ceramic design is

*Like Second Floor Living on Facebook

But wait, there's more:
(make sure to leave a comment for each entry, mkay?)
* Follow Second Floor Living on GFC 
Follow SFL on Twitter 

*Tweet about it
Pin a photo from ClayHouse Designs to Pinterest (tell me that you have done this)

May the best one win!
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*All photos via Dionne Barnes
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15 comments:

Johlet said...

I think I am having a blonde moment, but what is gfc?

And I don't have pinterest. Is that a problem? Other than that I've done everything else! :)

http://johced-ourjourneytoeverywhere.blogspot.com/

xxx

Idele said...

tweeted

Idele said...

Now following SFL and ClayHouse Designs on Facebook and Twitter.

Idele said...

Liked SFL and ClayHouse Designs on Facebook.

Shells said...

Have liked Clay House design

Shells said...

Have like Second Foor Living...

Shells said...

Have pinned some of your beautiful things to my SA Creatives board x

Idele said...

I are to be having to pin it on the Pinterest!

Anoushka said...

Beautiful creations!

The Panda has spoken said...

I like this cute chicken bowl. Very much!

Tracy Hancock said...

I likes you on Facebook my dear

Tracy Hancock said...

I likes ClayHouse Designs too. ;)

Karin said...

Hey, liked Clayhouse Designs on FB. Already a fan of SFL ;).

Lisamarie said...

Clayhouse Designs looks amazing. I love their stuff. I would enter this contest, but I don't have a Facebook page. Sorry!

Granted said...

I have made a twit of myself, I have pinned it, I have fbooked you and ClayHouse and I have searched for GFC, can't find it!

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