Mini blog for FEBBIEDAY CERAMICS
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Name: Deborah Fay Buckley
Etsy Shop names: Febbieday Ceramics; DoeandDay (Porcelain & Precious Metal Jewellery) and DoeandDay Outlets (collaborations)
Telephone Number: 07903317999
Age: 38 years
Instagram: FebbieDay Ceramics
Being a Ceramic Artist is essentially a dream come true for me, and an aspect of my life that I am immersed in now that my children are a little more grown-up! I opened my FebbieDay Ceramics Etsy shop in October 2016 when I moved into my home studio in Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire.
I work exclusively in Porcelain clay - it is a light, strong and fine material which (when fired) is remarkably robust. I employ a rather unorthodox style of slip-casting which involves caressing layers of clay by hand around a mould. Porcelain is notoriously temperamental to work with - instilling a deeper satisfaction both throughout the process and in the finished piece. I complete all artistic aspects myself, and enjoy adding curves and surface design to ensure that each piece I make is truly unique! My Black/ Charcoal dinnerware sets with a thin Gold rim have been my biggest sellers through Etsy so far - they are luxurious, and add a touch of glamour to every meal!
As an independent artist the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded people through Etsy has been invaluable. It has allowed me to connect with customers, galleries, interior designers, photographers and bloggers from around the world. Running my on-line shop continues to excite and challenge me. I am never short of inspiration, and feel as though there are multiple lifetimes of Ceramics yet to explore - I intend to add many more homeware ranges to my Etsy shop in 2019.
I live in Beverley, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, in a busy home with my husband, Phil; my three children - Aaron (aged 14 years), Oliver (aged 12 years), and Winifred (aged 6 years); my mum; and two dogs. It has not always been this way! My husband and I have been married for seventeen years. He is an anaesthetist, working at Hull Royal Infirmary. However when he was in training, his work took us all round the country. At one point we lived in Australia for a year and we became pregnant with our eldest son, Aaron. At that point we made the decision to move back to the UK to be near our respective families. We ended up coming to East Yorkshire, by chance really, but we haven’t looked back. We all love it here.
I work from a home studio. It is a little slice of heaven where I can be creative and have fun and make a mess without being too far away from a cup of tea, and human or canine company! I now have two kilns and this has really helped me to have the confidence to negotiate with people who need bigger orders or those who are working to a strict time- limit. The kiln firings are undoubtedly my ‘rate-limiting-step’, with each firing taking between 20 -36 hours for the heating, and then cooling down v to complete. Ceramics is an incredibly laborious and fickle art, and particularly with porcelain clay - which is the sole medium that I use - there is always a element of chance and randomness to the whole event. For me, that just adds to the enjoyment and my appreciation of a final piece. I have my ‘DAY’ stamp on all my work and for me it means that I have created a piece to the best of my ability and that I am proud to pass it on!
Essentially my work through Etsy is part-time. I am constantly balancing pottery life with family life, although the time that I devote to it is quite variable. If a large order comes in then I like to really get to task with it - I want to provide an efficient and reliable service and I relish the prospect of becoming a little (home) manufacturing industry. However there are times when pottery inevitably gets squeezed out a little by family commitments and my husband’s on-calls, holidays and so on. I am doing as much work as I am happy with at the moment. However, I can see our children becoming more independent (and bigger) by the day, so my business is gathering momentum at just the right time. Also, you could say that although FebbieDay Ceramics is my creation, it is really a family affair. My children, husband and my mum all chip in as they can. Winnie has made and sold some of her own bowls, and my boys have done some computer work, photography and refining under supervision. My mum does the lion share of babysitting at key times, and without her I would struggle to get everything done. I would like to think that I am setting a good example to our children: showing that they are capable of venturing into the world to do whatever job they want to - artistic, independent business or otherwise,
and gain an income and lifestyle from it. I hope they appreciate that it is just a matter of developing skills, being passionate and being directed in self-management.
Before becoming a ceramicist, my background was in catering. My late dad was a chef and my mum is a retired catering manager and so cooking is something that I have always done. I attended Catering College in Birmingham and I have had a number of catering positions, including being Head-Chef at a Vegetarian restaurant in Leicester. However, although I love cooking and baking, I am happy to reserve this for family and friends. When I left high school I attended Art College and I have done a few pottery courses over the years, although I have not gone on to do ceramics at degree level.
In 2013 we moved house (within the local area) and a flier from the local Adult Education Centre dropped through the front door, which advertised and promoted a number of up and coming courses. We were in a new house; our daughter was still quite small; and it felt like a new and exciting time. My husband and I both agreed that we should take the opportunity to do something different and challenging: he took up guitar (and he’s been playing ever since) and I decided to reignite my love of ceramics. Life has not been the same since! I discussed my plans with my best friend - she is a fellow artist living in Beverley - and she needed little encouragement to attend with me. We had a blast in our adult education classes for a couple of years, and at that point I knew that I wanted to do pottery everyday and to make a living out of it. My friend and I decided to venture as independent potters but to work collaboratively: Doe&Day Ceramic Jewellery was born. We started out initially doing stalls and events. In 2014 we set up our first Etsy site. We have subsequently added a second Doe&Day (Outlet) site for our not-quite perfect and ‘end of line’ jewellery pieces.
In 2016 my friend and I decided that (and it seemed a natural progression that) we would also work independently on a wider range of ceramic styles and pieces. I set up FebbieDay ceramics on Etsy. Ultimately it is my official shopfront, and is linked with my Instagram account, which allows me to collaborate with everyone that I need to: customers, fellow ceramicists and artists, wholesalers, gallery owners, restaurant owners, photographers and bloggers. Recently, I made bowls for a new restaurant in Covent Garden, and dinnerware sets for a Flower-Arranging School in Bath. My work has been in a number of magazines and on-line photoshoots, particularly for weddings and homewares.
I work exclusively in Porcelain clay - it is a light, strong and fine material, which (when fired) is remarkably robust. I employ a rather unorthodox style of slip-casting, which involves caressing layers of clay by hand, within a mould. Every aspect of the artistic work I do myself, and every piece is unique. I enjoy experimenting with Porcelain body-
stains; creating marbled effects; and using Gold and Bronze surface design. I love ceramic pieces which are beautiful in their own right - but I have a particular admiration for functionally beautiful objects.