Smiling Stella Atelier’s ceramics
If everyone around us smiled all the time, we would probably more often smile back, spread happiness and see the world a little more colorful than we normally do. Even though people are not robots with a set ‘smile’ function, fun and environment at home can be created with little details and decorations that actually smile. Unique Atelier Stella ceramic pieces by London based artist Stella Baggott, have not only faces, but characters and individual personalities too.
It is stated that Atelier Stella collection is an ever changing one. Could you describe how has your design changed since you’ve started and how different is it now?
My collection is ever changing as I make whatever I feel like that day or week. I don’t stick to a set collection. I have a few pieces I make over like the succulent pots and tripods but I will often add bits, try out new things, vary the pattern and glazes so many pieces are one offs and every piece in unique. I have quite a short attention span so I quickly get bored of making certain pieces or certain glazes. When I first started selling my work the glazes I used were quite rustic and I made a lot of smaller items such as candle holders and tiny vases. At the moment I’m into making bigger ceramic objects, mostly vases, and use a more calmer colors such as whites, blues and pale turquoise. Maybe that’s due to me recently moving out of London to the coast.
Who or what has most influenced your path toward becoming a ceramist?
My mother is a florist and a very creative woman who did ceramics as a hobby and paints, so growing up we had her pieces in the house which I have always loved. She has always encouraged my artistic side and supported me through art college and my degree, she should have become an artist herself. I think her influence is why I have always styled my pots with plants and flowers in them – many are from her garden.
Where and how did you learn this handicraft? Or is it just a talent?
It is probably a bit of both. I went to my first ceramics night course about 15 years ago, but when I moved to London in 2004 I started going to regular ceramic classes. I spent a long time just making for fun, for myself and friends but in 2012 I decide to make it more of a business. My background in design and illustration helped me to realize this dream and I see my ceramic work as an extension of my illustration, like a 3D illustration.
Who or what do you have in mind when you design?
My starting point for my designs is what I like, what I would want in my home. I like cute things that make my smile but I also want it to be stylish and to fit into my own home decor which is quite modern with vintage elements. I guess there are a lot of people with similar taste out there which is why it has been so successful.
Who are your biggest clients?
Most of my customers are from across the UK with the US being the second biggest customer base but I have sold to most countries worldwide. I get many repeat customers as I think my pieces look so good in a family group, some people have bought 15 tp 20 pieces. I love to see my designs in peoples’ home, on their Instagram or if customers send me photos. It is still seems so strange to me that a pieces I have made with my hands is sitting in someone’s home in San Francisco or Stockholm.
How quickly do your works get sold out?
I opened my online Etsy shop in the Autumn, 2012 and by March, 2013 I was selling out every time I added new pieces. I now have a new online shop and let my customers know the dates and times new work will be added and add about 30 pieces every two weeks. They still sell out within about half an hour which is crazy and amazing at the same time.
Do your works reflect yourself and your personality?
I guess that the answer is yes. It probably reflects my style and taste more than my personality. I’m a big fan of mid-century ceramic from Cornwall, Scandinavia and Italy and also love the clean lines and simplicity of Japanese ceramics. I think my work reflects all of these influences. But I do smile a lot so maybe it does reflect my personality.
What is your own favorite piece of your designs?
Oh, it’s so hard to choose – the tripod pots are some of the first pieces I made in this style, so they have a special place in my heart and these have been my most popular items by far. But I really love the lady vases with their hands on their hips, they make me smile every time I make one.