To say that the acclaimed children’s book illustrator and, more recently, ceramics artist Stella Baggott is an old friend of mine is something of an understatement.
We grew up together in the same Shropshire village and lived just metres apart – in fact we were born just days apart. The story goes that our mums met on the maternity unit in the local hospital and we have been friends ever since.
Which is why I’m tremendously proud to get to write about her here: if anyone sums up great British design, then it is Stella with her cheeky, irreverent, handmade pottery. Each piece is unique and has personality.
She’s been making pots and other ceramics for about the last five years, since taking an evening class, but art has always been in her blood – ever since we used to spend our weekends together making Fimo models!
Using Staffordshire clay, which she sculpts from slabs or turns into pinch pots, her hand-built, fired and glazed pieces have a mid-century charm about them, thanks to their rustic nature and vintage-looking glazes. In fact, the colours remind me of our own childhoods.
Today she lives in Brighton and although she is still extremely successful as an illustrator, her ceramics are becoming increasingly recognised and collectible.
If you can’t get your hands on one of her quirky designs from her own shop Atelier Stella she has collaborated with Brooklyn-based brand West Elm to create a slightly-more polished version of her own hand-made designs (these are factory-produced so that have a different finish to them but are still very tactile) for frankly bargain prices.
PS – At the time of writing, a few of these lovely ceramic mirrors were still available from Stella’s Etsy shop
Visit her website to fid out more http://atelierstella.tumblr.com