Last month, with the help of my lovely Mum, we selected 6 designer makers for our Mother’s Day Gift Selection…one of them was Amy Cooper and this month, as Spring approaches and the days grow longer we catch up with Amy, a ceramicist from West Cornwall who always has light in her life!
I have met Amy on a number of occasions at shows and fairs….and it is always great to see her, find out what’s been happening and admire her new work.
I’m always keen to find out how other creatives got started and I asked Amy whatever possessed her to start her own business?
I’d done years of bar and cleaning jobs and I always knew what I really wanted to do was make a living out of being creative. At 25 I went back to college on a total mission. I set up my business straight from university and I haven’t looked back.
And…..what about being your own boss?
One of the best things is being able to work the hours I choose. Although for the first few years and in busy times this feels like all of them! Since having my children it has been a total blessing to be able to arrange my work life around them; it is sometimes quite a hard discipline to down tools at 3pm but I know these years with the kids are short and precious and I am usually back to work after they are in bed for a couple of hours. I also get to go for walks for work and listen to my music or radio 4 all day. I love carrying an idea through from start to finish. I love working with my husband and love the way our business and family life combine.
What top tip would you pass onto someone just starting out as a designer maker?
Try out lots of different outlets and shows. Don’t be apologetic about your work. Make friends with your neighbours. Be proactive. Share your joy of making with potential customers, tell them what you love about what you do and why. Remember there will be good and bad shows, don’t be afraid to put your money where your mouth is!
What do you do when you’re not working?!
Static trapeze and being a mummy! There is always so much to do running a small business…….sometimes the creative bit can get very squeezed.
How do you stay motivated?
I do try and take on the odd left field project to keep my creative brain alive and fizzing!
Plans for the future……?
This year I am making some work for an exhibition to celebrate the 30th birthday of a gallery in Delft that I have been working with for over 10 years. It is a non lighting project which I’m really enjoying so far. I am also making some work for a Cornwall Crafts Association 15/18 Now project to be exhibited at Trelissick House in the Summer, also non lighting!These projects always create a bit more pressure but also hopefully feed my practice in the long term!
Thanks Amy! To see more of Amy’s beautiful work do take a look at her website.