Meet the Maker – Pots and Paper by Steph
This month, we had a chat with the lovely Steph, a.k.a Pots and Paper, about her fascinating process with paper. The dreamy colours and forms Steph creates with her handmade paper vessels are brimming with so much character, so we were delighted to hear more about her unique craft.
From her home studio in Leicestershire, here’s Steph to tell us about her inspiration, advice and much more…
How did you first get into your craft?
I first dabbled with papermaking at University when we were given a chance to explore different technical workshops.
I never imagined that it would be something I would still be doing 3 years later, at home and without the luxury of the proper technical equipment! I’m not sure what it was about papermaking that kept me coming back to it, but you can find me, in all weathers, in my garden next to my blender mixing up a fresh batch of pulp!
Can you tell us how your first project went?
Not very well! The first paper pot I tried to make was a small round vase in black paper.
It didn’t hold it’s shape and caved in and from then on I knew that I couldn’t let this paper beat me. It has since made me realise how far I have come and how much I have learnt about my craft and I will keep that little black pot forever.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from all around but I have always been drawn to lines and I think that forms the inspiration for some of my delicate yet complex handles.
What do you love most about the process?
It’s a love/hate relationship but I love that the paper is totally in control. I can think I have made the best batch of paper for it to actually be awful, or to have made the best pot/handle for it to collapse or fall over.
It’s why I describe my paper as unique and pots as wonky, because try as I might, the paper will totally do as it pleases – it’s in charge!
What would be your best advice for those starting out?
Don’t compare yourself to others, be kind to yourself, connect with other people and take some time away. It’s very easy for it to become all consuming, and I am totally guilty of that, especially because this is all so new to me.
Social media is a great tool for connecting, becoming inspired and lifting other people up, so building a presence there is a great place to start too. I would also say be true to yourself and make things you like – it’s easy to get swept up in what everyone else is doing, but stay true to yourself, that’s so important.
What’s next for you, any upcoming projects that you’re working on?
I have a couple of possible brand collaborations in the pipeline that I am so excited for! I am also thinking ahead to Christmas, my favourite time of the year, and I’m looking forward to translating all the festive ideas in my head into real life paper objects.
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