As you might have guessed we are big fans of vintage here at FutureFrock HQ. Like our dear friend and contributor, make-up artist Sjaniël Turrell, many a happy afternoon has been spent trawling market stalls in search of that special something. So we were delighted to discover another vintage design fan in ceramicist, Charlotte Grinling.
Peckham based ceramicist, Charlotte Grinling creates simple, usable and beautiful work by combining contemporary forms with striking colour and understated geometric detail. Her hand-thrown work is influenced by mid 20th century and Scandinavian design. Charlotte trained as a textile designer and has twenty years experience as a design and colour forecaster for homewares. Colour, form, texture and pattern have always been a huge part of her life and this is vibrantly reflected in her ceramics.
What was the ‘eureka’ moment that inspired you to become a ceramicist?
I started my career as a designer-maker in fashion textiles, but as I progressed the digital world took over. I really missed the hands on making aspect of design so in 2012, quite out of the blue, I decided to do a three day throwing course at Vinegar Hill Pottery down near the South Coast. The guy that taught me kept asking me if I had done throwing before and though I hadn’t, I did feel that took to it like a duck to water (or duck to clay should that be?). I was totally hooked from that moment on.
We remember doing a little pottery at school and loving it! For the uninitiated, can you talk us through the process of creating your work and how it informs on the creative process?
Crikey that's I big one!
I throw on the wheel using a variety of clays from a black clay to the whitest of white porcelain. There are many stages to creating a finished piece, throwing, turning (where you trim of the excess clay once it is dry enough the handle properly), then there are plenty of ways you can further treat the piece such as adding slip, carving (called scragfitto), underglazing, on so on, the options are endless. The piece is then 'first fired' and then you start the the tricky,tricky glazing process (I think of glazing as unpredictable science!). The piece then goes in for its final firing.
I tend to have a clear idea of what I am planning to make before I start throwing and am a big fan of keeping a sketch book so I have a record of my process. My design influences come from both my years of working as a design and colour forecaster (so spent my life working with colour, form, texture, material and finish) and my love of mid-century modern and Scandinavian design. But influences can come from all over the place… I am currently using copper leaf and am not even sure how or why I had the idea to experiment with gilding on clay.
You live and work in Peckham. What are your favourite hangouts or places to visit in South London?
Too many to mention… have lived and worked in the area for years now and my loyalties wax and wain as new places appear. I think things kind of changed too fast when the Overground came, so now everybody’s discovered how brilliant Peckham is which has taken the edge off the area for me, feels like all ‘my’ places have been taken over by the East London crew. My current fav is Banh Banh, had a big party there before it opened and the Nugyens think of me as sort of family now. Big fan of the Multiplex which is under threat so we have to fight for it! Khan’s is wonderful place. Used to love Franks when it first opened but i’s got too well known now… queuing… definitely not for me. Had a studio in the Bussey Building for a while so that feels like home. South London Gallery, White Cube, Tate Mod (use the members rooms for work meetings so that’s also a firm fav), all the usual arty stuff… Southwark seems to have it all for me.
What’s the best piece of advise you’ve ever been given?
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Clay of course!
Where can we view and buy your work?
Townhouse Spittlefields, Fournier Street. Fresh Flower Company, Frogley Road. Forest, Deptford Market Yard
You can view more of her work here.
Our shoot sponsors, The Fresh Flower Company supplies flowers for parties, events, weddings and to offices, shops and hotels. They support British growers wherever possible, so that they can help you keep your flower miles down. Their flower shop in North Cross Road, East Dulwich, stocks the finest seasonal flowers. They buy daily from New Covent Garden Flower Market as well as buying directly from the grower. They pride ourselves on the quality of their flowers and foliage which are all carefully sourced.
For our shoot, owner…. Handpicked us a beautiful selection of UK grown seasonal blooms.
Check them out here.
Established 19 years ago to sell products which promote a greener lifestyle, Karavan Eco Home is committed to a sustainable model for all aspects of their business and stock a wide variety of homewear from eco paint, to the beautiful recycled glass and paper products we have featured in our shoot.
Visit them at 167 Lordship Lane, London - SE22 8HX
Fresh, clean geometric patterns are at the core of MAiK products. All of their exclusive prints are designed in-house, before being sent to their makers, an inspiring mix of social enterprises, eco printing companies and family run companies.
Read out interview with Maik founder Cat Thorogood here.
SAHEL is a London-based accessories brand founded by former fashion editor Charlie Davies.
SAHEL began in 2008, in the desert of Burkina Faso where Charlie lived for seven years among the Fulani. Horse lovers by tradition, Fulani people used to dress their steeds in vibrant tassles to accentuate the horse’s movement and turn heads. SAHEL is committed to the preservation of traditional skills and revival of artisanal livelihoods. They adhere to Fair Trade principles and invest in our West African artisans’ communities, providing better access to health care, clean water and primary education.
Hammam Havlu is the UK's first dedicated ethical hammam towel brand. Designed in the UK, each item is unique and created with a respect and love of the Turkish culture and an appreciation of the local community in Denizli Turkey. Here the towels are woven by a small family run business that have been making hammam towels for over fifty years.
Shop the brand here.
Contemporary, affordable homeware and interior inspiration brought to you by a Swede and a Brit living in London. Kai & Amanda met while working in the fashion industry where they connected over their shared love of the Scandinavian aesthetic. During a coffee break the idea for Att Pynta was born, a destination for Scandinavian style and interiors without breaking the bank.
Shop the brand here.
Inspired by Asian design, Colin Leslie Eyewear fuses classic styles with a modern twist. The bamboo detailing, recycled acetate and ethical production combine to create a stylish, sustainable sunglass collection that has made the bran a firm favourite on the urban music scene.
Shop the collection here.