Hello and welcome to "Five Minutes With...", our favourite blog feature. Each month, we'll be having a brief chat with one of our marvellous suppliers... about life, the universe, and everything. By which I mean interiors and travel, obvs.
We work with a huge range of clever and creative maker-types, who craft all sorts of beautiful products, from ceramics, candles and chocolate, through prints, pencils and planters, to soap, sculptures and... some other great things. Join us for a glimpse behind the curtain and see what makes them tick.
This month, we'll be talking to Jack Laverick, the talented young ceramicist behind Jack Laverick Ceramic Design. We adore Jack's geometric pots, they're some of the first items we ever stocked here at White Black Grey.
This year, Jack had launched his retro-inspired Memphis range, to much acclaim. Check these out, much awesome:
Together with his Dad, Jack also creates beautiful ceramic lighting pieces under the name Laverick & Son. The textures are stunning, don't you think?
Ok, let's skip to it:
Jack, can you tell us a bit about your production process and materials?
I make a range of batch produced ceramics and all of my work is currently slip cast as I work in porcelain. That means that I make my work in moulds, using a clay in a liquid form.
I make all the original shapes of my work in solid plaster first, that is turned and carved away bit by bit until I have my solid form, this is then used to make plaster moulds from. For some of my geometric shapes the model making process has been very tricky indeed.
I use a clay called porcelain for my work because it has a certain aesthetic not always considered as clay... it's super smooth to the touch, can be coloured very easily, and sometimes even gets mistaken for plastic or rubber because of those smooth and almost perfection-like qualities.
Also, I make a range of candle holders and some lighting and porcelain is very translucent, which provides a beautiful warm glow when you put a tealight inside.
Lovely! It's so interesting to hear about your process, we had no idea. Ok, next question... Which is your favourite room (or corner) of your home (or studio) and why?
My favourite room of my house (or flat) is my living room because it has 3 huge mill style windows which let tonnes of light in, nice oak floors and of course lots of house plants. Some 7ft tall which help fill the space as it has such high ceilings.
My studio had 4 corners, but as yet I don’t have a favourite. It's a wonderful place to get work done. Especially in winter when I'm busy and firing the kiln almost every night. You come into work and it's dull cold and freezing outside and you get to walk into this warm cosy and bright studio and just zone out and let the hours pass by. Even better when it's raining outside and you can hear the raindrops tapping on the roof.
Well that sounds absolutely delightful! We'll be round for a studio tour next time it's raining. Now here's a question close to our hearts... can you share with us a White, Black or Grey item from your life and tell us about it?
For a long time when I first started out I had a white van. This was essential in the way I run my business as I do a lot of exhibitions, craft fairs and markets, as well as selling to galleries and shops. Last year I did so many I couldn’t keep up, so I’ve scaled it back a little this year and managed to bring some new ranges out, which will be what I'll be taking when I’m back on the circuit next year. But recently I’ve upgraded to a grey (silver?) van, so I can't call myself a white van man anymore.
(The photos show the converted van.)
Jeez, look at those views! Ok, we're going to have to be borrowing your van as well as touring your studio. You're right though, grey van man really doesn't have the same ring. It must be awesome (and tiring!) travelling round the country attending exhibitions and fairs. Onto a different type of travel... If time and money were no object, where would you take your dream holiday?
I'd love to go back to Vietnam and Cambodia, and see a lot of what I didn’t see. It's such a huge place it's impossible to see it all, but the people are so very friendly and welcoming, and the culture is so different to European culture.
I remember when me and a friend landed in Cambodia and our hostel had sent a tuk tuk driver to collect us from the airport; we were driving along the road at around 11pm at night and suddenly we cut off into the trees on a little dirt path, a shortcut we figured, he probably knows them all. But then we start to slow down and pull up at this house, and we're thinking, this definitely isn’t the place on the photos. And the driver turned around and asked if it was ok for us to stop for a beer and meet his family and friends, instantly we were dubious and figured something wasn’t right about this and kept and wallets, phones and passports close in our pockets. But how very wrong we were, these people were so happy to meet us, offered us free beers and food all night, talked about culture, work Cambodia and England. They couldn’t of been more welcoming, 1 beer turned into 10 and eventually we left. But we couldn’t help but feel guilty of our preconceptions about these people who welcomed us into their home. These people had nothing but were happy to share what little they had. That really hit home about the people of Cambodia.
What a fab story, very pleased it had a happy ending! We've never been to that part of the world, but you've made it sound very tempting.
Ok, last question... could you tell us about another creative whose work you love?
Chris from Stolen Form. You’ve probably seen the famous brick vase floating around before, he creates objects from everyday things in ceramic and glazes them in a range of lovely colours. From coasters made from those metal gas pavement covers, to egg cups and salt shakers made from plumber's piping. It's a brilliant idea taking an object that most people walk on everyday and never even notice, and turning it into a beautiful product you’d want to put your cup of tea on.
Oh yes! We're very familiar with Chris' work. Great stuff.
OK, tea break over. Thanks for your time Jack, this has been immensely fun. We're looking forward to seeing where your work takes you from here.
We hope you enjoyed this feature. Do feel free to comment with any thoughts... perhaps your own dream holiday destinations, beloved monochrome items, or favourite makers - go on, share the love.