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FEATURED DESIGNERS

Meet the artists, designers, makers & crafters behind your favourite products.

PAST FEATURED DESIGNERS
Charlie Moo's - Party Bags

Sooziebee - Illustrations & Cards

Hatastic - Fashion Headwear

Gooseberrymoon - Cards & Stationery

She Draws - Accessories & Homewares

Hollie Lollie - Accessories

Heartfelt Handmade - Felt Gifts & Accessories

Illusio Creative - Art & Design

Sweetpea4kids - Childrens Clothing

Jo Heckett - Ceramics

Susan Green Books

Yunisacs - Accessories

Rachel Lucie Jewellery Designs















































FEATURED DESIGNER

Jo Heckett
Ceramics - Gifts, Jewellery & Homeware

Etsy.com - $USD
Joheckett.com - £GBP
Notonthehighstreet.com - £GBP

Tell us about yourself. Who you are, where you live and a little bit about you and what you do in your spare time.

I'm originally from Cork in Ireland, but have lived in London for over 20 years. I'm married with two sons, so really my studio time is my ‘me time’. When I’m not working I'm usually to be found hanging out at my boys’ football matches (I've even taken football up recently myself!), and also love to cycle and snowboard.

What do you make?

If you were a fly on the wall at my studio, you would be forgiven for thinking you were at a bakery! I use similar techniques to making biscuits – rolling out the finest porcelain clay into slabs and then using a selection of cookie cutters and templates to cut out a variety of shapes. These are then stamped with a rich array of textures using vintage stamps and found objects, before being fired in one of my kilns. They are then glazed in my favourite soft glossy colours to create a lovely mix'n'match batch of goodies.

I make all sorts of porcelain gifts, but my best sellers are my letter fridge magnets. I make colourful porcelain gifts, jewellery and magnets. I specialise in both bespoke and ‘off the peg’ items, with cute and quirky gifts for weddings, engagements, Christenings, birthdays and more.

I love weddings, and have dedicated a whole section to them on my website, covering gifts, tokens and favours, ready to buy and made to order.

How & when did you get started designing & making?

Ever since I was a child I've been fascinated with making things. If it said ‘craft kit’ on the box, I wanted it! I used to collect bits and pieces from the beach and stick them together to make crazy creatures. After a meandering early career I ended up at Brighton University studying Craft-based Design (Wood, Metal, Ceramics and Plastics), and a few years later launched my ceramics business.

What venues / websites do you sell from?

I primarily sell through my own website: www.joheckett.com, but have recently also started selling through Etsy www.joheckett.etsy.com. In addition I sell through www.notonthehighstreet.com, as well as wholesale to interiors boutiques and galleries, and of course face-to-face through Cockpit Arts’ www.cockpitarts.com famous twice-yearly open studios (next one Friday 12th – Sunday 14th June, see Cockpit Arts’ website for more details).

What / who inspires your work?

Well, I'm really inspired by the concept of friendship and family. That's why I specialise in gifts. I'm quite environmentally conscious and can't bear the idea of throw-away stuff, so try to make special gifts that have personal meaning and value that I hope will be treasured forever. This is also one of the reasons I make such small things. Value is not about size but meaning. I want people to enjoy what I make, and if they get a happy glow then I'm happy too.

What are your plans for Jo Heckett Ceramics for the next 12 months?

My business is growing at a steady rate, and there are quite a few areas I am currently looking at. I would really like to expand more into export, particularly to Europe and the USA, taking advantage of the currency conversion rate.

I'm also working on some ideas for cards and other printed products. This is something I've been interested in for a long time, but now it all seems to be coming together.

I don't normally do retail fairs, but since I've increased my Christmas range this year I will be selling at Country Living Christmas Fair.

What marketing tips do you have for other artists, designers, crafters & makers?

Be perseverant! Don't give up. And get out there. Network, do shows, send press releases, develop your vision and be as business like as possible. Be aware of what makes you and your work special and use that as a starting point. Always try to kill at least two birds with one stone. For example if you are doing a craft fair, don’t just see it as an opportunity to sell. Use it to collect email addresses for your mailing list, get public response to a new idea or product, promote your website or another show, network with other makers, send out press releases etc. This way every event is a guaranteed success!

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