Hi guys! Happy Friday!
Thanks for popping by to read this week’s Creative Q&A – I hope you brought your sunnies because it’s a bright one!
Brilliant Jess of Tiny Sunshine has been running her shop since lockdown last year, when she found herself with more time to create (anyone else almost missing that??). I’ve been following her ceramic journey since I discovered her in February, through Super Second’s Saturday, where I purchased my little ceramic daisy earrings (which remain a firm favourite for me, and get worn weekly!).
So, Jess, have you always been a creative whiz??
JESS: I really started to be creative in my early 20’s whilst having a tough time with my mental health, before this I never really had a way to channel any creativity. Very quickly I realised that making was the thing I was missing in my life and I needed to be doing that in whatever form. It also became apparent that I couldn’t find “the one” and became queen of the unfinished project, and had tried lots of different things. The perfectionist would always take over when I got to the point of being serious about something and that would stop me trying to sell!
JANEY: I can completely relate to that – I love trying out new creative skills, but as soon as I realise I’m not an instant pro (obviously), I lose interest! I’m sorry to hear that you were struggling with your mental health, but it’s wonderful that you were able to focus that energy into something beautiful.
JESS: Before Tiny Sunshine, I was running a business doing ceramic keepsakes and craft workshops, which although it was creative day to day, I was struggling to find the time to make the things that were going around in my brain. When the pandemic came along, I had the time to make and my other business came to a halt – next thing I knew, I had made some really cute things that I was actually proud of. I put them on Etsy and the rest is history.
JANEY: And I’m so so glad that you did! Where did the name ‘Tiny Sunshine’ come from?
JESS: The first thing I made at the start of lockdown was a pair of sunshine earrings. I showed my husband and said “I made a tiny sunshine”, and then in my head went “OH!”. It just seemed perfect straight away which is very unlike me – I’m usually a chronic over thinker!
I feel like when I send out my orders that I’m sending out a tiny bit of sunshine to brighten your day!
JANEY: For sure, all of your products are SUCH a ray of sunny joy! Please can you talk us through the process of creating such happiness?
JESS: I try to sketch ideas most days, so that if I’m feeling blank at all then there is always something to try and make. I usually get the clay out with an idea or two (and a list for restocking), and then end up down a rabbit hole making something completely different. Ideas usually evolve from that point through the process of glazing and it’s generally a case of problem solving to make the idea work within the parameters of the clay.
JANEY: That is a brill way of working, I do find myself having the energy to make something without really having a clear idea, so having a ready made list to hand would be fab!
So which part of that making process is your fave?
JESS: I actually like the variety involved in the process of making ceramics the most – it keeps my brain interested enough to get (most) things finished.
JANEY: Your feed on Instagram is an absolute feast for these rainbow-loving eyes – what are your 3 all time favourite colours?
JESS: It is SO hard to choose, but I think right now it has to be pink, yellow and mint. This is one of my biggest problems with ceramics – pink glaze is really hard to get in vibrant shades!
JANEY: And what is one piece of creative equipment you couldn’t live without?
JESS: I couldn’t be without my kiln – I have recently moved into a workshop in my garage and bought a new kiln which is absolutely brilliant. I did a competition for my Instagram followers to name the kiln – Uma Thermal was the winning name!
JANEY: Oh that is so so good!! So would you describe your new workspace as super-duper organised, or more creative chaos?
JESS: I’m possibly the messiest person in existence and I have almost every surface in the house as a working area! It’s not the best to work with and occasionally get so overwhelmed I do a massive tidy and then start the mess again!
JANEY: I often wonder what it would be like to be an orderly maker, but then I remember that I would choose creative mess over idle tidiness any day!
If you absolutely had to choose, what is your favourite product that you sell? (I’m a big fan of the chips right now!)
JESS: It sounds cheesy but I always love the thing I’ve made most recently – when new things come out of the kiln it is so exciting! If I really had to choose it would be my David Rose inspired sweaters that I made as Christmas decorations last year. Although they are really different to a lot of my other colourful makes, I really love Schitts Creek, and David Rose is an absolute icon.
JANEY: That’s not cheesy at all! It’s great to get excited about newness!
And finally, where can we get our hands on your work?
How’s that for injecting some sunshine into your day?! Jess definitely has a phenomenal eye for colour, and the characters that she creates by adding a cheeky grin to her makes are genius.
Big love and thanks to Jess for chatting, I hope you lot reading are now as obsessed as I am with her work!
Please do pop back next week for something a little different!