TEA AND A CHAT

Stella Bag­got, AKA Ate­lier Stella, makes amaz­ing ce­ram­ics, but she never in­tended to be a pot­ter.We hear her in­ter­est­ing story...

Mollie Makes - - Contents - Words: JES­SICA BATE­MAN Pho­to­graphs: FIONA MUR­RAY

Meet the ce­ram­i­cist behind Ate­lier Stella

With their char­ac­ter­ful shapes and quirky faces, Stella Bag­got’s in­stantly-recog­nis­able ce­ram­ics have built up a cult fol­low­ing, with new batches reg­u­larly sell­ing out within days. How­ever, de­spite her suc­cess, she be­came a pot­ter com­pletely by ac­ci­dent.

Af­ter study­ing graphic de­sign at univer­sity in Derby, Stella moved to Lon­don where she worked as an illustrato­r at a chil­dren’s publishing com­pany, and took up pottery classes for fun in the evenings. “My job was amaz­ing and I re­ally loved it,” she re­calls. A few years later, in 2011, she de­cided to take a stall at Rene­gade Craft Fair. “I just thought I’d sell a few pieces as a way of get­ting rid of all the work I’d ac­cu­mu­lated,” Stella says. “But it went re­ally well and I ended up fea­tur­ing on a cou­ple of de­sign blogs.”

En­quiries flooded in, so Stella set up an Etsy shop and worked on prod­ucts in the evenings and week­ends, un­til the pottery even­tu­ally took over. We popped to her sunny sea­side stu­dio for a look around and a chat about the un­ex­pected turns a cre­ative ca­reer can bring.

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