Spotlight On:

Hazlehurst Ceramics

At CraftCover, we’re passionate about all kinds of crafters, from interior designers and jewellery makes to metalworkers and artists. Our Crafter in the Spotlight interviews are the perfect opportunity to help us get to know you a little bit better, which we always love to do!

Recently, we met up with ceramic artist and owner of Hazlehurst Ceramics, Philip Hazlehurst, to talk about his craft business.

Based in Norwich, Philip designs and paints ceramics using “a bold colour pallet” and has “strong focus on animals.”

“I have always had a passion for ceramics and art growing up, and it came very naturally to me to become an artist myself.”

He decided to set up his craft business because he has “always been an avid collector of British ceramics.”

“Coming from the Staffordshire Midlands area where pottery is very known and respected industry, it felt only right that I try to bring something new to the market using my flare for bold colours and love of animals.”

Before delving into ceramics, Philip spent some time painting acrylic canvases but something “didn’t feel right” to him.

“I dabbled in designing other items but again it just didn’t feel right. It was only when a friend suggested trying ceramics when I even gave it a thought.

“It took a long time to develop my technique, as this was a completely different way of working as many of the items are curved and not flat like a canvas.

“I am also self-taught so had lots of trials and errors working with this medium.”

If you head over to the Hazlehurst Ceramics Etsy store, you will see that there are a wide range of products available, like animal figurines, coasters, jewellery and plant pots.

We asked Philip where he finds inspiration and he told us: “My inspiration comes from animals and my love for them. I try to focus on animals that are popular, plus products that are highly decorative.

“I’m always trying to think of new products that will work in a ceramic format. I tend to get inspiration for this from thinking about products that I would personally like.”

When it comes to choosing colours and patterns, Philip said he has to “think about the limitations of the glaze.”

“This is because block colours on large areas can sometimes become patchy once fired which I tend not do to avoid this happening.

“I try to focus on patterns that give a bold colour without having to use colour blocking. This then means a lot of my design can be very intricate, and this is what I am known for now.”

We absolutely love the ceramic animals that Philip makes and were keen to find out which product is his favourite. He told us: “This is a hard one as I have so many but one of my favourites is my little snowmen. They are so cute, and always make me smile when they are done.”

Hazlehurst Ceramics has achieved an SBS Award which celebrates small businesses around the UK. We asked how this has affected the business and Philip said: “This has helped me join the SBS community of like mined people who offer lots of support.

It’s also a good promotional point to say you’re an award-winning artist. I think this helps gain trust which attracts potential new customers.”

When he isn’t busy creating beautiful ceramics, Philip spends time out with his dogs and going out on long walks.

“Movies are an important part of my life as this helps me to unwind after a busy day of painting.”

In the future, we can expect to see a lot more of Hazlehurst Ceramics!

“My plans for next year are to gain more exposure by having my products in shops. This year it hasn’t been possible due to me not having enough stock to fulfil this.

“I’m also hoping to bring a selection of mugs out in 2020. I’m currently practicing designs and techniques for this which is very exciting!”

Rounding up our interview, we had one final question to ask… about insurance! We were keen to find out why crafters think it’s so important to have and Philip told us: “I do several craft fairs throughout the year and a lot of good fairs won’t allow you to have stalls without this insurance.

“This is also important because if anything did happen to you, your stall or someone else because of you attending an event, it gives you peace of mind that you are covered.”