Functional Ceramics

This category contains 28 posts

Happy St Patricks Day :-)

Happy St Patricks Day – and what better way to celebrate than with a 10% discount in both of my ETSY shops for the remainder of March!

Use coupon code StPats2017 in either shop for some great green finds or anything else for that matter!

In case you don’t know I have SHOP that sells handcrafted ceramic tableware and jewellery, and a SHOP that sells craft and jewellery supplies – so go wild!!

Here’s a little teaser:

and from my supplies shop

Happy St Patricks Day and happy savings!!


Sunday Studio Visit – outside the studio!

Happy Sunday!! Since making, firing and installing my exhibition in ContainArt last week I have not been in the studio much. We finally have some consistent nice weather here in Ballarat, after a miserable Winter, so the plan is to finally finish the deck – a year later!! The delay has been a combination of aforementioned weather and also some ongoing health problems I have been having over the Winter and into Spring…. I am finally starting to come good, but have the occasional relapse for a couple of days. So annoying!

Anyway, I have spent the weekend oiling slats for the deck railing and hubby has been putting them up (under supervision – lol). So, it looks like we will have our deck finished this summer – yay!!


Apart from that i will take this opportunity to remind you that Valentines Day is only one month away – February 14th. And, of course, I have lots of gift ideas in my ETSY shop for both him and her – jewellery, homewares, and of course custom orders are always welcome 🙂

I’ll leave you with some gift inspiration – have a great week 🙂



Sunday Studio Visit – Featured Shop: DeeDeeDeesigns

Today i didn’t get anything done in the studio!

Being Sunday I had a sleep in, then had friends visit spontaneously  this afternoon, which was very nice. They visited for a couple of hours, and then it was tidy the house time in preparation for my son and his girlfriend visiting. It was my son’s birthday, we were having dinner, and my son’s favourite – my partners famous apple pie.


However, today I was featured on the Australian Wandarrah blog, which I have reblogged below.

Australian Wandarrah is an Australian and New Zealand team on ETSY. The team is a great resource for sharing, networking and supporting fellow makers. Their blog is relatively new and they write frequent features of member shops. And…. I am going to begin writing articles for this blog soon – so that will be fun!

So, check out the blog post and find out more about me! And check out some of the other team member shops while you are there 🙂

Australian Wandarrah

Today we chat with Dawn from DeeDeeDeesigns.

1. Share a little about yourself … what makes you you?

Ceramic Bangle Stack by DeeDeeDeesigns. Ceramic Bangle Stack by DeeDeeDeesigns.

I was always crafty’ as a kid, and to a degree it was encouraged…. but when it came to schooling I was not encouraged to pursue art, but rather ‘proper’ academic subjects.

So, it has been in later life that I rediscovered myself in art and creativity. I enrolled in a pottery class when my youngest was about 2yrs old and have been going ever since!

2. What inspired you to create your business and how long have you been trading for?

I joined Etsy in 2010 out of curiosity but did nothing with the shop – I was mainly creating sculpture and exhibiting back then and felt my work was not a good fit with Etsy.

Then in late 2011 I had an accident and severed…

View original post 601 more words

Mother Day is May 10th

Mothers Day is only a couple of weeks away and what better than to give mum something special, something unique and handmade…

My MADEIT store has a wide range of homewares from coffee mugs to trinket boxes to foodie gifts, and my ETSY store also has these items plus jewellery and original art gift cards.

PicMonkey Collage mothers day

AND if you use the coupon MOTHERSDAY15 at checkout you’ll receive a 10% discount!

My advise – order as soon as possible to ensure delivery prior to the big day 🙂

Here’s are few more special gifts you can purchase for mum 🙂

Boxing Day Sale

I have lots of new products to add to my ETSY and MADEIT stores in the New Year, so I need to make room for them.


To this end I am having a Boxing Day Sale in both stores beginning at 12.01am on the 26th December and ending at midnight – Australian time. Both stored will have 15% off storewide including FREE shipping Australia wide and very reasonable international shipping.

Use the coupon code boxingdaysale at checkout in both stores to activate your discount.

Until then have a great Christmas 🙂

Sunday Studio Visit – Xmas Stuff

In the lead up to Christmas it is becoming hectic – there are custom orders, but also dinner and BBQ invitations left, right and centre! This weekend has been one of those weekends, so there has not been much action in the studio. Today I did manage to load the kiln for a bisque firing for my student classes, as I do usually intend to have all the student work through by the end of the year, which can be a huge task!


Apart from that I am participating in a couple of ETSY team promotions, which involves helping promote other team shops, while they in turn help promote your shop – and all shops have universal coupon code for discounts in their shops. I am participating in an Etsy Meet & Tweet and a Strategic Team for Success promotion. (see below for further xmas shopping info)

I have a 10% discount in my shop for both teams, plus shipping is FREE Australia wide, and I do keep international shipping reasonable use coupon code spst4u or blackfriday14 both till December 3rd at checkout.

I also have a discount in my MADEIT shop – enter merrychristmas at checkout for a 10% discount storewide! And shipping is FREE throughout Australia!

So that is it for today in the studio…. happy Christmas shopping 🙂




Sunday Studio Visit – Custom Orders

Today in the studio I am firing the kiln …. it is a student firing full of stoneware works.

While the kiln has been bubbling away, I am putting finishing touches to some custom orders I have received through both my ETSY and MADEIT shops.

Custom orders occur if a buyer likes a certain product but want it in a different colour, or if a customer wants something specifically made for them.

Today, for example I finished a custom order on MADEIT where the customer liked a tapas setting but preferred a different colour…

It is fun making custom orders, but can be at times scary when it comes to ceramics – there are so many variables. But (knock on wood) I do tend to have a low attrition rate. When I make custom orders I tend to make two of the item in case there is cracking, warping or a glaze fault, and if both products pass muster (which they usually do) the spare gets listed in my shop. If not, the ‘second’ ends up in my own kitchen, much to the pleasure of my partner – who does 90% of the cooking!

As well as finishing the custom orders I also made a couple of handbuilt vessels – since I was rolling out clay anyway – one vessel will be part of my MADE BY NATURE series, and the other was a little experiment…. just for fun!

Dawn Whitehand work in progress_003


So, I will leave you with some pictures of the custom orders I finished off today 🙂

If in Australia you have until December 12th to place an order which you should receive before Christmas…. international orders should be placed by December 5th. Orders can be placed after this date, but there is no guarantee they will reach their destination before Christmas.

Buy Handmade for Christmas

OK, I am going to do the annual bang on about buying handmade this Christmas – but it is really important!!

We live in a world of mass production and mass consumerism, and this can be an alienating influence on how we see ourselves in the world!! Buying handmade helps to heal some of the disconnect we feel from society and ourselves. How? Because a handmade product comes directly from the maker…. it contains their passion and emotion, and this flows through as the product is used in our everyday lives – whether it be jewellery, tableware, sculpture, drawings, journals, clothing….everything…. we touch it and it touches us.


This is why I am so passionate about being an artist and a maker.

In this post I am going to concentrate on my MADE IT store. I joined Made It a few years ago, out of curiosity and to check it out when I began designing tableware and jewellery under my brand DeeDeeDeesigns. I began stocking my shop earlier this year, only with my tableware, wanting to concentrate on promoting this range.

The thing I like about Made It is that is all about handmade, and is a platform only for Australian sellers. While purchases can be made internationally, the product you are buying is 100% Australian made – this is great for the economy and great for Australian makers.

It just so happens that this week I am a pick editor on Made It…. so click HERE to view lots of great Aussie gift ideas just in time for Christmas!

In the meantime here are some pics of some of the handmade tableware available in my Made It store – bowls, coffee cups, tapas sets, condiments dishes, candle holders, trinket dishes – all great for Christmas gifts, including secret santa and teacher gifts, or even to adorn the Christmas table!


Sunday Studio Visit: Exploring Texture

This weeks Sunday Studio Visit is all about creating texture on the clay surface.

Yesterday – Saturday – my partner & I went down to the back of our property, which is a land for wildlife area, to do some cleaning up…. we have had some severe winds lately and quite a few tree limbs had been blown down. There are also a few dead trees from the years of drought we had a while back. And…. we are running low on firewood!!

So it was an afternoon of chainsawing and wood stacking…. what has this got to do with todays studio visit?? Well, I am one of those crazy types that examines everything in nature to look for shapes and textures, and came across a piece of tree limb which, when the bark was pulled away, had the most amazing patterns and textures eaten into the wooded surface…and it was the ideal shape for a rolling pin!!

Obviously, today in the studio I have been playing with my new pottery tool which was ‘made by nature’.

I have made a small group of vessels and a few rings to experiment with, and this – i feel sure – will be inspiring a new range of tableware which will be called the “Made by Nature” series…. stay tuned!!

Enjoy the pics 🙂

What’s Happening in the Studio?

A couple of months ago a local handmade boutique shop approached me to tinker with designing some generous sized coffee mugs whose shape would hold the heat of the coffee in and also be lidded to help facilitate this heat retention. This shop, the Gordon Hat Shoppe – also make beautiful handmade clothing – hats, gloves, jackets – all the stuff Victorians need pretty much all year round to keep warm!!


Image : Courtesy Gordon Hat Shoppe

The Gordon Hat Shoppe also runs a successful stall at the Daylesford market where they sell gorgeous winter fashion designs. Lately they have also introduced, and have been selling, a hat range made from upcycled fair trade coffee hessian sacks.  Fair trade chocolates have been paired with the hats, and they thought some coffee mugs may be good to throw into the mix…. I think they may be onto something!! They also wanted to keep the whole enterprise a combination of fair trade (coffee, chocolates) and local (upcycling and handmade), emphasising the sustainable nature of the product.

So after going into the design phase, which was pretty painless as Bob – half of the Gordon Hat Shoppe –  liked my creations straight away, I am now onto the production phase – twenty four mugs initially, and judging by how sales have been going at the retail outlet and market, there may be plenty more to come – in fact it could become the bane of my existence!!


Although the order could be ongoing, and therefore moulds and slip casting may seem attractive, I am intending to keep the mugs completely handmade… for a variety of reasons.

  • I am known for handmade and don’t want to compromise this stance
  • Handmade is a great marketing point
  • Handmade means every mug is unique
  • In a mass consumer culture it is important to promote unique and handmade products

Following are some pics of the process so far – I will keep you updated on how the development of the line goes, and most importantly SALES!! Why most importantly SALES??  Coz even artists have to eat!!


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This work by Dawn Whitehand is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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