Ahead of our very exciting upcoming collaboration (coming on 29th June) we caught up with Manchester-based ceramicist Frida Cooper for a chat about her making process, studio rituals and obvs her fave ede products too!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself, and how you came to make beautiful, small-batch ceramics?
I’m Frida, I am a ceramicist working from a small studio in Manchester, producing hand made and thrown stoneware pots. I have always had a fascination with design, functional objects and how items fit into people’s everyday lives; this was the driving force that first inspired me to experiment with clay.
I strive to make minimal, functional, utilitarian pieces that can be appreciated and used everyday; often my pieces are intended for the dinner table, to be enjoyed by those with a passion for eating, drinking and bringing people together.
Talk us through your studio set up - do you have any rituals or must-haves when you're working?
I work from a small studio which is an old shipping container, and I share the space with three other potters who are also close friends. We have created a beautiful studio space, although it has its limitations sometimes, it’s so nice to have a support network and to help each other build and grow in our shared practice of ceramics.
It’s only a small space, but we have everything we need in the studio: the wheel, a workbench, drying shelves and our little kiln. Preparation and timing is so important when working with clay so this is a key aspect of my working routine.
Can you tell us more about your process? Do you have any favourite aspects of making ceramics?
Making ceramics is a beautiful slow process, but often people don’t realise how time consuming it is! Wedging the clay before starting to throw is one of my favourite parts of the process, as it really gets me in the zone. It’s a technique that is used to get rid of any air bubbles in the clay and ensure the clay is ready to be shaped into your chosen form.
But I really enjoy most aspects of making when it comes to ceramics. Having the time to create new designs and products is always a bonus, and I have been extremely lucky to work on some beautiful projects recently!
We're passionate about sustainability at ede, and do our bit for the planet where we can. How do you practice sustainability in your work?
I recently started a project alongside a few other Manchester potters - Joe Heartly and Meg Beamish - at Platt Fields Market Garden allotment. We’ve started running some workshops on digging clay sustainably, and teaching volunteers how to process, build and fire the clay. We’ve made terracotta pots from the clay we’ve dug from the ground within the allotments.
What’s your favourite ede product and why?
post shower nirvana body oil is incredible! But my favourite would have to be born again treat mask, which has played a huge part in this collaboration. It has been such a wonderful project to work on and I think the products really compliment each other; we have come together to create a black stoneware ceramic bowl and small spoon, for mixing born again treat mask.
All images c/o Frida Cooper.