This week we spoke with Taz of Taz Pollard Ceramics who works from North Devon. This British designer has had a busy few years creating handmade vibrant ceramics inspired by shapes from cola bottles to drainpipes. In 2013 she was shortlisted for a Confessions of A Design Geek bursary and won the One Year On award at New Designers in 2014. Her work has also been sold through a number of galleries and design shops to include Heals in Tottenham Court Road and Future and Found so she’s one busy lady!
So Taz – how do you come up with such original ‘ceramic with attitude’ designs? You’re obviously bold with colour and materials so where does your exploratory process start?
Most of my ideas start with historical ceramics and looking at how we value objects. Plastics are the new ‘everyday pottery’ something which is used and discarded with little regard to its design or origins. I find it interesting that you can take a fairly mundane object such as a disused piece of drainpipe or an old plastic bottle and create something beautiful within it.
Given your bold use of colour in your ceramics what impact do you think using colour in the home has?
Bright splashes of colour are so uplifting and cheerful. I think using accessories, vases and soft furnishings are such a great way of injecting a bit of colour into the home but with the neon in this range less is definitely more! Neon is a bit of a head turner…
You describe your work as ‘perfectly imperfect’ reflecting the fact the pieces are handmade. What do you think being handmade adds to a product?
Being handmade brings life to a piece, a bowl which is perfectly round is easily ignored by the brain as we already understand the shape and move on subconsciously; a bowl which undulates holds the viewer for longer as the brain tries to work out what it is seeing. It’s a human thing, a reflection on the human condition you could say, it’s our beautiful imperfections which makes us stand out. For me it’s also about investment, when I hold a handmade mug I know someone has invested time, love and thought into that piece and it definitely makes the tea taste better!
What eco credentials to your work do you have and do these inform your designs?
Ceramic production is a very non-eco sector which desperately needs investment and innovation, particularly in kilns and firing. I am very lucky to have a studio at Woodlands in North Devon which was sustainably built and low impact with a passive energy business centre which we regularly use.
So, what products are next in the pipeline?
I am currently working on my new ‘spirits range’ which will be launched at Clerkenwell Design Week (24th-26th May 2016). The range includes shot cups, tumblers, olive trays and a large tray in porcelain with bold royal blue and gold touches. Come and say hello!
Please note Taz sent us a drainpipe vase to photograph to accompany the interview. All photos ecomodernstudios.