Vanessa Robson from Magpie & Butterfly

What made you set up a business, which includes selling things at shows?
Magpie & Butterfly grew slowly from a ceramic craft class that stopped running and I felt bereft! I’d finally found “THE CRAFT!” I was running a gallery so had the perfect outlet for my wares. On leaving the gallery I had time to do various craft fairs and met lots of creative people and over time my product range changed from jewellery to boutique buttons and quirking decorations.

What do you enjoy most about it?
I love playing with texture and colour; the combinations are endless and exciting. However, glazing is rather odd as the colour you paint on, isn’t always the colour it will come out after firing. There’s always a mix of excitement and slight dread when opening the kiln.

What’s your least favourite bit?
I’m terrible at pricing and asking people for money. Then of course you have to do accounts; I’m constantly transposing figures and confusing myself.

What have you learned about human nature while doing it?
We are all peculiar & very interesting in our own ways.

Do you make for pleasure as well?  What are you working on at the moment?
Sadly I don’t have anything on at the moment as I’m entertaining and trying to home school the 6 year old. I wish I could as my brain is brimming.

What inspires you?
I’m a very visual person so inspiration comes from anything and everything.

What’s the funniest thing a customer has ever said to you?
“I’m going to drive you to London and we are going to get Liberty of London to stock your wares!” This would be a dream come true!

What’s the biggest change the Coronavirus crisis has made to your life?
Having to cancel my Clay Club was a real shame for my groups and me. It’s not just about making things from clay; it’s about talking, laughing, sharing and coping. It is a few hours of escapism. We all need it even more now!

What are you watching/listening to while you’re at home?
I’m constantly listening to audio books. I’ve been an Audible customer for years and I’ve just discovered BorrowBox, the free service through your local library.

Who in the world would you most like to be self-isolated with?
Just me, is that really mean…? I might actually be able to do all my ideas, lists and projects!!

What keeps you going when things get tough?
I don’t have a coping strategy. I just keep going…

Can people still buy your stuff at the moment? 

How do they do that?
I have a Facebook page (click here) & an Instagram page (click here) and if you spot something you like I can send you a Paypal invoice. I can also take photos of buttons if you have created something and want to colour match or clash!

Corona kit