Sunday, December 08, 2013

Buy Handmade vol 85

This week we head to the Czech Republic..

Name: Oli Divisova
Age: 30
Occupation: ceramic designer
Etsy Shop:

Tell us a little about yourself.

I live in South Bohemia in the Czech Republic and I’m a ceramic designer still in the process of working on my own brand. I live with my fianc√© Oliver, and thanks to his support I finally started doing what I love: making ceramic. And it feels great.

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?

Although my background is in ceramic design I never made ceramic. I was more focused on ceramic sculpture so every year me and my friends from our art group have a group exhibition. We’ve been going for more than 10 years now. It’s a great way to be forced to create new stuff and stay in touch with creative people. I’ve always been teaching and when I decided to do ceramic, the biggest inspiration was to see my senior students at the University of the third age enjoying themselves and working in clay. So I just decided to start living my dream and stop thinking if I can make it or if I’m good enough. It’s never too late and the only thing I regret is not starting before. I’ve been selling on Etsy for about one year now, and it was such a great idea to join in.

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?

My brand is simply Oli, while my shop’s name is Oli’s cupboard, because I store my ceramic in a beautiful vintage cupboard at home.

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?

It hasn’t quite yet, but it would be nice if it was. We’ll see☺

How would you describe your creative process?

I think just like every creative person. I carry my sketchbook everywhere to catch some ideas, do some sketches and then I just make them real. I have many sketchbooks in my drawer and it’s great to go back to them when I run out of ideas. But that hasn’t happened yet. Sometimes I feel like I need 10 arms to create all the ideas I have.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get inspired by simple things around me. Because my ceramic is meant to be used, it has to have a practical design. I love original things, so I usually create items I’d love to have at home. Also I like traditional craft stuff, so our loftspace in our cottage is great for inspiration!

Do you also sell your work at craft shows? 

No, I don’t. I’ve been doing ceramic for one year, so I haven't had time to attend any craft shows. But I’m planning to do it next year.

What is your most cherished handmade item?

If you mean from items I made, than it’s my pillow jar with a tassel. And from items not made by me, it’s an old vintage jewelry jar with a sweet donkey on top.

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?

I like fulfilling my dreams. So I recently started attending piano lessons. It’s hard, but amazingly rewarding. Apart from that I like table tennis, travelling, and the simple joy of sunny days and our sweet dog-creature Sara.

Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?

Haha, yes, I wanted to be a piano genious like W.A. Mozart or a painter. Both my parents could play the piano, but I was put in artschool when I was a kid. They were probably forced by their parents to play the piano and didn’t want me to go through it. So now I’m forcing myself to practice.

Five years from now you will be…

A full-time ceramic designer with a big cozy studio so I can start teaching ceramic courses.

Describe yourself in five words:

creative, friendly, stubborn, hardworking …..and I’d love say self-confident, but I’m working on it.

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your record player, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?

Monsters and Men
Arcade Fire
Mozart's Requiem
Johnny Cash
Daft punk's Get lucky

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?

Just go for it! It’s a great experience. At first I was nervous if everything is fine, also showing my stuff for the first time to the public. But being in touch with your customers, seeing them using the things you made, getting feed back, that’s just pushing me to keep on going and knowing that what I’m doing is right. Also without my Oliver I’d be storing my ceramic in my old vintage cupboard and no one would ever see it☺