I thought you might like to find out more about our design process so this is the first in a series of factory visits where you can see how Donna Wilson products are made.
You may have seen on Instagram that I took a trip down to our factory in Stoke-on-Trent last week. This is the place where all our bone china ceramics and glassware is produced. It’s really great to be so close to our makers, literally a train ride away!
For over 300 years Stoke-on-Trent has been renowned for it’s making of high-quality ceramics and revolutionising pottery making techniques. The factory is one of the last remaining ones to survive after many generations of pottery-making. I hope their skills and traditional techniques continue to be passed down to future master potters. We chat in great depth about potential new products and develop some new ideas with these knowledgeable makers. It’s very inspiring to see how they do everything: building the shapes, hand decorating, glaze, and then fire our final designs in the kiln. As you can see from my photos, everything is porcelain white!
These tall white towers are the plaster moulds for bowls, plates and beakers.
Each mould requires a trained worker to fill in liquid clay. The clay forms a layer and sticks to inside walls of the mould. This technique is known as slipcasting.
Here are the beginnings of some Beardy Man egg cups, ready to be to hand decorated. They look much friendlier when they have faces . . . and beards!
Photo credit: Donna Wilson
It’s Fashion Revolution Week. We encourage you to expose the supply chain and demand transparency in the fashion industry. Ask the question #whomademyclothes towards the makers of your clothes, bags and shoes.
Fashion Revolution Day (on the 24th April) honours the memory of the workers deceased in the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh three years ago.
We rely on our UK based suppliers to keep our business running and appreciate the traditional process that goes into making each garment. We design all our sweaters and every year we use the same Scottish family-run mill that produces the finest quality knitwear.
Last year we showed you our Scottish makers who put so much hard work into making our cosy lambswool jumpers. Meet them agai
Rita, Steam Presser.
Uisdean, Design Programmer.
David, Knit Production.
Aldona, Garment Machinist.
At the weekend, we spent the afternoon making these colourful flower crowns with the neighbourhood kids. We shared the finished Make Your Own on Instagram. Great for the summer parties! We had a few people ask for a step by step guide so here’s how we did it:
1. Choose your colours we use coloured card, corrugated paper and tissue paper however you can recycle old newspapers and magazines you may have around the house. How about some of our funny wrapping paper. You will also need a pencil, masking tape and scissors.
2. Make the headband: Cut a strip of coloured card (or strong paper) that is long enough to fit around your head. Use masking tape to secure. I love this rainbow gradient card!
3. Make the flowers: We start with a square sheet of coloured paper (a similar method to making a snowflake). Fold the sheet in half, then fold it again. Using your scissors, you can start creating the shape of your flower. We made patterns by cutting arrows. It’s completely up to you how detailed you want it to look. Then repeat with another coloured sheet of paper. We scrunched up layers of tissue paper to make more flowers. There is the more the merrier!
4. Make the leaves: We used green corrugated paper to make our green leaf shapes. We made the buds using the same paper and used masking tape to secure to the flower petals.
5. Start to attach the flowers on the headband We used lots of masking tape to secure the flowers and the leaves. The flowers are inspired by my Snowflake placemats.
6. Now your crown is finished Show off your new creation!
You’ll find lots of fun ideas, inspirational makes and more in our new magazine MYO. Make Your Own! Our website is live now.
In the first few weeks of the MYO Challenge competition, it’s been so inspiring to see your creative juices flowing. There has been so many good ones, we are having difficulty deciding.
You still have time to enter for the chance to win a very special Donna Wilson goody bag of prizes!
Photo credit @virginhoney, @johummelnewell and @small_stories_scotland
You have until the 12th May to post your entry on either Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest. All you need to do is take a photo of something creative you’ve made (just for the fun of it). Then you need to tag @donnawilsonltd @donnawilsonsmyo and #myochallenge so we can find your entry in cyberspace.
We will be adding all qualifying entries (make sure to tag everything!) to our own Pinterest board #MYO challenge and we encourage you like your favourite photo! The one with the most likes will win!
Good luck everyone!