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Factory visit to Stoke-on-Trent

28 April 2017

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!

Factory Visit Stoke Moulds Donna Wilson

These tall white towers are the plaster moulds for bowls, plates and beakers.

Factory Visit Stoke Slip Cast Donna Wilson

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.

IMG_3967Factory Visit Stoke Egg Cup Donna Wilson

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

Subscribe Now to MYO magazine

28 April 2017

MYO Magazine Subscribe Now!

The wait is over, MYO magazine is now live! You can buy my new bi-annual publication. Make Your Own is all about creativity and to inspire and encourage creativity in all its forms – music, play, cooking, or just day-to-day life.

 

MYO Magazine Subscribe

Fashion Revolution Week 2017

26 April 2017

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.

Merman Sweater Red Whistable Donna Wilson

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.

Three Tree Sweater Chuck Chipmunk Donna WilsonBlah Blah Sweater Model Donna Wilson

(Pictured Merman sweater, Three Tree cable knitted sweater, Blah Blah half sleeve sweater are all knitted in Scotland)

Last year we showed you our Scottish makers who put so much hard work into making our cosy lambswool jumpers. Meet them agai

Fashion Revolution Staff Rita

Rita, Steam Presser.

Fashion Revolution Staff Uisdean

Uisdean, Design Programmer.

Fashion Revolution Staff David

David, Knit Production.

Fashion Revolution Staff Aldona

Aldona, Garment Machinist.

MYO Paper Flower Crown

24 April 2017

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.

#MYOChallenge: Vote for your favourite on Pinterest

13 April 2017

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!

Home Inspiration: Bedrooms

5 April 2017

In my recent interview with Molly from Secret Linen Store we discussed bedrooms, lie-ins and ideal midnight feasts! It got me inspired to look at beautiful bedrooms and how to balance restfulness and still add your personality.  In my own home I like to mix natural materials and lots of colour!

Have at look at my Pinterest board For Home for more.

Natural Wood I love natural materials and there is something so warming about exposed wood grain in particular. Plywood is such versatile material and so strong you could even build a little hideaway like this Brooklyn loft!
Photos L-R: Concealed nook for a restful sleep (photo by Sean Fennessy),  A Cabin in a Loft, raw wood bedframe (photo by Mark Tuckey)

Pattern clash and mixing colours I’m inspired by patterns I find in my travels and  use lots of colour in my work. I really think there’s no rules when it come to mixing and matching. There’s something so special about the combinations of colours in a patchwork quilt.
Photos L-R: (photo by Laure Joliet). A room with a spectacular view Fogo Island Inn room designed by Isle Crawford, featuring our very own Bertha Chair. My signature cushions Dotty CushionForest Woven Cushion, Robin Cushion.

Peaceful Pinks Photos L-R: a shelf with personal possessions (photo via Nuevo Estilo). Delicate lighting Akari 1AG (photo by Alexandra Angle) Dreamy pink cushions and patterned wall (photo by Studio rar)