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Blog Category: Donna’s Diary

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

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.

Donna Wilson x Makoto Kagoshima

4 April 2017

I’m really excited to announce a new collaboration with one of my favourite ceramicists Makoto Kagoshima. You may have seen coverage on my Instagram page. I first discovered his work at Gallery Eclectic in London and I fell in love instantly. Every piece is an artwork featuring delicately, painted illustrations inspired by the natural world. I just love the animals.

We created a series of limited edition knitted creatures, some of my favourite creatures have been brushed with Makoto’s signature floral patterns.  Find larger-than-life lotus flower cushions for your home and delicate flower bag charms that add a touch of colour to a beloved bag. The limted edition range will be available to buy exclusively from Isetan department store in Shinjuku, Japan only from the 5th April.  There will be an exhibition of all the products alongside British ceramist John Julien.

Meets – Yumiko Yumiko & Makoto Kagoshima Exhibition
5 – 11th April 2017
Isetan Shinjuku Store
Main Building 5 Floor – Center Park / The Stage # 5
10.30am – 08.00pm

 

A post shared by Donna Wilson (@donnawilsonltd) on

A post shared by Donna Wilson (@donnawilsonltd) on

 

Donna Wilson for Secret Linen Store

3 April 2017

We have been working very closely with Secret Linen Store to produce a collection of luxurious bedding. I’m so happy to reveal these 3 new designs based on my favourite patterns.

Introducing ‘Blah Blah’ and ‘Scandi’ in duvet sizes to fit all beds and traditional housewife style pillows. The colours have been adapted in a restful palette which feels contemporary and fresh. ‘Menagerie’ is catered for kids so is available as a single and double bed set. The inner child in me would happily have it for my own bed!

The Secret Linen Store is an online store, run by sisters Molly and Harriet. It’s been a delight working with them. They design and produce bed linen using the finest quality cotton yarns with superior thread counts, directly sourced from the best factories in Portugal.

The bed linen will be available to buy exclusively from both Secret Linen Store and the Donna Wilson website from Monday 3rd April 2017.

 

Donna Wilson Collaboration for Secret Linen Store, Scandi Bed Linen, Landscape, double duvet £49, pillowcase £15

Scandi is inspired by Swedish folk art and my travels around Europe and Iceland.

With Menagerie, I wanted to create something really playful and adventurous with odd animals and birds hiding in the trees.

MYO Challenge – Competition Time!

17 March 2017

What does creativity mean to you?

Help us spread creativity! In anticipation of my new magazine MYO (Make Your Own!) I’m launching a new competition today . . . The MYO Challenge!

Over the next 8 weeks share a photo of something creative you have made (just for the fun of it) and you could win a very special DW goodie bag. We will feature our favourite creative ones on our blog and social media every week. To enter please tag your photo with @donnawilsonsmyo @donnawilsonltd and #myochallenge on either Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Here’s my one. I love this project Wrap Your Veg.