Welcome to Throw’s first blog!
Updated: Sep 30, 2019
Here I’m going to give you a little introduction as to why, where and how 'Throw' began and what my hopes are for the business.
Where to begin… I guess my love and interest in ceramics began when I started putting my designs onto Bone China Mugs via my other small business Rolfe & Wills – I love the freedom I get with the technique I use and have a great time experimenting with designs, but there are some limitations. It may be a character flaw, but when I’m up against a limit, I want to push through it, so my interest in hand made mugs grew. Rolfe & Wills stretches my illustration, design and surface pattern skills, but I’m missing the physical ‘getting ya hands dirty’ aspect.
While on holiday with my partner in Thailand, we visited lots of lovely coffee shops and came across some really interesting hand made mugs. I guess my mind was free to think of a new ideas and I realized I wanted to create a site showcasing some of the most brilliant designs and unique techniques found in the UK. Not only is it ceramic porn for me, but an opportunity for customers to have all the wonderful pieces under one roof as it were.
The name 'Throw' came to me instantly. It comes from the term to "Throw Pottery". Throwing is the entire activity of shaping the clay on the potter's wheel, but I saw it more literally, visualising an amusing image of physically throwing pottery across the room – it’s counter intuitive.
A little about me. I’m Alice Rolfe. My background is in conceptual art, but after moving from London to my hometown Bristol in 2012, I started by first business Rolfe & Wills. I began with screen-printing my and my close friend Chloe’s drawings onto fabric to upholster chairs with, hence the business name – both of our surnames. We quickly began to print onto other items such as cushions and tea towels… after 6 months Chloe left the company due to her growing family commitments and I began to print onto bone china mugs – these really took off so that was the direction I took the business.
My second business is Alice Rolfe Illustrations, drawing local scenes in around the South West. These designs sell at places like tourist information and museums.
My third business is running an indi shop on Gloucester Road, Bristol called Paper Plane. Here we sell around 50 local makers work ranging from jewellery to ethical clothing, art prints, homewares and gifts.
So… for some reason I thought it would be fun to start a fouth business! I hope I’m not taking on too much, but I feel my enthusiasm for this new venture is enough to keep my ideas flowing and keep it all interesting!
The aim of the blogs is to explore techniques, artists practices and processes and introduce new makers as they are added to the collection.
I’ve done all the product photography myself, as I’m keen to make sure I’m showing the work to it’s fullest potential. To begin with I have 9 makers that I hand picked and approached to be involved. To my delight everyone seemed keen. I hope to add a few more as the business progresses – I don’t want it to be an online supermarket for ceramics, but a carefully curated selection of Contemporary, Traditional, Modern and Vintage pieces.