Film and TV star pictured showing off Hadleigh teacher's artwork
- Credit: The Pegg Family
“It’s brilliant,” says potter and Hadleigh High School teacher Victoria Reed as she smiles over a picture of Simon Pegg posing with one of her designs
The actor and comedian is just one of the droves of fans of the artist, who was commissioned a bowl by his wife for Simon’s 50th birthday.
“I still can’t quite believe it. It was good of him to have that picture taken,” Victoria says, speaking from her brand-new pottery studio, designed and brought to life by local architect Mat Blacoe of Embrace Architecture during lockdown.
While the rest of the country was binge-watching Bridgerton and playing online quizzes in the midst of the global pandemic, the artist was planning her own business...while pregnant with Henry (now 10 weeks). It was, she admits, exhausting, but also a creative, fulfilling depart from her day job teaching GCSE students.
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Now, with a dedicated space for her work, including a kiln and a pottery wheel sourced from the Great British Pottery Thrown Down no less, Victoria is taking commissions, and hopes after the next stage of restriction lifting to offer classes, as well as hiring out her studio to other small, independent potters who can’t afford to invest in the expense of a kiln.
“I’ve always done art,” she says. “Mum’s an artist too. She paints and does pottery and I really got into it when I was on maternity leave with my second child. When you’re teaching you don’t have a lot of time to work on your projects so I saw this as a great opportunity really.
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“Making things makes you feel good, doesn’t it? To think ‘I’ve made this from scratch’. A lump of clay looks very different at the end and you’ve put a lot into it. It’s such a lovely feeling. I find, opening the kiln to see a piece dried, and then when it’s decorated and glazed – it's like Christmas day!”
Victoria’s work is largely a base of white earthenware, finished with slips and glazes, with the artist saying she adores making anything that looks bright and happy. “I like to experiment so nothing looks the same. I don’t want to get stuck making the same thing over and over again. I’ll use different shapes and colours. And I use the paper resist technique which is where you cut out paper, paint over the top and peel the paper back. Or I’ll hand-paint.”
Victoria’s commissions include bowls, jugs, personalised plates, butter dishes, tea pots, mini tea sets for children, house signs, candlestick holders and even bird feeders.
You can contact Victoria through her Instagram account, @kilncottagepottery for commissions.