We are delighted to introduce our new featured maker: Kayti Peschke, aka Here Be Monsteras. She recently created a collection of pottery just for us, of vases, planters and soap dishes, in a joyful selection of colours and tactile shapes. Let's say hello!
Hi Kayti, Thank you for being our featured maker! We'd love to get to know you better. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hiya! I’m Kayti and I live in the countryside just east of York with my two doggies and boyfriend Luke, and I make pottery in the shed! When I’m not making I like to go on nice walks in the Wolds, go treasure hunting in charity shops, go to lots of gigs and eat pizza at every opportunity! I also love self publishing and co run York Zine Fest and a zine club with my friend Jade Blood.
Thank you for sending us such a beautiful collection of pottery. It's so tactile and the colours are delicious. How long have you been a potter? What are your favourite materials and method?
Oh yay I’m so glad you like it! I’ve only been doing pottery for a couple of years so I’m still finding my way with my style and enjoying doing lots of experimenting along the way! It started as a hobby which I quickly became obsessed with and it slowly took over my life! I’m pretty much full time in the pottery now and just loving every minute. I throw on the wheel using stoneware clay, and decorate the pots using a mix of glazes and hand coloured clay. I also screen print the pots using my own hand cut designs which is enormous fun and I’m excited to play with that more and take it further. All the pieces I make are made to be practical, to be used and enjoyed and bring a little bit of extra joy to the day.
One thing I really love about handmade ceramics is the feeling of connection with the maker. In the instinct to hold the pot or vase or bowl that someone crafted with their hands, there's something incredibly comforting. Is this something you think about, and what was it that led you to start making in this way?
Oh absolutely! I used to work for Crafty Fox Market a few years ago and I found I was always drawn to the ceramic makers stalls, I’d pick up a certain piece and it would feel like an instant connection, like we were made to be together! I can get so romantic and nostalgic about objects haha! I still treasure all those pots I brought home with me and love to have lots of different makers' work around the house. I never really thought about doing pottery myself but once I did, and the feeling of working with the clay was so all consuming, I just couldn’t stop! And now especially I see how much love and time has gone into the pieces I have collected, its kind of impossible for those feelings not to be embedded into the clay, maybe that’s why they call to you so much when you pick them up, you can feel the love and care in them!
Where have you discovered influence and inspiration? What draws you to a particular colour palette?
I definitely get my inspiration from exploring, whether it's in the city or countryside I seem to spot things that then find their way into my work. Wooden doors with peeling paint, berries on trees, the colours of mud in puddles, rocks I find on the beach, painted walls with plants growing up them. I’ll take pictures of things I see out and about then go home and mix up slip (watered down liquid clay) with pigment stains to make up new colours. Then its a process of firing test tiles, adjusting the pigments then refiring until you get the tones just right. A lot of times the heat in the kiln makes things come out a very different colour to expected, so there is a lot of trial and error but it feels so wonderful to be making my own colour palettes and puts my own stamp on the pots even more.
People may know you from editing Caboodle Magazine. For those who don't know, what's the magazine all about?
The magazine is a wonderful showcase for all the amazing things people are making, and for creatives to express themselves freely! It’s a mix of features on makers, homewares, music, fashion and DIY. I love finding new people to feature that have something bold or important to say, it’s been a wonderful project to do and I’ve met so many amazing people through doing it. Creating print and self publishing is really important to me!
As well as editing a magazine, you're a photographer and now a potter! How do you manage to balance everything?
Well it definitely is a balancing act, and inevitably my focus is swayed towards the things I am enjoying more and want to put more time into! So at the moment it's mostly pottery, with a bit of photography and zine stuff on the side! I’m taking a little break from doing the magazine at the moment to focus more on the pottery as I’d love to see where it can go, and to be honest my mind is swimming with so many pottery ideas I just have to get them out!
Every one of your pots is unique and has a special one-off quality to it, I feel connected to particular ones, as each individual will be too. I think unique and thoughtful gifts will become increasingly important to us in these uncertain times. Where do you see gifting trends going, do you think?
I think the fact that they are all one offs is the key, you will find the piece that feels right to you, the cup that will make your brew in the morning feel all the more special. I think to send someone a gift like a handmade mug or bowl is so wonderful, that everytime they use it they will feel connected. People want to feel connected more than ever right now, and enjoying the simple things has never been more important, so they need to feel as special as possible.
Do you have ambitions for your new range? Would you hope to make pottery your full time business one day?
I feel like I’m 90% a full time potter and I’m absolutely loving it! It would be great to keep growing whilst keeping things manageable and enjoyable, and without feeling like a factory! So it’s never going to make me lots of dosh but if I can enjoy everyday making and still get by then that will be a wonderful balance for me. As for new ranges I am constantly thinking of new ideas and I think the issue is trying to rein them all in haha! For autumn I would like to create some new colour palettes and screen printed patterns for the season, and I’m working on some new tableware designs like egg cups and salt and pepper pigs. In the long term, I would love to have a go at making some lamps and lighting pieces, that would be amazing!
We are so excited to show off your new collection, and have enjoyed putting cute plants in the pots. What are your favourite plants and why?
Ooh I love plants so much! I am a big fan of a variegated leaf so am always drawn to anything with a few tones in there. I love my Pilea plant that was sent to me as a cutting by a penpal and has since has had lots of babies that I have then shared with my friends! My kitchen windowsill is basically a big propagating station with lots of cuttings in various pots and jars, it’s really satisfying! And of course I love my monsteras! I have a big variegated one that has pretty much doubled in size since I bought it, I was so terrified of killing it as it wasn’t cheap but it’s been a real joy!
And finally... What do you listen to while you're working? Do you have a favourite band or musician?
I’ll either have radio 6 music on, or be listening to some Ben Kweller, Adam Green or lately lots of The Big Moon and 90’s indie stuff. But mostly I listen to podcasts while I’m in there, I bloody love them and I just feel so happy when I’m on the wheel and having a giggle or learning something new! My favourites at the moment are The Office Ladies, Off Menu, Adam Buxton, Trashy Divorces and for a giggle - Gossip Mongers, My dad wrote a porno and Athletico Mince!
Thank you so much Kayti!