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CRACKDEN & WONKYPOT, Diary of a Freelance Creative in Margate

Karin Brink is an interior stylist and ceramicist, she was a RESORT studio holder until last month, when she and John Gallagher (AKA Margate Magpie) moved to a house so sadly (for us!) had enough space to have their studios at home. 

I attended the two day workshop with SECCADS back in January and I found it very useful. I’m trying to promote my ceramics more at the moment and am in transition time in my business, so overall the whole workshop came in very handy. They touch on subjects such as pitching, planning, financial advice, social media etc. The planning element that David from Cockpit Arts talked about I found inspiring. A way of making sure you make progress but don’t put too much pressure on yourself – something we are all guilty of. Another thing I liked was meeting other people in similar situations (yet from wildly different fields) and chatting to them. You realise you are not alone in your struggles. In the future I’d love to continue with the 1 to 1 mentoring SECCADS offer, I just have not got around to it yet. SECCADS is such a great organisation full of lovely people, there to help small creative businesses.

Since the lockdown started my ‘normal’ work has stopped completely. I freelance as an interior stylist and that industry has been put on hold pretty much entirely.  At the same time 2020 was supposed to be the year to concentrate on my ceramics brand so when lockdown happened I was enrolled in a month long intensive ceramic course that got cut short. In addition, planned ceramics events like markets and exhibitions also got cancelled so I guess in a way, it became the perfect time to immerse myself in the making process.

Every week, I try making a fluid schedule of what needs to ‘get done’. But the longer lockdown goes on the harder I find to stick to it.



After picking up some bisque fired pieces (the first firing) I sat in the garden and painted a few more of my Immigrant mugs and a few plates for an order that will be shipped once lockdown is over.  Also managed to get to the Post Office with a few bits that needed shipping.

In the studio today (at home). Mostly been faffing about thinking about shapes and glazes, not getting much done. But I find days like this, just being in the space, sometimes helps nurture the creative process (when brain allows). I took all pots out and just looked at them. Staring at pots somehow helps. You slowly analyse what you like, what you don’t like and how you would like to move forward. These pieces are a few bits that started out as glaze tests and then turned into something so much more. Its almost like they have their own little soul. Depending on the day’s mood I like to pick out 3 of my favourites (it always varies) and see which ones I relate most to.

Blending glazes Wednesday! Although I’m not yet blending my own recipes and this is a shop bought glaze it still needs mixing and there are a few risk elements to it. It can easily come out too thick, too thin, cloudy etc. Mixing glaze is also something that requires a bit of corona style gear since it can be dangerous to breathe in the powder (consisting of metal oxides, silica, alumina), so you need to wear some protective gear. The outcome of the glaze always makes me feel a bit uncertain since you have to test it out once its mixed. Nothing in pottery is quick!

Head seems to not be quite there today. Scatty and most of my time gets spent thinking I’m not doing enough with all this time on my hands. Guilt and fatigue. Not a good combo. The socks help although I feel more like the sad version than the happy. Moodswings is part of my lockdown.

Today a bit more prep for the #artistsupportpledge. A very cool initiative from Matthew Burrows studio, that enables artists to sell their work during lockdown. Once they reach a certain limit they have to invest into another artist. It’s a great concept. Today I’ve been taking a few pictures of the pieces I am submitting. Here are some pictures of the story of the pieces. They are all wheelthrown in separate pieces and then handbuilt together. It’s my little labour of love within my ceramics. They take a while to make and I can’t really justify the time I spend on them but I really love the process and each and every piece is unique and makes it worth it in the end.


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50 Athelstan Road

Cliftonville, Margate

Kent, CT9 2BH

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