As You Sip is a new content series where we chat to some of our favourite businesses: they might be local to us, friends of ours, or just businesses who we admire and want you to find out more about. We’ll be chatting to them about their work, their values and of course, their drinking habits. First up, it’s good friend and incredibly talented potter: Stick Ceramics.
For those who don’t already know, tell us a bit about Stick Ceramics and the story behind the business?
I'm a full time potter, working from my studio in South East London. I've been working as a potter for around a year now, since leaving the music industry as covid swept across the world in 2020. I make minimalist ceramic homewares predominantly, when I'm not playing hide and seek with our dog, Ezra.
As fellow small business owners, we’d love to know what drives you every day, and what values are most important to Stick Ceramics?
I love meeting people, working and collaborating with other creatives. I am always looking for new and exciting projects and this keeps me excited and energised most days. I value authenticity, and products and belongings that tell a story.
What does a typical day look like at Stick Ceramics, and what’s currently keeping you busy?
I always start my day with a dog walk. It's the perfect way to gather my thoughts and plan for the day. I typically have a coffee in one of the many seconds pieces that fill our kitchen when I'm back home, tackle some admin with Lauren Laverne of 6 Music for company.
Then it's usually a full day of making in the studio. It's surprisingly tiresome, so I tend to break the day up to keep me energised.
I have quite a lot I'm currently working on, that's keeping me very busy. Most notably two very exciting new stockists; Glassette and Goodhood. I am also finishing work for two new clients, a coffee shop in North London called Common Ground and a street food restaurant in central London named Kin. Then, it’s focusing on the busy Christmas period, consisting of markets and my online shop opening. I'm also hoping to launch a new pottery class concept in time for Christmas, fusing music and with handbuilding techniques. So plenty to keep me busy for now.
At the end of a long week, what’s your favourite drink to settle down to?
Right now, it's a Paloma with El Rayo tequila not forgetting the chili salt. A Manhattan often features on a Friday night too at the end of a busy week of making; Woodford Reserve does the trick. You can't beat the classics. If it’s been a productive week, a beer might make its way into the studio on Friday afternoon - there are so many great breweries in south east London, but it’s hard to beat Villages beer for me, brewed in Deptford.
On to cocktails then, do you like to experiment with new drinks or stick to the classics?
Where’s your favourite place to take a moment and savour a cocktail?
I don't think I have a favourite place as such. I've really enjoyed cocktails at Stockton in Deptford, Bar Termini in Soho, and more recently my wife and I visited The Connaught in Mayfair for some birthday drinks; all of which are in London. I think anybody that appreciates a well-made cocktail should absolutely make it to the bar there at The Connaught. Super impressive.
If I'm at home, I'll sit at the dining table with a cocktail, trawling through music. Wondering what the optimum volume setting is on our speakers before ruffling our neighbour’s feathers.
Now, we’d love to know what you’re enjoying as you sip the perfect cocktail — firstly, what are you listening to?
I've spent the last 15 years or so obsessed with finding new music, so for the last two years - mostly during lockdown - I have kind of concentrated on discovering music before my time. Some highlights include: Leonard Cohen, ESG, Neu!, The Blue Nile and Mercury Rev to name a few.
Some newer artists and bands I am expecting big things for the future are Mush, Ishmael Ensemble, Billie Marten, and Meadow Meadow. Meadow Meadow’s most recent two EPs are great, I would recommend sticking these on to accompany a cocktail or two.
I also tend to listen to a lot of radio. My dad had the radio on 24/7 in three different rooms in our house growing up, they were never turned off. So I definitely find some comfort in some FM action for parts of the day too.
And what are you reading?
I've just bought And Away, the autobiography of Bob Mortimer. I couldn't wait for the paperback. I can't wait to read it.
And finally, what might you be watching?
I don’t tend to watch any television, mostly as I don’t own a TV! I will watch sport on my laptop but not much else.
There are a couple of exceptions and Gone Fishing with Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse is definitely one of those. I will watch this over and over again actually. Now into its 4th series, it is perfect Sunday evening TV. This isn’t a program targeted for fishermen either, but more a restorative weekly pleasure for all to enjoy; it reminds us of the importance of friendship and appreciating life’s most natural pleasures. It’s brilliant. And even better if you are indeed a fisherman like I am.