Veronica of Little Lime Designs creates amazing glass art. We hope you enjoy this tour of Veronica’s lovely studio and finding out more about she juggles all the demands of being a small business owner.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business
My business grew from an absolute love of being creative. I have always loved making and somehow have been able to ‘see’ incredible ideas easily – using anything that is to hand. I think ultimately, it is the absolute unlimited headspace that being creative gives me that is so addictive. I was once told by a 7 year old child that I was better than Blue Peter – what a compliment!
I remember making my Dad a flower pot in pottery club – I must have been about 6. I was hooked! I ran pottery painting sessions for many years for children and adults and a chance remark that you could make glass in the kiln sparked an idea I needed to investigate. I signed up for a weekend course and the rest as they say is history.
Completely self-taught, I am learning all the time. Sometimes the Kiln Gods are kind, sometimes they test me and throw in a curved ball but it never ceases to amaze me how beautiful, colourful, quirky things can be created with heat. Every single piece is completely unique because of the handmade nature of my work. However hard I try, even using the same colours and techniques, no two pieces are ever identical. I love that about handmade craft work.
Tell us about your creative space
We moved to Suffolk in March ’21 to be nearer family. A large but completely overgrown shed at the bottom of the garden (so overgrown that the plants had taken over the inside too!) sparked the idea that I could have both a workshop and studio for teaching classes.
What do you love about your creative space?
My wonderful partner and son have worked tirelessly on it creating an amazing space in which I now work. I hope the whole of the studio space is welcoming and full of ideas to inspire people to have a go.
What sparks creative inspiration in your space?
Inspiration for my designs come from a love of colour and simple shapes. At the moment I’m working on getting my Christmas designs ready for local craft events. One of the nicest things about having a creative business is meeting people and chatting about how my pieces are made. I still get the most amazing buzz from that feeling when someone admires my work and wants to buy it. This year I seem to have gone a little polar bear crazy! They are on lots of my cards, candle arches and decorations together with a wintry scene of snowy houses, which I must admit is one of my favourites. I keep a notebook to hand to jot down new ideas for designs and it’s quite full. New ideas evolve from the pieces I’m working on or colours I’m using or even from a comment or chance ‘could you?’ enquiry. I love that my design ideas are constantly evolving in this way.
What materials and tools are essential for your creative business?
Perhaps the most important piece of equipment in my studio is my kiln. I am lucky enough to now have three! My trusty old pottery kiln which I only use for clay work, my first glass kiln that has worked tirelessly for many years now and my recently new kiln that is the Big Daddy of the group bought only a couple of months ago. Each has it’s own quirks and preferences for firing but all three make me smile and I really do appreciate how lucky I am to own them.
How do you organise your creative space?
One end houses my kilns and is my ‘working end’ where I design and make my creations and the other is where I host workshops. There is a large table, tools and many examples of pieces as well as a kettle and yummy biscuits essential for helping creativity flow.
How much time do you spend in your creative space? What does a typical working week look like for you with your creative business?
Typically, a day in the studio will begin at 8.30ish. The radio will be on but not so loud that I can’t hear the birds singing. We are so lucky to have quite a few garden birds and one very friendly robin who will pop into the studio to check what I’m up to from time to time if the door is open!
How do you organise your time and workload when you’re in your creative space?
I try to prioritise my workload to link with any craft events or orders I may have but love the flexibility that being my own boss brings. It can be quite hard trying to juggle all my roles as a new business owner and there are some areas I definitely need to improve but I’m loving what I do and am learning all the time. I have met the most amazing crafts people at other events and online and there is always someone to advise or give support at those moments when you need them.
What are your top tips for designing and using a creative space?
Keep your creative space organised – I find I can’t create my designs when my workspace is in a mess. This doesn’t mean I am obsessively tidy but I do try and keep my tools together so I can find them easily. I have put up shelves that can be easily reached so I can store my glass easily and see what I have without having to move lots of stuff every time.
Plan time for being creative and don’t feel guilty about it – I find the time just flies when I’m working in my studio. Very often it can be tea time before I realise I haven’t actually stopped for lunch! Equally, I want to be busy making but that huge pile of ironing is looking at me! I try and plan what I need to do over the week to give me slots of time to make my glass. That way I’m not stressing when I’m crafting and not wishing I was crafting when I’m catching up on home chores. It doesn’t always work but has helped me not feel so pulled by all that needs to be done.
Thank you so much Veronica for sharing your super creative space with us!