The past couple of years have been characterised by uncertainty as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the issues that followed. People across different industries have had to adapt to new ways of working. Many small businesses found themselves in need of support to meet the demands of their new ways of working.
As part of Magnet Kitchens’ #MagnetLittleChristmas campaign to support local businesses, we caught up with ceramic artist, Iveta Goddard, to talk about her incredible story so far and how she overcame the challenges posed by a global pandemic.
A student of ceramics in her own country of Czech Republic, Iveta Goddard had always dreamed of having her own studio whilst working for a TV film and cartoon studio in Zlin. In 2004, she packed up her tools and moved to West Sussex, where she set up her own studio and established Iveta Goddard Ceramics.
Iveta’s recent work certainly has a rustic charm and blurs the line between being pretty and practical, with some of her creations being sold in an impressive host of galleries in the UK and overseas, including Japan, Australia, and USA.
The Czech Republic-born artist credited spending quality time with her daughter, learning new skills, and setting up a new business with the aim of overcoming the challenges that followed a global pandemic in 2020 and 2021.
I studied ceramics in my home country of the Czech Republic before working for a TV Film, Cartoon Studio in Zlin. My dream was always to have my own studio, and this came true when I set up a pottery studio in West Sussex and established my company Iveta Goddard Ceramics in 2004.
I enjoy the whole process of creating something from an idea that can come from anywhere at any time, which is usually when I go for my morning run. What really motivates me is to create something that someone will appreciate and bring into their home and enjoy looking at it or using it as much I enjoy making it.
At the beginning of my journey, I was selling my ceramics at selected art shows, with some of my work being sold in galleries and private collections both in the UK and overseas. In the beginning, I set up a website although it was more informative than used for sales.
Before Covid, it was the usual things – supplying galleries and shows, with the business showing signs of slowing down. The pandemic proved to be a big change as all the galleries shut and with shows being cancelled, I had no need to make any new pieces as I was left with a large number of ceramics in my studio. I took a break from making and dedicated the whole year 2020 to reorienting my business.
Following extensive research, I entered the world of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to promote my ceramics. I also rebuilt my website and took lots of online courses including SEO.
To keep crafting during the lockdown, I set up CRAFT UNBOXED – my ceramic kit box offering. It was a difficult market to enter as competition was rife. I wanted to offer a high-quality box with all the clay and tools included with a choice of acrylic colours to finish off each piece with.
I owe a lot to my daughter who spent hours modelling for me, as each step of making a box comes with detailed photographic instructions on how to make each project.
The clocks are the oldest product I made for customers, and I still enjoy making and developing new designs. But my new favourite must be lady statues, small sculptures mainly thrown on the pottery wheel, with added sheets of clay and stamps.
www.ivetagoddard.co.uk and @ivetagoddard.ceramics on Instagram