Ch-ch-ch-changesss

Everyone loves changes, don’t they? 😉

 

Here at FICH ceramics I am always looking for new ways to develop my products. Therefore after a few prototypes I have decided to use a coating of clear glaze over my pieces. This enhances the textures of the clay and makes it more tactile. I’m so excited for you guys to see the results!

 

Mugs

 

I have also decided to just have two different sized mugs. A cute little espresso mug for those coffee lovers that like it strong, but also a larger mug for the ones of you who like a little milk with their coffee and a mug of tea. This will mean I have more time to make mugs so expect to have more in the shop!

 

Herb bowls, Egg cups & Milk pourers

 

Finally, I have decided to make my herb bowls and egg cups sets of 4 which will include one of each colour. As I have had many requests for them, I am also introducing bigger milk/cream pourers!

 

My next shop update will be…..

 

My shop will be updated on the 29th of October.

 

As always, thank you so much for your patience.

 

Speak soon,

 

Fi x

 

Follow @FICHceramics on Instagram to keep in the loop with all of the details.

Facing the world of makeup

 

I’m going off on a tangent with today’s blog post, for those of you who follow me on social media you’ll know that’s nothing new…

 

Today folks, we’re going to talk about skincare and makeup!

 

So, I’ve got my sister’s wedding coming up in September and I’m going to be doing my own makeup, which is a daunting task for someone who has no idea what they’re doing. I plonk on a bit of liquid eyeliner and mascara, possibly a hint of lippy and eyeshadow. These are applied no particular order in no particular way, similar to if you’d ask a child to do it. So you can see I have a task on my hands and why I’ve called for help.

 

A couple of weeks ago [yes this has been a full on and timely investigation] I asked my wonderful Instagram followers for tips and boy did I get some goodies, I’ll put the recommendations at the bottom of this post.

 

So let’s start this off with makeup 

 

As you can imagine I love makeup that’s easy to apply, therefore I went to Charlotte Tilbury as I had heard her sets come with a tutorial and there are loads of them on YouTube too. Zoe (the sis) and I went to have our makeup done in one of CT’s shops in John Lewis, Zoe’s looked amazing, mine on the other hand looked as if I had fallen headfirst into a puddle…

 

IMG_0427

 

I’d got my deposit back by getting a £39 (!!!) 4 shade eyeshadow palette.. and did a runner back to bae, Benefit. I have loved every product of theirs I have used, so easy to apply and their sets too come with a handy tutorial. I wasn’t 100% happy with the tones in the CT palette (I know, I know.. I still bought it) so I bought the 24 Karat Nude palette by Maybelline for £16. A  MUCH better colour palette for less than half the price with 12 more shades, the price difference is probably something to do with pigment but for someone who doesn’t really care about that, it does the job wonderfully. This is the result from using that palette…

 

IMG_0449

 

Much more natural! Let me know in the comments which look you prefer.

 

Moving on to skincare…

 

I was recommended LOTS of skincare products from my lovely instagram followers (thank you everyone who told me their suggestions!!), many of whom said they get their products from The Body Shop. I bought their banana hair mask, rose face mask and shea butter body wash (bit random compared to the others but it was FREE and it’s glorious). I recommend all of these products. I am going to get their makeup setting spray too (was out of stock when I went shopping) as I wanted one which does the job but still breathable and apparently it’s great!

 

As a little extra for those who’ve stuck by me until now…

 

I have also been working on my hair. I would highly recommend using (probably late to the game) Clairol’s shimmer and shine shampoo for blonde hair that has copper tones. It’s made my hair soooo much lighter, I will do this more running up to the time of the wedding. If you’re like me and can’t spend loads on getting your hair dyed at the hair dressers I would recommend doing this!

[I’d recommend watching YouTube videos that give you a tutorial on how to do it properly…. and using loads of hair masks as it really dries out your hair!]

Today’s been one of those days…

Ever had those days where your passion becomes your enemy and you feel as if you’ve completely lost the ability to do the one thing your business is based around? Don’t worry guys, it’s normal and by normal I just mean I have them and hope others do too.

Today’s been one of those days, look…

 

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Gah, was going so well until I pulled the walls a little bit too thin (pic 5) and a little bit wider than I should’ve (pic 7). I tried but couldn’t fix it so I cut the clay off and started again.

The second attempt I threw too thin and wide again which made it difficult/impossible to fix. It wasn’t completely disastrous but I intended it to be a lot taller than it was as I had to cut off roughly an inch off the top.

 

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The first few times I threw large was with clay I had recycled, so I threw the next pot with recycled clay, and Voilà, pot made.

 

 

It just shows you that it’s not necessarily your ability that has gone to pot (all of the puns intended 😉) it could be other factors which are affecting it. For me using dryer clay made all the difference.

Even though I could’ve carried on throwing after I had made this pot, I stopped. I always try to end a throwing session on a positive note but I then don’t force myself to carry on if my minds not in it, as it just wastes time and I’ll spend the day being frustrated. This is the good thing about having lots of other jobs to do when you do everything in your small business, there’s always another job you can switch to.

Moral of the story; it’s okay to give up and try again tomorrow.

FICH colour palettes

Guys, I need to tell you something, but shh, it needs to be kept between us as our little secret..

This is the first place that I am announcing the release date of my Autumn Winter colour palette 2018, say whaaaaaaaaaat? That’s right, by the end of this post you’ll given a date that you’ll be able to put straight into your diary.

But first, a little introduction to what the FICH colour palette is all about. 

The FICH colour palettes have been created to give you contemporary hand-thrown ceramics, coated in the colours from the latest trends. They also allow you to pick a collection of colours that seamlessly work together, rather than having to stick to one colour out of uncertainty of whether they will compliment each other.

Autumn Winter 2017 was the first colour palette FICH ceramics released, this palette looked like this;

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This colour palette was released on 13th October 2017, making it nearly a whole year since the first colour palette was released at the time of writing this post, time flies! With this palette I wanted to capture the essence of what the English Autumn and Winter feel and look like. The warming tones to represent the warmth of being inside with the fire on alongside contrasting tones representing the coldness of the outside.

The second and current [at the time of writing this blog], FICH colour palette for Spring Summer 2018 was released on the 1st March 2018. I was blown away by the response to this colour palette, I was glad everyone loved it as much as I did. In this colour palette we saw the introduction of three brand new glazes; the forest green, mustard and speckled.

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Finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

This leads us nicely to the release date of the BRAND NEW FICH colour palette Autumn Winter 2018! I have decided to bring it forward a bit from last year and release this palette on the….

duh duh duhhhhhh”

27th September 2018!!

The time of the release will be confirmed nearer the time, you’ll be able to hear it first through my newsletter by going onto my website, if you would like to be one of the first to know please sign up. I will also be announcing it through my social media pages, you can follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook.  You can also follow me on Pinterest which may give you some hints on what to expect from the FICH AW colour palette.

 

I hope you’re all excited as I am!

 

Packaging ceramics can’t be eco friendly and pretty, can it?

Oh yes, yes it can.

I know what you’re thinking “Fi, that’s what you are meant to tell us at the end of the post,” hang on kids before you go anywhere hear me out.

I’m a true lover of the world’s natural beauty, from it’s adorable animals to it’s stunning sceneries. I’m a girl who could easily pass up on a trip to New York but would love to see New Zealand’s breath-taking landscapes. So you can see why this is a topic which I felt needs to be kept in the forefront of our minds. The way we are going about our plastic consumption means that going to visit a beach covered in plastic instead of sand has become an all too much of a reality. The amount of waste that washes up onto little islands miles away from civilisation, blows my mind. The amount of crap the contestants on ‘The Island with Bear Grylls’ manage to salvage, surprises me every year. I really don’t want this to become the norm.

 

Girl on The Island with Bear Grylls
Girl on The Island with Bear Grylls (see description for source)

 

There has been some movement in the right direction though, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you would’ve seen a big movement towards shops and businesses starting to use environmentally friendly packaging to do their bit to save our environment. From Tesco removing polystyrene from their fish packaging and replacing their two layer plastic trays with a single layer plastic (this has helped them to remove 92 tonnes of plastic!) to Sainsbury’s who have committed to remove all plastic cotton buds, a major source of ocean plastic pollution. If you’d like to read up more about this click here.

 

What have I changed?

Over the last few months I have been taking steps to reduce my plastic consumption. I am a stickler for branding, so in truth I was quite picky with what I switched to. I didn’t want to alter my customers experience when receiving a FICH piece in the post, their excitement to receive and open their parcel means a lot to me. I already have matt business cards and use recycled boxes but I knew I could take it further.

With that in mind, I have now switched to;

 

100% recyclable bubble wrap

…in replace of the standard plastic bubble wrap. I personally thought it would be rubbish and weak, but I was pleasantly surprised! In all honesty, I sometimes struggle to see which one is standard or recyclable. You can buy some here.

Chippy Paper 

…in replace of polystyrene pellets. Yep that’s right, I am now using the same paper as a chip shop (aka newspaper offcuts). It may feel like I’m wrapping up bags of chips but I don’t mind if it prevents me from using polystyrene. In fact, I quite I prefer the paper to the pellets (… it’s also a lot cheaper!). You can buy some here.

Envirotape

…in replace of standard packing tape. Kite packaging have made it so you can order in big batches with the idea that you order enough to see you through the year. They’ve also made it so the tape has a small core, therefore you get more for your buck while reducing CO2 transport emissions. You can buy some here.

Here’s what my packaging looks like now, I think you’ll agree that that changes I’ve made haven’t affected my branding.

 

 

 

Truthfully, I haven’t really shopped around that much. Kite packaging was probably one of the first hits on google so there are probably way more companies that specialise in eco/environmentally friendly packaging. Their prices were reasonable and I liked what I saw. I am still using my branded stickers and at the moment these are the only items in my packaging which aren’t easily recyclable. I have done research into finding some which are but I haven’t been able to find a suitable substitute… yet. Any recommendations in the comments section will be highly appreciated!

 

Tips and Tricks 

I was interested to see what my fellow small business owners have done to reduce plastic in their packaging and in their day to day lives. I asked in a few different groups that I’m a member of and here are the results. If you’re after ways in how you can reduce your plastic consumption, look no further!

 

…for your home

  • Bar soaps and solid shampoos ( a lot of positive reviews of these )
  • Switched to ‘whogivesacrap‘ toilet paper (100% recycled toilet paper and 50% of their profits go to help build toilets for people in need)
  • Delivery of organic fruits & veggies in a recyclable box every week
  • We store food and prepped meals in mason jars & reusable plastic ware… or a big glass bowl with a plate on top of it.
  • We food swap, I *try* not to eat so mindlessly.
  • Reuse brown paper bags for under-the-sink kitchen garbage
  • Use own shopping bags
  • Order things in bulk
  • Bamboo toothbrush
  • I use a menstrual cup and reusable cloth pads instead of tampons and disposable pads
  • We use bar shampoo and products from lush and return the pots and bottles for them to be recycled and reused.
  • Use a cotton face cloth and coconut oil for make up removal
  • Bringing lunch boxes to work
  • Beeswax wraps to replace clingfilm [1]

 

…for out and about;

  • I bring a water bottle with me to work. I also bring my own coffee mug to work so I am not throwing out cups everyday.
  • I buy the eco-friendly poop bags for my doggies
  • I carry reusable straws / or no straw altogether
  • Avoid eating out
  • Paper lunch bags
  • Make my own cleaners when I can if not try to find ones with biodegradable packaging
  • Silicon food coverings to cut down on plastic wrap use
  • Use paper bags for shopping
  • Cotton bags for food shop

 

…for small businesses;

  • Compostable cello bags from Eco-Craft a must!
  • I only ever use paper based packaging (and if I do use plastic tape it’s 100% recycled)
  • I use recycled paper for printing packing slips
  • I’ve switched to a safety razor instead of using disposable razors
  • We are a fully virtual accounting firm which means that we have eliminated paper receipts, statements and documents. We have found that going virtual is not only more secure but we are saving the trees!
  • I make shampoo bars, soaps and body scrubs that require no packaging and I’ve adapted my recipe to accommodate this. Link to shop here.
  • Less glossed paper items and business cards
  • Recycled paper packaging and boxes
  • Wrapping cards in tissue instead of cello bags
  • Recycled/recyclable paper and card for envelopes/packaging rather than any plastic packaging
  • Minimal packaging
  • Recycled paper card blanks
  • Sustainable wood for frames
  • Researching ethical/eco suppliers for a more eco friendly chain.
  • Also adding a note into every package asking people to recycle where possible.

 

After reading the responses to my question, my eyes have been opened to the amount of ways I can continue to reduce my plastic consumption even further. Truth is, we could all be doing a hell of a lot more but we’ve got to start somewhere and I hope this has given you a few ideas.

Thank you to everyone who contributed ❤

 

Links I think you may find interesting;

[1] How to make beeswax wraps; organic cotton in a baking tray, sprinkle beeswax pellets on top, cook at 150c for 5 mins until melted, painted wax over any missed bits with a brush, then hang to dry. Can be used for cheese, sandwiches, etc. just scrub clean with cold soapy water. Thank you for sharing your tips Nikki (@dwyryd_ceramics on Instagram).

Sir David Attenborough (you can’t have a blog post about the environment without a mention of the king of wildlife Documentaries) gave a powerful plea at the end of the  Blue Planet 2 to urge us to stop using so much plastic. If you haven’t watched it yet, you can find it here. If this doesn’t persuade you, nothing will!

Doodlepeople make badges raising awareness of the problems with single use plastic, etc. if you’d like more information click here.

Lawyer cleans up 5 million kg of plastic off of a beach near his hometown in Mumbai. You can read full story here. I have used a photo from this beach clean up in the featured image link to this photo is here.

A company who are using milk protein for packaging food and detergents. you can find more information here.