The super sparrow: Who, what, where & WHy
I’m Lilly, the designer maker behind The Super Sparrow ceramics. I played around with clay a bit on and off as a child and again during a couple evening sculpture courses while working as a cardiac nurse. Eventually, I got the courage to follow my heart and apply to art school, a bit later than most, and eventually finished up with a First Class Honours Degree in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins. I’m not being dramatic when I say it changed my life. It reminded me of how important it is to do something you love and to have fun doing it.
I run my small business while still working part time as a nurse but am hoping to be able to do this more full time in the years to come.
Ceramics! Well, ceramic tableware mainly, but always looking to get my teeth stuck into designing something new. My style is relaxed, natural and minimal. I like the challenge of having a piece function with the smallest amount of visual fuss; to pare things down to essential components while still being aesthetically pleasing.
I mainly use flecked stoneware which fires to a creamy colour with natural brownish speckles. I love the look and feel of this clay particularly, but I also make items in Staffordshire stoneware (no speckles) and Lavafleck (a lotta speckles). I’ve been playing around with black clay lately, so there may just be a new collection emerging soon.
In March 2019 I moved into my new studio at Deptford Foundry. You can find me in Studio AL02, Alloy House, Moulding Lane, London SE14 8BH. I love my new space and the opportunity it gives me. It’s airy, social (I’m easily distracted) and I’m lucky to be able to work so close to where I live.
Studio visits are by appointment only but sometimes it’s easier to discuss a commission or large bespoke order in person. You can also use code TSSDELIVERY to have postage omitted at checkout if you’re local and want to arrange a time to come collect your order.
Anyone who’s had a go at ceramics probably understands why, but I’ll explain what it gives me. Clay is so different in all the stages it goes through to get to the final piece; it’s tactile and messy in its wet form so I get immediate feedback, which allows me to be playful and spontaneous with it.
I hand build and glaze every item myself so they have their own individual personality. Each piece gets fired twice; first to become a ceramic object and the second to bring out the qualities of the clay and cure the glaze I’ve applied. Each stage is important and the particles found in clay means it has a memory, so each piece tells its own story.