We've interviewed Zero-Living's Isobel Higley on why she is an eco warrior and how her 'waste clay' recycling is making everyone very 'Happy'!
Tell us your story, how did you begin your brand and why?
I am all about making people smile and promoting positivity. Everything I make is very much in tune with my visual language. I make what makes me happy, in the hope that I can share some positivity with others.
My illustrative style blends humour and fantasy to create a range of work including both functional and sculptural pieces. I started creating this style of contemporary ceramics when I was in my last year studying BA (Hons) Contemporary Crafts at Falmouth University, and have been growing my business since.
Check out Isobel at work on her Instagram @isobelhigley
What inspires you?
I am passionate about pushing my abilities to the limit and learning everything I can about my material and craft. Ceramics can be a very complicated skill, especially when you look into glazing, so I am forever researching and building my subject knowledge. I can get a bit intense about it!
How do you make sure your collection is sustainable?
Having a sustainable business is something I have tried to keep at the heart of my making; recycling is a big part of the process. All my waste clay is recycled using a process called reclaiming, and then reused. I reclaim my clay by hand, using traditional processes to reduce energy consumption. Not only is this recycling technique sustainable but it also can create beautiful marbling effects on the work, meaning each item is always unique.
Do you think people are beginning to move into a more sustainable mind set?
Yes. I think that as it is becoming more fashionable to shop locally and to support small businesses, more people are adopting the mindset. Yay!
Isobel Higley hand painting her 'Happy Tea Plate' available on Zero-Living.com now!
What would be your top tips for becoming more sustainable?
You should always think of an item’s whole life span before you purchase it! Not only how has this been made, but how long are you going to keep it, and how will you dispose of it? The best items are ones that are made using sustainable methods, that you can keep for a long time, and that you can then reuse.
Tell us more about Raw Glazing!
Raw Glazing is a technique of firing ceramic work that consumes less energy and is something I am working on within my own practice.
Normally when a ceramic item is made it is fired twice in a kiln (so that the glaze works properly), however with Raw Glazing the item is only fired once. The technical side of this process in that a special glaze is needed, therefore the process is a little bit trickier. I have written a blog post about it, which can be found via my website (www.isobelhigley.com), if you want to find out how to raw glaze ceramics yourself.
'Happy Planter' hand made from waste clay using a process called reclaiming available on Zero-Living.com now!
Are you seeing a positive reaction from selling sustainable ceramics?
Yes! As I am taking my business through this journey of environmental awareness, I have only received positive feedback.
Which item is your 'sustainable must have' from our website?
The website is a really great collection of products, so that is a tricky question! If I was to pick one item to own it would be the Mintie Due Lunchbox Set. Bringing a packed lunch, rather than buying plastic covered meal-deals is a zero-living must. It can reduce both packaging and food waste. Win win!
Isobel's sustainable must have Mintie Stainless Steal Lunch Box Set available to buy now!
Check out all Isobel Higley's ceramics and many more sustainable products on Zero-Living.com