Five Go Mad

Friday 4 June 2010

Q and A with Thea Cutting of Gallery Thea

Gallery Thea is a working studio, shop and gallery in Southwold, Suffolk. Owner, Thea Cutting makes gorgeous hand made ceramics for customers locally and internationally. Thea was selected as one of the finalists in Country Living magazine's Rural Women in Business Award.

Why did you decide to start Gallery Thea? 
I was working in an arts studio in London painting pottery for the window display, which became very popular. Customers began commissioning me to paint mugs, plate and vases for them. I thought, I could start my own company doing this. I moved back to Suffolk and bought a kiln and cleared out my parents barn behind their pub in Walberswick. That was the start of Gallery Thea, nine years ago.

What's your earliest memory of being creative?
Having a picture of my mum I drew at 7 years old selected for a school exhibition, I was so proud.

What are you working on at the moment? 
A wedding order at the moment. 112 name coasters, table name plaques and table plan, all hand illustrated with skiers. The groom proposed in the Swiss Alps so it's a ski themed wedding, it's been fun. I am also painting bird themed canvases for a hairdressers.

Where does your inspiration come from?
Everything I see, I am so visual. I love colour and beautiful lines.

What techniques and materials do you use?
I use a bottle with a nib filled with underglaze for drawing. For the canvases I use a mixture of acrylic, water colour and emulsion. For my cards I draw images and fill in colour using photoshop.

Do you have a personal favourite in your range? 
I always love drawing or designing anything with flowers on.

What would be your dream commission?
To do design fabrics or wallpaper for something wonderful!

Does your location and environment influence your work? 
The Gallery is in Southwold, by the sea, I love it. I feel so lucky to live and work here, it influences all my seaside designs.

How did you get involved with FiveGoMad? 
I was invited to join, which was very lovely.

FiveGoMad is quintessentially British what does that mean to you?
FiveGoMad being quintessentially British is a brilliant idea. We seem to have lost our identity for beautiful things made and created in this country, I am passionate about bringing it all back.

Which British artist/creative do you admire?
I love Quenton Blake's illustrations, Orla Kiely's designs and Angie Lewin's prints.

Who/what is your favourite british icon?
Terence Conran, he has designed some amazing stuff.

Tell us something fabulous about where you live.
On a beautiful morning before work I can sit on the beach and have a coffee, with the only sound being the odd seagull and the gentle sound of the waves breaking, bliss.

What's your favourite cafe/restaurant to visit?
My favourite Cafe is Munchies is Southwold where I get my coffee before going to the beach.

What's next for Gallery Thea? 
To create an interior bespoke service. Then I can design anything from plates and bowls to wallpaper and fabric,  greeting cards, wedding invites, children's party invites, paintings to complement fabrics, murals on walls, there is so much to do. It may have to wait until my youngest little boy starts school in a couple of years, I just do what I can for now.

by Liz Appleby 


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