We thought it would be fun to give you a little insight into the creative humans behind the designs of some of our ranges. So we spoke to Jillian, a Junior Product Developer on the Brands Team, Ruby who also works as our Product Developer across the business and Daisy our Ceramicist to do just that!
Meet our first of the creatives, Jilly, Pure’s Brand Junior Product Developer
Jillian aka ‘Jilly’ joined the Brands Team at Pure in May 2023 and has a background in Surface Pattern Design, graduating with a First Class Honours Degree from Staffordshire University in 2019.
She began her creative career within the greetings card industry working as a designer at Clintons when she then took a year out travelling Asia for 9 months before joining us here are Pure Table Top!
Jilly’s role at Pure within the brands team consists of meeting clients, developing designs/product shapes, liaising with factories, briefing out samples, pitching to clients/buyers and seeing the ranges come to life in store!
Jilly began by telling us how the ceramics industry was a completely new field for her and pushed her completely out of her comfort zone which she loved! She added, "In early 2023 my previous role was made redundant which led me towards a new career path and trying something new. I wanted to pursue a role within the ceramics industry to push myself, learn new skills and develop as a creative.”
What is the process of designing new ceramic products?
Jilly walked us through her creative process when designing new ceramic products from scratch!
“As a brand product developer, working alongside various clients can differ the design process. I always begin meeting with the client to understand the initial inspiration, design direction and story behind the collection. In cases where the client provides the artwork, I will apply these to the ceramics and tableware. Whereas in some cases, the client gives me the freedom to create artworks in house, inspired by their signature style/theme. I then go onto sending the factory suppliers my inspiration ideas for product shapes collated from comp shop photos, Pinterest, online retailers, and current trends in the market which may suit the client’s style. The factories will then send available shapes which I choose from, or I can decide to develop a brand-new shape, which makes the range more authentic and individual. Once the shapes have been decided, I begin to visualise the artwork on each product, considering the techniques and glazes, ensuring the range is consistent, commercial, and unique. Once the collection is finalised, the visuals and samples are presented to the client for their approval. Any amendments are made, and the range is then presented to the commercial buyers for sign-off. After a few more sample rounds to ensure the products are perfect, they are then mass produced and distributed to stores!”
Meet Ruby, Pure’s Product Developer
Ruby’s job is to look after the development of newness across tableware and cookware for our customers own brand ranges.
Her background is mostly print design so naturally she joined Pure as a Print Designer working across all retail customers. At Pure Ruby developed her skills within ceramic and glass product development and has now been for 3 years!
Before joining Pure, Ruby had no knowledge on ceramics, so this was all new but working on print and pattern she built up her confidence and knowledge. Fast forward to 3 years where she lives and breathes it and is often flipping over plates and mugs in restaurants to see where they're from!
We asked Ruby what her favourite project or design has been that she has worked on so far to which she said, “my favourite project to date has to be working on a brand-new collaboration range for Dunelm with Rockfish, that will be launching in SS24. I have developed this range from start to finish and seen it grow into the exciting range that it is.
This project really gave me the opportunity to push my skills and product understanding. I was able to move into a new category area of kitchen textiles when developing this range which was a learning process but has really added another dimension to the collection. I have never worked on a branded range before at Pure so it was such an experience, and I cannot wait to see it in stores – it is going to look fab!”
Check out the range now online at Dunelm.com
Meet Daisy, Pure’s Ceramicist
Daisy knew from junior school that she wanted to work with clay, she did a degree in Ceramics training in model and mould making the more industrial aspects of ceramic production. After her degree she worked as an Artist in Residence for Leicester City Council Art Department, teaching ceramics citywide and developing more decorative handmade work. Later, Daisy took on a master’s degree in ceramics and became a Senior Lecturer at De Montfort University which she has always wanted to do.
Daisy loves the work she does for Pure because so much thought and care goes into every item that is produced. She said, “I get a brief from the team about the collection that we’ll be working on. It’s important to understand who the customer will be for each item and what it will be used for. There are so many different components and thoughts that go into creating a mug for example – the shape, the size, the texture, the handle – my ongoing obsession is creating the perfect handle for a mug. It’s incredibly important! I will create prototypes for the team at Pure Table Top and we’ll then meet to discuss them, and make any tweaks and changes necessary.”
We asked Daisy what she loves about what she does to which she said “I enjoy making lovely things for people to take home with them – the more people that enjoy my work the better. I started my studio, The Northern Potter because I wanted to create pieces that reflected the environment here in Redcar, Yorkshire – the flora and fauna, the landscape and the way people live their lives here. We have a studio and shop, The Northern Potter by the sea front where I make everything, and we also sell items from other local artisans too.”
Daisy does a lot of corporate work and also artistic work, so we asked her how she finds a balance between them as she has a very good balance! Daisy answered, “Some people in the art world are funny about artists working with businesses, but I just don’t understand it – I absolutely love both sides of the work that I do and wouldn’t have it any other way. At the end of the day, I just want as many people as possible to enjoy my work and this seems like the perfect combination to be able to do so.”
Keep your eyes peeled for more inside info on the faces behind Pure Table Top, if there is anything you specifically want to see let us know in the comments! 👇🏼