We had the good fortune of connecting with Kimberley Williamson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kimberley, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I’ve been creative as long as I can remember. I’ve aways been crafting from random materials and salvaged things. I took Art in High School but it was never shaped as a potential career by our teacher. It was something to be considered a hobby. Which is what I did, I continued to pursue creative fields in my spare time. It wasn’t until I returned to University in my mid-twenties that I knew I didn’t want to follow my degree into full time employment. No one seemed to really enjoy it. I finished my education and fell into working freelance for other creatives.
It was finally then that I could see the joy and also the prospect of being able to create a path for myself using my creative skills. It’s always where I’ve felt happiest and it’s been important to me to be able to work to my own limits and timelines, which is something that I’m now able to do.Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I design, make and sell ceramic plant pots that are shaped and styled from plastic bags. The ones you get at your grocery store with a ‘Have A Nice Day’ except mine are designed to be a little more sarcastic. My work is definitely a bit different from lots of ceramic art out there! No one else currently makes this kind of thing so it’s great to have a unique idea and be able to forge the path for something that came out of my head.
I’ve actually only been working with ceramics for one year, which is mind blowing as I’ve gotten myself into a position where I’m getting ready to build a studio in my garden. I used to make my products with air dry clay but wanted to move them over to be fully functional and capable of holding water and heavier items. I’ve also added other products since in the form of my Tote Bag Vases and my FUCKOFFEE Mugs. I also experiment with Raku firings too and create a lot of unique pieces. One of my Raku tote bags was exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy this year, which is really exciting. While it’s great being able to be creative, there are a lot of lessons and hard work behind the business. It can be exhausting but it’s really worth it to see the reactions of people when I share new projects or do a shop update. I’ve been really lucky in being able to work in studio that haven’t been restrictive in terms of firings and set hours. I very quickly became a ‘production potter’ by accident and having a truly creative space to work has really allowed my business to become what it has. I’m still really excited to be able to walk down my garden and be at my own studio soon. It’ll do a lot for my mental health, which is why working for myself is such a bonus. I can give myself permission for any down time I need to get my own health back to it’s best as I always make so many mistakes working with clay if I’m not in the mood. I think the main thing that’s come from my brand is to not take things too seriously. The world is on fire right now and what’s the point of it all if we can’t have a little fun every once in a while. Also, recycle and reuse your bags!Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oooh, well this is a difficult one because we’ve actually just relocated from London, England to Edinburgh, Scotland. We’re in a tiny village south of the city but I’ll try my best to take you on a good tour. To be honest, Edinburgh is stunning and does a lot of the heavy lifting itself. It’s just visually perfect with so many architectural wonders. It’s all cobbled streets and slightly gothic. It’s just beautiful. There’s lots of great food places but will generally head to Timberyard if we’re feeling fancy. Mary’s Milk Bar for sweet treat. Stockbridge is a great area to visit, it’s full off cute independent shops and deli’s, wine and cocktail bars. The botanic gardens are also worth a visit, especially the glasshouse.
As for London, the main recommendation I have is Highbury Library, in Drayton Park for incredible natural wine, good music and a great vibe. Also, Nest in Hackney for food. They do set menu’s of seasonal food and exceptional wine pairings. Avoid the usual tourist traps like Camden & Oxford St.Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’ll always shout out my husband, Beanie. He’s always supported my ideas, even the stupid ones and is there at the markets championing my work. My best friend Kelly from TOMME is also a great cheerleader. We’ll usually bounce ideas or suppliers to each other. Sometimes the odd rant about something and she’ll happily listen and advise. Anyone else that has helped, ordered or just shared my work gets a mention. It all contributes to the success of my little business.

Website: Www.birkimbags.com

Instagram: Www.instagram.com/birkimbags

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