BRW Society have teamed up with CLAY by Sarah Allen

BRW Society have teamed up with CLAY by Sarah Allen

We've teamed up with CLAY by Sarah Allen to bring you a selection of fabulous hand crafted mugs by Sarah Allen. 

BRW Society Founder, Laura Manning, interviewed Sarah Allen to find out more about this wonderful ceramic designer and artisan based in Dubai.

Let's find out more about CLAY by Sarah Allen!

Sarah, please tell us a bit about yourself...
'I was born and raised in the UK on the beautiful east coast of England. From an early age I wanted to be a Chef and once I finished my school studies I went to Brighton University to study a degree in Hospitality, with a foundation year in the kitchen, I then spent my final three years focusing on sales and marketing before graduating and moving to London. I then spent the next 28 years working in the hospitality industry travelling the world and ending up in Dubai 14 years ago leading Middle East & Africa Revenue Strategy for a global hotel chain. In 2020 I was able to take the option of early retirement and this enabled me to pursue my other passion that is ceramics and set up CLAY by Sarah Allen."
How did you get into this other passion, ceramics?

"I saw “the great pottery throw down” on UK TV which is hosted by the amazing potter Keith Brymer-Jones and was hooked and had to try it! So me and a friend went for some classes in Dubai about 5 years ago and from then on it became my escape from work and enabled me to channel my creative ideas into clay!"

CLAY by Sarah Allen at work
I've had the pleasure to watch you work and it really is a great way to unwind and escape the pressures of everyday, therapeutic even, is that why you love pottery so much?

"Being in my studio is my “Happy Place” - being at one with the clay, the repetition of throwing on the wheel and then producing an item that can be used everyday is a huge source of satisfaction and gives me great pleasure to think that someone has taken the time to purchase a totally unique and bespoke piece of pottery that becomes part of their morning tea or evening dinner rituals."

I can completely understand how that can be a  source of satisfaction.  When you're throwing the clay on the wheel, where do you get your inspiration from to make your fabulous pieces?

"I have been lucky to travel around the world and see many different cultures and visit many places, which gave me ideas to draw from. I love looking through interior design and home magazines, and the internet is a huge source of inspiration! I also collect antique china and love going to antique fairs and markets when back in the UK.  And my love of nature is evident in the colours I use - lots of naturals and leaving the raw clay exposed, and then complimenting with leather or driftwood handles."

CLAY by Sarah Allen throwing clay on wheel

You can definitely see your love of nature in the colours.  How would you describe your collection?

"Natural, organic and bespoke."

And how many pieces are in your range?

"I specialise in tableware, so everything from mugs, bowls, plates, jugs, serving instagram showcases most of my work and I am in the process of setting up my this space!"

Every single piece is amazing but what is your favourite thing to make?

"My favourite thing to make is when a customer wants something that is a gift or for a special occasion, like a wedding or birthday, or just a simple thank you present for a friend....and when I can work closely with the customer to make something that is truly bespoke for them - a lot of my work is commissioned and is truly made from the heart and the hands."

What is next for Clay by Sarah Allen?  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

"I am setting up my website and really want to work on some comprehensive tableware “ranges” and then I am looking at complimenting my ceramics with natural and naturally dyed tableware fabrics....I just wish there were more hours in the day!

In 5 years’ time, I would like to have a studio large enough so that I can offer young student internships who are studying ceramics at college or Uni and it will allow them to benefit from learning how to run the business side of ceramics as well as enable them to be creative. I would also love to be able to “give back” and use some of the profits of my work to raise awareness and support charities and organisations that need help."

Shop CLAY by Sarah Allen TODAY!

Heart Shaped Mug 

CLAY by Sarah Allen Mugs