An interview with potter Karen Morgan

I met Karen at last year's London Design Festival and was instantly smitten with her organic ceramics. Now I've finally pinned her down for an interview... What's the most important thing to know about you?

I love what I do and I do it with love.

Karen Morgan Curling Vases

Describe a really good day and a really bad day in the life of Karen Morgan.

Everyday is a good day really if I want it to be - it's not about what happens, but how I respond to it.

It's a good day when I wake up and my head and heart are in the right place and I enjoy all the little pleasures in life - birds singing, a nice cup a tea... and work is a joy. I can laugh away any dramas because I know it will work out in the end and worrying is a waste of energy.

A bad day is when I forget that. I can take life and myself to seriously and get bothered by all the little things, like no milk left for my morning tea, or a kiln firing that has gone wrong.

Good days and bad days are just a matter of perspective.

What inspires your ideas?

Everything and anything. It's hard to explain the inspiration process; it's as if everything I see that's interesting goes in to my thoughts; it could be something in nature, the curve of a line on a building, there could be links between them all... It gets all digested and mixed up and comes out in a moment of inspiration. Sometimes I can't tell directly where it stems from - it just arrives. Afterwards I might think "Oh that looks a bit like such and such." But I always like to try to make something that's never been seen before. I always try to be innovative.

Karen Morgan Dimpled beakers

Describe the process you go though to turn your ideas into products.

I think of an idea for a form or interesting shape first, or I take an existing form and turn it on its head. This stage comes first and then I think about how can I make that into something functional, whilst keeping the shape or beauty, and creating something that's totally functional and totally new. It could be a new way of using something, storing something or displaying it. I get a buzz if I feel that it has that edge and then I know it's something I should make!

What advice would you give to an aspiring potter?

Learn your trade and skills well but look after your body too! It takes a lot of hard work to get ahead in this field and make a living and become a highly skilled potter, so though it's a great buzz when you have orders and deadlines and you're being a busy bee making all those wonderful things, working through the night. But spare a thought for your little wrists and back and stretch! Repetitive strain injury is no fun!

Karen Morgan Teapots

Which three items could you not live without?

Three things I couldn't live without are all are handmade and designed by makers in my home town of Thomastown, Co.Kilkenny and are:

1. My beautiful teak chopping boards / servers handmade and designed by Martin Diack

2. My own porcelain garlic crusher design

3.My beautiful silver matchstick earrings that go with everything by Jackie and Ed Kielthy.

What are you most proud of?

Supporting myself with a creative career.I feel very proud to have my own studio and store and range of handmade work. I'm my own boss and I have done it all through hard work, learning fast, determination, taking risks and having a positive attitude.

Karen Morgan Folding Jug

What's your favourite colour?

Aquamarine blue