The Interiors Shop in the Stables here at Chatsworth is a haven for anyone with a passion for beautiful objects, and lately we have fallen in love with these beautiful works by ceramics designer Fenella Smith. Fenella’s work is inspired by her life, and memories. With top hats, roly-poly dogs, and dressers dragged out of attics, Fenella’s pieces are wonderfully quirky and equally irresistible.
I had a quick chat with Fenella to find out more.
The Duchess and Lady Burlington have picked items from your ranges as some of their favourites in the shops. How does it feel to have your work on sale here at Chatsworth?
I’m really thrilled it’s looking great and it’s such an amazing destination, a beautiful property with an interesting history so to be able to sell my products here is a real thrill. Lady Burlington has picked the Buttons design, and the Duchess is going to have the Labrador. He’s doing really well – he’s modelled on my dog Bramble.
What can we look forward to seeing next?
I’m bringing out more designs, doing a Scottie dog, and a flamingo, and I’m going to be working with fabrics as well. It’s really exciting, and also it’s lovely to know that it’s popular and that Lady Burlington and the Duchess are supporting the brand.
On the fabrics, I will be doing Labradors on a grey linen, the pugs and the dachshunds on a biscuit colour. I’ll be doing bags and fabric by the metre, and cushions and things. At the moment I’m just experimenting; what works on a mug isn’t necessarily what works on a fabric. I did a fashion degree so I’m really enjoying playing with the fabrics.
How do you see your business developing in the future?
I’m really involved in the work, I design the shapes and I work with my brother. He’s an illustrator and does the animals for me so it’s all very personal. I don’t think I’ll become completely ubiquitous, I spend so much time creating the shapes, and like to have that authenticity. My pieces are made in England, with Cornish clay, and the pieces are made in Stoke. I’m sourcing the fabrics from Scotland, so that’s the way I want to keep the business; personal, with everything made in Britain.
You can see Fenella's collections in the Interiors shop in the Stables or on her website at http://www.fenellasmith.com/