In our latest Women in Craft series, we speak with ceramicist Lily Pearmain based in South East London. Lily’s minimalist, clean aesthetic is informed by the British tradition of hardwearing & long-lasting pottery.

With the potters wheel as her base, Lily’s series of pots, mugs, sculptural vases, and bowls feature solid, striking shapes with minimal glazing. Learn more about her artistic practice with our interview below.


Tell us about your journey. What inspired you to begin designing ceramics?


I started making ceramics at a night class, it was never intended to be a career, I just wanted a bit of a creative outlet. I fell in love with it immediately. I think that because everything you make at first is just so crap, it’s really humbling. But also all your expectations are stripped away. I went on to take up membership at a studio, where I also later started working as a technician. I learnt a lot at that job and a few years later I set up a studio by myself. I had part time jobs (waitressing, babysitting, teaching etc) until a few years ago, when I managed to go full time with my ceramics practice. I’ve been lucky in getting a few big breaks that have set me up well

At Lily’s pottery studio in Deptford.

As an artist, what does craftsmanship mean to you?

 For me, craftsmanship means respecting your material. It means asking ‘what does this material do best’ rather than ‘what can I do with this material’. There’s a stripping away of the sense of self in that sentiment. My work will survive me, and it will have its own life and stories to tell. I am not the centre of the story, the pots are, and that is so exciting to me.

What are some tips on encouraging more people on getting involved in craft and learning new skills in different disciplines?

Start anywhere. Sure, taking a class in ceramics or glass or jewellery is a great thing to do, but know that the way you lovingly cook dinner, or arrange flowers in a vase, or tell your child a bedtime story is also a craft, it is also a creative practice. Once you realise you can do anything with intention and thought, bigger ideas of craft become easy. 

Complete the sentence - ‘#ToKnowYourArtisan is to ….” 

Respect their skill, and trust in their knowledge.

Any new upcoming projects you would like to share? 

I’m excited to be taking part in a woodfiring in May, in Devon. That will be very exciting, mainly because I’m a bit of a pyromaniac, but also because woodfired pots are so beautiful.




To learn more about Lily’s pottery practice, head on over to her website.


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