Shop local this Christmas: James has a passion for pottery

By Sarah Edwards at

Shop local this Christmas

You could be forgiven for thinking that the unassuming-looking wooden building  in James Hobbs’ Bicester back garden is just an ordinary potting shed, but venture through the door and you won’t find a lawn mower or packets of seeds.

Instead it is a potter’s shed with a difference, and a thriving hub of creativity with  a potter’s wheel, a kiln and shelves of Hobbs Ceramics trademark rustic pottery, all waiting to go through one process or another.

A life long ceramics enthusiast, James spends every spare moment in this bespoke garden studio designing, creating and adding to his skills while producing a beautiful range of products to sell through his Etsy store and at local events.

James, a former Cooper School and Banbury College student said: “My sister always made things at school-she’s a bit older than me and I always wanted to have a go too. It wasn’t until I started at secondary school when I finally got my hands on some clay and it was so exciting! I had a go at throwing on a wheel and then  I knew that pottery was something I really wanted to do.”

James focused on ceramics at college and for his end of year show used a combination of ceramics and dry ice. “It was challenging but really good! I went on to study ceramics at Cardiff Met University and since I left in 2014 I have combined my day job with creating ceramics and selling them on line and at events.”

When James isn’t busy in his studio he works at The Cambridge Satchel Company in Bicester Village. He said: “I love my day job and I have a lot of involvement in product design at work as well so I am lucky that my two careers are so well aligned.”

Although James has studied ceramics for many years he has taught himself many of the techniques that he uses, and is always looking for ways to create new effects. “I am still amazed by how you can create different colours using combinations of different chemicals. Some things work brilliantly and others don’t, but I still really love having a go and learning new ways of creating the colours. It’s often a brilliant surprise when the things come out of the kiln.”

James will be at The Friends of Fritwell School Christmas Fayre on November 30 and at the Bicester Christmas Market on December 7 with a selection of his products.

You can find out more at www.hobbsceramics.com  follow James on Instagram @hobbsceramics and find him on Facebook  at https://www/facebook.com/hobbsceramics

You can buy direct from James through his Etsy shop at www.hobbsceramics.etsy.com

If you run a small business and would like to be featured on our website as part of our campaign to encourage people to shop locally this Christmas,  please email us bicester@hyperlocaltoday.co.uk