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Bringing a “touch of magic” to everyday life during lockdown

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Published on 27 April 2020

Graduate Helen Gallagher-Logan
Graduate Helen Gallagher-Logan

Helen Gallagher-Logan, 30, is the founder of Mucky Paws Ceramics in Gateshead, and graduated from the University of Sunderland last summer with a degree in Glass and Ceramics.

“Mucky Paws Ceramics focuses on wheel-thrown ceramics, largely mugs and cups,” says Helen. “I think that handmade items can really elevate an experience and bring a touch of magic to your everyday.

“Most of my online sales are through the community I’ve built on Instagram and most pieces are sent across Europe, but I’ve also sold work to customers in the USA, Canada and even Japan.

"Whilst the current lockdown is obviously incredibly difficult I feel quite lucky in that it hasn’t impacted me a huge amount, though I do miss long walks in the countryside and trips to the coast. My studio is at home so I’m still able to produce work, but all sales are online now because of events being cancelled. I’m working on a range of drinking vessels which I’m hoping will provide comfort in these strange times.”

Helen boosted her professional practice while at University with a DOSH (Development Office Scholarship) award. The Mike Davies Innovation Scholarship supports students studying Glass or Ceramics.

Monday April 27 to Friday May 1 is Online Applicant Experience Week at the University of Sunderland. This is your chance to get a taste of life at the University from the comfort of your own home. Find out more our courses, talk to current students and staff, and discover everything you need to know about university life, from finance, to careers support, to wellbeing. Click HERE to find out more.

Helen used her scholarship to travel to the Orkney Isles. Orkney is a marked World Heritage Site and is thought to be where Grooved Ware pottery was developed around 5,000 years ago.

Helen says: “The trip I took to Orkney on my scholarship was absolutely amazing and I was able to experience so much in the week I was there, from the ancient settlements to the stunning coastlines and the beautiful towns.

“It’s an experience that will stay with me forever. I think that the biggest impact it had on my work was simply giving me the confidence to forge ahead. Once I’d graduated I had to make big decisions about my future and I’ve been creating and selling my work full time since!

“It’s been a crazy experience and I’m so grateful to be able to pay the bills whilst doing something that I love. “Students should take every opportunity they can. Apply for that commission or these brilliant scholarships, because you just don’t know if you don’t try.”

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