About Circle Studio and me by Barbara Collins

I have always loved to make things…

As a child I was always involved in some creative pursuit. I loved to make jewellery using wire and beads or to spend time drawing and thinking about my favourite colours.One of my first jobs as a teenager was working in a craft shop – an Aladdin’s cave of treasures with which to conjure up beautiful things.I also attended a Rudolf Steiner school and had the opportunity of working in many craft disciplines.

On leaving school I went to Art College where I did an Art foundation course , then took my degree in 3D Design working in wood, metal, ceramics and plastics.I had always wanted to be a jeweller but it soon became clear that ceramics would be my main subject.Whatever the material I worked in it was always the surface textures and patterns that attracted me and that has been an on-going theme in my work ever since.

On leaving college the positive response I had got at my degree show encouraged me to set up a studio and I soon began to sell my work with help from a Crafts Council grant. Over the next few years I worked at three different artists studios which was very supportive and great for networking. I was well recognized in the craft world showing my work in London , nationwide and selling abroad.

However I always felt that this was a somewhat self-indulgent lifestyle working just for myself so I was very pleased to start teaching at the age of 30 and to feel that I was giving something back…I worked in further education, adult education, schools and with disabled people over the next few years and began to see how much people benefited from working with clay.I also began teaching from my own space at this time .

Clay has so many possibilities and is a very relaxing and grounding material to work with. Everyone can find an area that excites and inspires them and self-expression is a fundamental need that we all have and which does not always get met in our busy lives.

In 2001 I was very fortunate to be able to purchase Circle Studio This’ miracle’ was not a possibility I had ever anticipated and was thanks to a surprise inheritance from my ‘fairy’ godmother! It is the perfect working space for me doubling as my personal studio and a quiet and intimate space in which others can relax and de-stress whilst exploring their creativity.

I work with small groups and individuals so I am able to give as much help as is required. Once you have begun a course at Circle Studio you can continue for as long as you like! Some people come for a few weeks, some for a few years… everyone’s personal journey is different but the space is open for you as long as you need it.

This document contains information about Circle Studio.