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‘Eclectic city folk’ the ideal customers for pottery firm
Buy this photo » Katie Coston of Illyria Pottery with some of the ceramics she has made herself
Artists often thrive with space in which to work and exhibit, and Katie Coston has managed to combine both in her new base in Jericho.
Mrs Coston, along with husband Micah, has set up Illyria Pottery in the former Port Meadow Designs store in bustling Walton Street.
There she will create her handmade pieces in the basement studio, from where they will be brought upstairs for sale to the general public.
And she will also be offering courses on the art of creating pottery.
The business moved from its roots in Carolina in the United States when the couple moved to Oxford a year ago. Mr Coston, who is an academic studying in Oxford, explained: “Katie was very successful and when we moved here we decided to look for a shop.
“We were particularly drawn to Jericho as it seemed very suitable for her work.”
The couple have spent about £50,000 transforming the shop into the bespoke studio and showroom in a bid to make the most of the space available.
It will allow Mrs Coston, who has an MA degree in three-dimensional studio art to make the most of her natural creativity.
She said: “The medium is my inspiration. You can make almost anything from clay.”
Mrs Coston hopes to appeal to a wide variety of people, from those wanting functional crockery such as cups and teapots with a twist, to fine art ceramics that can be hung on a wall.
She believes Oxford is an ideal location for the business as it will appeal to the city’s eclectic population of students, academics and those looking for something different.
She said: “The people here will understand what I am doing.
“People can really appreciate lovely things for everyday life.”
Prices range from about £10 to thousands of pounds.
As well as pottery, Mrs Coston also designs and makes jewellery.
Mr Coston said: “We brought some of the jewellery over from the States as it was transportable but most of the material has been produced here in Oxford.
“Our slogan is ‘handmade here’, which sums it up.”
A lot of work has also been put into marketing the business, with thousands of flyers distributed locally, while the couple have also been raising awareness on social media.
Now they are putting together the finishing touches for their grand opening tomorrow evening from 6pm to 10pm.
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