Handmade and Hot: heyday design

We spotted heyday designs at our first trade show back in 2010 and have been big fans ever since… Have a read of the interview below and find out more about one of Vancouvers best designer/makers.

Who are you and where is your workshop/store?

My name is Claire Madill and I am the ceramics designer/maker behind heyday design. I work out of my studio in the Mergatroid building, a vibrant and busy hub of full-time furniture designers/makers, painters, ceramics artists, textile artists and more!

How and why did you start your business

I knew when I was in school that my goal was to start my own business and create in my studio full-time.  I got lucky with the studio straight out of school — usually a pretty big obstacle, especially for ceramics artists needing a kiln to use.  I’m a pretty self-motivated person and thought that I had the drive and creative tendencies to make a job for myself — I’ve never seen myself working seriously for anyone else.

Why do you hand make your products? What do you get out of it?

Confession time: I’m kind of a control-freak, so I love being able to make whatever I want!   And if I envision something, I love being able to make it happen exactly to my own high standards.

How long does it take to make your pieces?

Hmmmm, that’s kind of tough to answer, actually.  There are so many stages to the making process in ceramics!  The absolute fastest would be one of my cast objects, like a porcelain vintage jar,  can go from initial making to final firing through to sanding is about 7 days, but that would definitely be pushing it.  However, I wouldn’t just have one finished piece in that time, I’d have a kiln-load of work.  My jewellery definitely takes longer, about two weeks (especially if there is a third firing for the lustre — and who doesn’t like a little splash of platinum or gold every once in a while :)

What is your studio/work space like? 

I have about 100 square feet that is part of a larger space I share with 4 other ceramic artists.  Each big new work challenge brings about a need to upgrade the efficiency of my space — basically, I have packed a lot of organization and production into my space, including: a huge casting table, three massive steel shelving units, two filing cabinets and a desk!  There is a shared upstairs where I can make my molds (slash create plaster-disasters), store my raw materials and where we share a computerized kiln and a spraybooth.

What new products do you have in mind for 2012? 

I just made a new series of porcelain baskets that I really love — and I’ve found some more pieces to add to the series that I can’t wait to make after I return from the One of a Kind Show in Toronto.  Also, I’ve expanded my new line of triangle earrings — I can’t get enough of them (I wear the white ones every day!)

How would you like your collection to grow? And where else would you like to see it sold?

I’m excited to make some more lighting prototypes and explore that avenue a bit more;  also, I’d like to focus more on getting my jewellery further out into the world — I would ultimately love it to be sold in the MOMA giftshop.

What is the best thing about what you do?

Almost every coat I own has a different favourite brooch of mine on it — I love making my own style and showing it wherever I go :)


Thanks for answering our questions Claire, good luck at OOAK!
xx Gwyn & Tamra