Meet the Maker: Etaoin O'Reilly
Etaoin O’Reilly studied in the National College of Art and Design, where she got a fist class honours in Craft Design. She then continued her training with the DCCI Ceramic Design Course, where she was trained under Gus Mableson, Geoffrey Healy, Karen Morgan and Klaus Hartman in production pottery. She then started up her own brand Etaoin O’Reilly Ceramics, where she is based in Dundalk.
What’s a typical day in the studio like for you?
I would first check my emails and orders and make a plan for what I have to make for that day. I then would weigh and prep the clay and being to throw on the wheel. When the pieces I made have dried a bit, I then decorate and handle the piece.
Then it will go into the kiln for its first firing. The piece can be in the kiln to up to 12hrs. Then I would get the piece out of the kiln and I glaze it and it goes back in for another 12hr firing, which is its final firing. As I am a one woman show, I then do my quality check and package the pieces and ship them out.
Ceramics is a long process, and you have to let the clay tell you when it is ready to be handled, or decorated, or put in the kiln.
What do you like most about your work?
Designing new pieces, I love researching and sketching up new pieces. I think that is why I love working on commissions, because I get to do research and create something new.
What do you like least about your work?
Not having enough time. Ceramics is a long process, and you have to let the clay tell you when it is ready to be handled, or decorated, or put in the kiln. So, there is just not enough hours in the day, to get done what I want to.
What’s your favourite time of the day?
When I get to sit down and throw because it’s my switch off.
What advice would you give someone who is considering this craft career?
Listen and respect craftsmen that have been in the game for a long time. They have been through it all, and by listening to them you could save yourself from making mistakes.
How do you switch off?