Florence St George is a mother, a maker and a mentor. Her journey is nothing short of inspiring and her message is clear; for those who need to knead, making - of anything, from pottery to sourdough - can be a true life saver.
1) We adored watching your ceramics work on TV and we follow your videos on instagram. How and when did you start making ceramics?
I started working with clay as therapy. I suffered PND after the birth of my first child. I would sit at home at the kitchen table, the babies asleep, making, building, sculpting. The therapy turned into a hobby which has now turned into business. I feel very lucky.
2) What is it about sculpting clay that you found so therapeutic and healing?
The very nature of having dirty hands, collecting clay from the soil and grounding your body when throwing on the wheel are all healing and meditative processes.
3) Tell us what inspired you to write your book on self help and ceramics?
The book is very much a working title… but it’s happening! I started writing it after the 'Great pottery throw down' was aired two years ago, I was overwhelmed by how many people with depressive disorders contacted me asking how they too could start their pottery journey. I also feel incredibly lucky that during all these lockdowns I was very self contained and sort of ok because I had gone through a feeling of isolation with PND and so to some extent I was oddly prepared.
4) You lead a group of special needs children who use sculpture as a means of expressing themselves. In what way does the experience help them and how does it immerse them in nature?
The beauty of clay is that the possibilities are endless and watching the kids at the sheltered workshop on the wheel is such a lesson to us as teachers, they are totally unconcerned with the outcome of what they will make. They are satisfied to be in the moment with the clay, nowhere else- that’s inspiring. We also collect and forage for a terracotta clay on the island- which is an adventure in itself.
5) Do you find the inspiration behind your work differs between your two studios in The Bahamas and the UK?
Definitely. The pieces I make in the UK are much more subdued and muted, in the Bahamas my work is colourful and vibrant- but the two contrast and complement each other surprisingly well.
6) Your family do a lot to support the community in the Bahamas, including helping after the terrible hurricane in 2019. Are you working on any fundraising or community projects right now we can help spread the word on?
We do, I am also currently getting involved with an organisation in the UK called Pandas https://pandasfoundation.org.uk which helps to support women and their families who have been affected by PND.
7) Your average day of juggling your young family, community work and running your own business must be full to the brim, how do you ensure you still carve time out for you?
I get so much from my children, they are at an age where it feels very easy time with them feels like ‘me’ time… yes I’m full to the brim but honestly it’s full of love and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
8) When we can finally hop on a plane to The Bahamas where would you recommend we see?
Eleuthera is just magical- head to the secluded hotel called ’the other side’ or hop over to Harbour island for a more buzzy experience.