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    • Hedgerow vase workshops

      Make your own botanical porcelain vase. 1.5 hour sessions This workshop is absolutely perfect for beginners and guidance will be given throughout the workshop. 🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿 The workshops will be held at: Sparrows Nest Ceramics Home Studio Treskerby Redruth You will make a slab porcelain (white clay) vase with imprinted flowers and hedgerow finds, you will then apply oxide (blue or green). After the workshop I shall take your vase back to my studio where it will be fired, and transparent glaze applied inside your vase should you wish for it to be able to hold water, it will then receive a second firing. Your vases will be available for collection from my studio or arrangements can be made to post at an additional cost. The cost of the session is £30. A deposit of £10 is due at time of booking and remaining balance due on the day. To book please email Carafitzmaurice@icloud.com Or call 07772492544 PM on Instagram @sparrows_nest_ceramics Or Message on FB

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    Blog Posts (3)
    • DYING TO LIVE - FREEDOM SEEKING

      I’m Cara Fitzmaurice of Sparrows Nest Ceramics. I live in West Cornwall and work from my home studio. My work inspired by the natural world around me, it encompasses my passion of the local landscape and seascape; to share this joy with you brings me much happiness. My work is all hand formed, it’s free forming and open, I believe there is nothing more authentic than hand formed ceramics where imperfections connect the product to the makers, creating an organic and unique look.  Many of my pieces are made using primitive techniques such as raku techniques of smoke firing, surface marking with natural materials and saggar. January 2020 saw me leave my career in nursing after 22 years. In this time I have worked in areas from accident and emergency, public health, health visiting, practice nursing and leadership and management and safeguarding children. I now work full time as a ceramist in Cornwall, making bespoke one off’s, small batch and teaching workshops and I truly couldn’t be more content and fulfilled. I wanted to share my journey and my top tips for those of you seeking to live an authentic, freer and creative life. About 5 years ago I became very poorly, I had to slow and focus on my wellbeing. Following a conversation with another ex nurse, l reflected on my time in my first job in A&E, I certainly learnt many lessons there that’s for sure, but surely the most important lesson was how valuable and precious life is; at any given moment it can be taken away from us; no warning; no chance to make amends; to change direction or to do something you have always wanted too. I always reflected on a patients death and wondered if they had a good life, whether they were loved and whether they had regrets and were their happy with the life they had had. Obviously, I will never know, but this triggered me recalling a piece of research by Bronnie Ware a palliative care nurse and author from Australia. The focus was learning from the dying of their regrets in life. Her top 5 findings were: 1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. 2. I wish I’d not worked so hard. 3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. 4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. 5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. In that moment I knew something had to change, I realised my career and continuing education was my identity, that I was trapped in a world I didn’t belong in, I lived for the weekends; annual leave would frequently be spent poorly as I decompressed from the stress and mental and physical exhaustion that came with the job. I wanted a change in career, but doing what? I knew another public service jobs would have similar issues, I was then heading for 40 and after pretty much my whole career also spent studying at university I really didn’t want to train anymore. I wanted a job that didn’t feel like a job, that felt gentle and nourishing to my body, mind and soul, that felt authentic to me, that allowed me flexibility in life. I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do…but I knew where I would start. I painted, something I hadn’t done since school. I painted women with long necks holding birds, I like to reflect now that these ladies represented me, the long necks with trying to keep my neck above water, to stand tall and to catch sight of the horizon and of new beginnings. The birds as a sign of freedom, of taking flight and singing my hearts desires. I enrolled on endless workshops and courses in the hope I would find ‘my thing’ until one wet and windy evening on 18th January 2017 I walked into a pottery class, picked up some clay and it was love at first sight. At this time I was still working full time as a nurse and still poorly. I still couldn’t see a way out, my mind was bombarded with endless practical questions such as how I would be able to manage a career change financially as I was in a well paid role. I didn’t have the how’s but I did have the wants, so I wrote a list, which I still keep to this day: April 2017 1) Start a pottery business 2) To make a studio for my crafts 3) Work less hours for an employer 4) To earn money from being creative 5) To continue to be able to financially support myself 6) To be less anxious and stressed 7) To be with nature more January, I spent sorting out my studio, and getting my website up and running. February I designed and created. March brought with it a pandemic (errr I hadn’t planned for that…), I wasn’t sure what I should do, was it wrong to keep creating and being positive in this time? I decided to keep going and bring others joy through my making and my work. My community on social media grew, we found strength in supporting each other through positivity and my business blossomed. As we near the end of 2020, I reflect on those 5 regrets of the dying and on my list to the universe and you know what? I think I’m doing pretty well! My top tips for those wishing to be living a life of freedom and creativity are: 1) Write down want you want, don’t hold back, jot it all down and don’t worry about any detail of the how’s. 2) Trust and believe that this will all happen 3) Meditate get to know you again. I also found revisiting my teenage self a useful exercise. What would they make of your life? What would they be surprised at or sad about? What would they say to you? Teenagers don’t often hold back, so be prepared for some home truths! 4) Core values. A quick google of ‘core values’ will provide you with a list if you can’t reel any off straight away. Think of 3-5 that are really important to you as a person and in life. Think about how you can live in better alignment with them. 5) Practice gratitude, seriously, really do this. The more we are truly thankful for what have the less we need and want. 6) Conscious simple living. Mindful thinking about what we buy and its impact. I use to treat myself with purchases to reward myself for my hard work. So technically I was burning myself out so I could buy myself a bag to reward myself for working hard in a job I didn’t want to do and for a bag I didn’t really want. 7) Connect with other creatives, find your tribe, spend time with people who will lift you up and cheerlead you. 8) Be open for opportunities 9) Recognise areas where you are time poor. For example, I worked long hours so would spend more on shopping as I didn’t have the time to meal plan, this would also then mean we had several extra little trips to the supermarket in the week to get things. We worked out we almost doubled our current shopping bill due to lack of planning. We also shamefully threw lots of food (money) away at the end of the week. Also consider things you buy to throw away, toilet rolls, sanitary products, bin bags are there cheaper versions or eco versions that will ultimately save you money and your impact on the Earth? As you find these areas in your life, you will see opportunities for saving on spending which ultimately means less hours needing to work for an employer and more time being free to live the life you wish. 10) Work out the minimum amount of money you need to pay your bills and food. “Life is wild and glorious and hard and beautiful. We Freedom Seekers must keep choosing freedom with every decision, every detail, every dollar, every day. Because its the experience of it all that adds up to a beautiful life.” – Beth Kempton. Follow me on Instagram Shop here and find out more

    • Ideas For Handmade Christmas Gifts

      I love the feeling when someone gives me a gift that is handmade, I know then they saw the item and straight away thought of me, handmade allows me to connect with the maker and the process through the item. I also know that I am not the only one benefitting from this gift; that the maker and their family are too. The joy I feel is the same joy the maker feels when they sell the item. As a maker myself I still get so excited when I make a sale. I still refer to my orders as presents when I wrap them to go on their way! It's just the excitement and the love that has gone into each item and can't wait to share that feeling with someone else. I thought I would share with you some of my current favourite makers and also share some of my Christmas range with you. www.sparrowsnestceramics.com https://www.instagram.com/sparrows_nest_ceramics/ Of Land and Sea Handmade recycled silver jewellery. Inspired by nature, lore and life in the Southwest of England https://www.instagram.com/oflandandseastudio/ www.oflandandsea.com Helen Round Designs Hand printed linen products, Cornwall. https://www.instagram.com/helenrounddesigns/ www.helenround.com Lou Tonkin Artist Print-maker, Cornwall https://www.instagram.com/loutonkin/ www.loutonkin.com Kettle and Birch Hand-bound Journals and Books, London https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/KETTLEandBIRCH Old Green Furnishings Handmade Candles poured into repurposed glass bottles, South West England. www.oldgreen.co.uk The Whispering Wild Sculptor, illustrator, writer, Fairytale Maker www.thewhisperingwild.co.uk Hope you appreciate the talent of the makers I have shared, some of the products are just so beautiful. I have loved preparing my Christmas range this year. I hope you enjoy them as much too. Hand formed ceramics, Cornwall. Christmas range includes luxury mug, tea light holder, candle holders, match striker/holder, tree decorations, and other seasonal pieces. https://www.instagram.com/sparrows_nest_ceramics/ www.sparrowsnestceramics.com

    • Gardening is good for the soul

      Cara Fitzmaurice ‘To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow’ Audrey Hepburn I often dream of having my own secret garden, a walled garden with a green wooden door with the heaviest rustiest old hinges and latch. The walls lined with rambling roses their scent filling the air, old wise apple and pear trees taking main stage, with plum and greengages close behind. A big old wheelbarrow parked up full of produce from the vegetable patch. Birdsong the and the warm hum of busy bees providing me with a pleasant and inviting soundtrack. I’ve always had a fascination with the garden, I think of times gone by, of summers spent in my papas garden, watching him potter about in the vegetable patch, the petrol lawnmower chugging left to right; right to left (with at least one line straying off at the wrong angle!). My garden I like to refer to as a ‘natural’ garden, don’t get me wrong we have to put in time and effort, but we have planted many native English garden plants, flowers and trees, we don’t tend to get too involved after planting (mainly as we don’t always have the time to do so), but nature does its magic and most things thrive and are now well established. We try to leave it as natural as possible to allow the wildlife to thrive too, we avoid pesticides and welcome the bugs and birdies. I don’t know about you, but I do find I can lose myself in just ‘being’ when I’m in the garden, I drift just watching and listening to its life. I love nothing more than sitting out with a tea and quietly and respectfully being present. I am grateful I have an outdoor space, I recognise this isn’t something everyone has. But equally just being out in a park or even on a walk you can connect in that same way. I am noticing more and more friends are creating outdoor spaces by renting allotments. Lockdown has proven to me along with many others to have been a time when people have not only reconnected to nature but also realised that they are actually indeed part of it. What I am finding is that everyone I speak to about spending time in their gardens or allotments, whether they have been doing the hard groundwork stuff, or much lighter gardening or simply being in a garden or outdoor space says things that indicate it’s great for them in so many ways. Ways such as helping with positive mental health, helping with fitness and lifestyle, connecting with others and generally being good for the soul. So maybe gardening isn’t just about nurturing other living organisms but maybe it’s also about nurturing you

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    • About | mysite

      MY STORY & PHILOSOPHY I'm Cara Fitzmaurice, I live in Cornwall, a rural county in the Southwest of the UK. My studio is located at my home, which also happens to be the home of several sparrow families who return to nest every year, hence my homes name 'Sparrows Nest'. ​ In a world of mass produced objects I create space for unique, handformed pieces that are made with love and inspiration from the natural world. We are eco aware and strive to make our home and business as sustainable as possible. Our home and studio is run with solar power, we recycle our clay, we harvest rainwater to use in the studio, we scavenge and find used packaging and have built a relationship with a local organisation and reuse their waste packaging to send out our orders in, so although you may find your parcel comes say with something like bubblewrap, it will always have been rescued from going to landfill. Any of our local deliveries and trips to the post office will be made by our electric car. ​ My work is free forming and open, I believe there is nothing more authentic than handmade pieces where imperfections connect the product to the makers, creating an organic and unique look. Many of my pieces are made using primitive techniques such as raku techniques of smoke firing, saggar and surface marking with natural materials that I forage locally such as seedheads and seaweed. I am inspired my the natural world around me here in West Cornwall, whether that's the earthy heathlands, the enchanting woodlands, the calm south coast or rugged north coast. ​ I have followed by heart to live a life that allows me freedom to live gently and to express my creativity, in January 2020 I left my career in nursing after 22 years to run Sparrows Nest Ceramics. Each of my pieces are made with love and gratitude, I hope the joy I have in making them translates to my customers. ​ I offer beginners courses in handbuilding, raku experiences and workshops. I also offer small batch items such as soapdishes, bowls, salt and pepper sets.

    • Pottery Courses | mysite

      Handbuilding Pottery Course Purchase Course - 6 weeks pottery hand building course. ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS ​ ‘I enjoyed the hedgerow vase workshop so much that I signed up for a 6 week hand building beginners course. Its allowed me to express my ideas’ ​ ‘Cara was so supportive, enthusiastic, a calm and inspirational tutor, she helped me feel confident about my pieces, I don’t feel I’m creative but Cara has helped me realise I am’ ​ ‘I enjoyed the calmness of the workshop, so laid back its a great environment to learn new skills, I intend to start another course’ ​ By providing the learning in a home studio environment I create a relaxed and informal approach to learning and exploring your creativity. ​ All my classes are purely for hand building, using techniques such as coiling, pinching, slab and moulds. Over 6 weeks you will learn the basic skills from making, decorating to firing. You will leave the course with some lovely creations handmade by you and a new set of skills. ​ You can purchase a set of 6 weeks from my web shop, or arrangements can be made to pay in instalments. Please make contact to discuss a suitable days/time for your sessions. The courses are held in Treskerby, Redruth Cornwall. Continuing your learning: Many students will continue to with a further 6 week course to build on the skills they have developed, other will want to dip in and out of workshops/course sessions. Stay in touch will upcoming events through my newsletters. ​ ​ Peaceful, Calm Space Beautiful Hare Sculpture made by a beginner Studio Student Course Work In Progress 1/13 Student Course Work In Progress Adding Leaf Detail to Hand Built Bowl COUPLES SESSION / PRIVATE SESSIONS Please contact to discuss further RAKU EXPERIENCE I will also be hosting several Raku experiences. This will run over two days (approx a week apart to allow for first firing).

    • Store Policy | mysite

      CUSTOMER CARE I’m a customer care section. I’m a great place to write a long text about your company and your services, and, most importantly, how to contact your store with queries. Writing a detailed Customer Care policy is a great way to build trust and reassure your customers that they can buy with confidence. I'm the second paragraph in your customer care section. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It’s easy. Just click “Edit Text” or double click me to add details about your policy and make changes to the font. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you. PRIVACY & SAFETY I’m a Privacy & Safety policy section. I’m a great place to inform your customers about how you use, store, and protect their personal information. Add details such as how you use third-party banking to verify payment, the way you collect data or when will you contact users after their purchase was completed successfully. ​ I'm the second paragraph in your privacy & safety policy. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It’s easy. Just click “Edit Text” or double click me to add details about your policy and make changes to the font. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you. WHOLESALE INQUIRIES I’m a wholesale inquiries section. I’m a great place to inform other retailers about how they can sell your stunning products. Use plain language and give as much information as possible in order to promote your business and take it to the next level! ​ I'm the second paragraph in your wholesale inquiries policy. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It’s easy. Just click “Edit Text” or double click me to add details about your policy and make changes to the font. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you. PAYMENT METHODS - Credit / Debit Cards - PAYPAL - Offline Payments

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Sparrows Nest Ceramics

A:  Sparrows Nest, Trelawney Avenue,Treskerby, Redruth

Cornwall TR15 1RH

T:   07772492544

E:  carafitzmaurice@icloud.com

Do stay in touch, you can do that by following me on instagram or Facebook. 

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Cara

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© 2020 by Sparrows Nest Ceramics. Proudly created with Wix.com

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