Our love for Fenella Smith started with a dog bowl – a sweet little dog bowl with a labrador drawing in the middle. Our beloved dog, Marlowe, would eat out of the bowl every day at it would be ever present on our kitchen floor. We didn’t know much else about Fenella Smith until we went in search of the bowl online to give as a present to another labrador lover. When we discovered all of the other gorgeous wares we have become loyal fans.
We had the pleasure of spending the day with Fenella at her beautiful home learning about the company and her love for flamingos, Bake Off and labradors.
What’s the story of the labrador bowl?
When I started my pottery, everything was quite minimal with muted flower designs. One day I decided Bramble (our much loved lab) ought to have a dog bowl and so asked my brother Greg to draw a picture of her. I had so many compliments on it I had an inkling that perhaps the combination of my product design aesthetic and Greg’s illustrative style might be worth exploring.
We love the collaboration between you and John Waite from Bake Off fame.
The entirely divine John and I met a few years ago and found we had a similar aesthetic in life. He asked me to create him a range for his cookery school. We started with a beautiful navy blue and gold range of mixing bowl, nested bowls and useful jug all hand decorated in our factory in Portugal. It was such a hit that we have now added this dusky pink to the collection.
Where do your design inspirations come from?
Some of the idea development is based on trend and what is selling well for us and then some is based on intuition and imagination. The Ostrich for example was born out of an evening spent with Greg at my house (he makes a fine cocktail) and I said I thought an Ostrich would be lovely. We then had a ridiculous discussion around how Greg thought they looked rather mean and was fairly sure they would peck your eyes out and I said that I had an entirely different view of them, that I always feel like they are part of a 20s decadent chorus line. Greg then drew a picture of our lovely lady Ostrich and she was just perfect.