Featured Seller: The Little White Box

Renee Coombe has a favourite mug. It’s just the right weight, sits nicely in her hand and, most importantly, holds a generous amount (because really, who has time to go back and refill in the morning?). Painted by Renee’s god-daughter Sarah, it makes her morning cup of tea something extra special.

The Little White Box was an idea born from that very cup of tea. The fear that one day I could lose or break my mug made me set about creating the ‘country mug’ and progressively more ideas brewed (mind the pun) from that.”

Ceramic Doily Heart by The Little White Box

What do you make?
Ceramics – from cups and saucers, mugs and teapots to ceramic bunting and ornaments.

How did you get into your craft?
A truly inspiring art teacher. She would teach, travel the world in holidays and share her experiences with young minds so I never doubted once that I was going to be an art teacher. With the birth of my son I realized that it was time for me to get back to ‘making’. So I threw in my Head of Department job in London and made the move home. With the help of my husband we converted an old stables into a studio and The Little White Box was born.

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
I have a Bachelor of Creative Industries and Bachelor of Education.

Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
Slip casting plays an important role in my work but this year I’m revisiting working with slabs and hump/slump molds. I’m letting go of the reins and moving towards more bespoke one-off pieces.

Ceramic Snowflake Angel Decoration by The Little White Box

gallery

What inspires you?
Inspired by the great Victorian potters of Stoke-on-Trent, I got caught up in the romantic notion of handmade craftsmanship and set about making functional ceramic tableware. With that came ceramic ornaments and little pieces that make beautiful additions to any home.

Is there a philosophy behind your work?
My work is forever changing, so it’s more about different techniques that I love to explore. If there was a philosophy behind my work it is more about a love of handmade. Craft makes our homes more human and it speaks of concentration and love with which the object was made. What I love most about ‘handmade’ is that it carries the imprint of the hands that made it.

"What I love most about handmade is that it carries the imprint of the hands that made it." – Renee Coombe, The Little White Box

Describe your workspace:
‘The Pit’ – as my husband has aptly named it! – is my office space that I share with my four year old. My studio is the total opposite and everything has a place and bench space is kept clean. It has to, as dust sometimes causes havoc with some of my processes.

The Little White Box studio

Your favourite feedback from a customer:
The beauty of creating ceramic ornaments is that you create pieces for weddings, for births, for holidays – especially Christmas so I get to share special moments in people’s lives.

The most memorable feedback I’ve received is a job I did for a university who sent Red Heart teacups and saucers filled with goodies for their staff in Christchurch. I was forwarded about 25 anonymous thank yous – here are two of my favourites:

“Many thanks for the lovely package I received today. It will be my special tea cup and much used as we lost many of our contents in our home through breakage and damage from the recent earthquake. I am so lucky to have a home that is still intact, but don’t have the time nor energy to replace our items. Your thoughtfulness is much appreciated.”

“Hi – just having a cup of tea from a cup with a saucer – a rare experience these days – many thanks for the gifts and thoughts.”

Red Heart teacups and saucers awaiting firing

Red Heart teacup, saucer and teapot by The Little White Box

A favourite quote:
This one is about to make an appearance in my work:
Inside us all
Patiently waiting
Is an Adventure

Do you have any pets?
Charlie, our two year old black lab x border collie and four Brown Shaver hens: Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Cardamon and Ginger

What was the last handmade item you bought?
I’m a regular at Crafternoon Tea in Kingsland selling my wares but I end up buying just as much. I have to mention all my purchases last visit as I was going to Oz for my brother’s wedding: The Little Card Factory “When your world turns upside down – it’s good to have someone with you” card, a ‘Lopsy Bunny’ print from Ella Quaint, ‘The Fabulous Mr Fox’ grey purse from Alex O & Co and Cowboys Golden Book bunting from Absolutely Alice – (all presents for nieces and nephews!).

Red Ceramic Love Bird Ornaments Decorations by The Little White Box

Renee is generously giving away a set of her beautiful Love Bird ornaments to one lucky Felt customer! Leave a comment below and you’ll be entered into the draw to win these gorgeous decorations. The winner will be drawn on Friday 12 April. The draw is open to New Zealand residents only.

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132 Responses to “Featured Seller: The Little White Box”

  1. Jenny W says:

    what gorgeous wee birds!

  2. Sarah says:

    I LOVE this stuff! I love tea cups and tiered cupcake holders and those little love birds would make a wonderful present for my friends who are getting married. I think I need a separate budget for Felt purchases! Your products are just lovely :).

  3. Michelle says:

    Beautiful pieces of work you create. These love birds are so cute, would make excellent decorations on my christmas tree.

  4. Louise says:

    What amazing creativity, I love your work!

  5. Sarah says:

    Sat down to read this with my a cup of tea in my favourite cup…but having looked at your stunning work I fear it needs updating to a newer model – definately with a saucer!
    A great behind the scenes interview, thanks for sharing.

  6. Jess says:

    Ooooh, I love your work (and would love to win the gorgeous lovebirds)!

  7. Lisa Lewis says:

    I really love your work, and I’m hoping you might make it back down to The Little Big Markets in Mount Maunganui again sometime soon. Thank you for the chance to win your beautiful love birds. My fingers are crossed.

  8. Dawn says:

    Such beautiful work xx

  9. Trina says:

    A matching pair.just gorgeous!

  10. pippa says:

    To cute! Can see them welcoming me home already

  11. Anne says:

    Wow, it’s amazing the inspiration you have had in your past and now you are inspiring people through your craft! What a perfect way to be!!

  12. Donna says:

    Precious, just like true love birds! Keep up the great work :)

  13. Jo Parker says:

    I love your stuff – I have bought a heart Christmas ornament to send to my daughter in the states from Crafternoon Tea

  14. Stacey Collings says:

    Love your work! You are very talented!

  15. Ashna Storey says:

    Just so perfect and inviting.

  16. Michelle Flower says:

    I love having birds around, they symbolise freedom and the ability to reach new heights. Thank you for the opportunity to win these, your work is stunning beautiful.

  17. Des says:

    love your work – I have a dot mug set that I just adore.

  18. Lindsay says:

    I bought one your of lovely birds as a house warming gift for my friend in oz and she loved it. Hope I can win a set too. Your work is lovely

  19. Kerry says:

    Beautiful. Would make a wonderful engagement present. As a keepsake, I would put the couples name and relevant dates on the back of them.

  20. Phillipa B says:

    Love your little ceramic tags, they could give multitude of items a fancy up to make them something extra special!

  21. Natalia says:

    Wow love the embossed heart, really gorgeous. Birds are sweet too. Lots of lovely stuff…off to check out shop now!

  22. Sarah Tuck says:

    Beautiul!

  23. Gabby says:

    Your work is beautiful!

  24. Debbie Butler says:

    What a talented lady. Just love what you have done

  25. Alyssa Hart says:

    I love your products. Amazing!

  26. Zena Brett says:

    Your creative pieces are truly adorable, and ooze the love you have in creating them with such delicacy and detail. Great work.

  27. Laura says:

    Such a talented lady – love the tea pot!

  28. rachelle says:

    I too have a fav cup and no matter how hard i try to find one that will equal its greatness lightness big handle funky colours nothing compares. id love my trusty fav to be recycled if there came a time.

  29. Always so inspiring… thanks for sharing your story. x

  30. deborah says:

    What lovely fresh looking ceramics, would love to drink a cup of tea in the heart cup and saucer!

    My son and I are big tea drinkers, I was brought up in the UK and when its my sons turn to make the tea I say to him “Put the Kettle on Chuck”.

  31. Tash says:

    Perfect one for her birthday then 2 days later one for mothers day plus extra of course.

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