Tallie Maughan, social entrepreneur and ceramic enthusiast, has just raised over £8,000 in less than 48 hours via Crowdfunder.co.uk to buy equipment for the Turning Earth Ceramics Studio, due open in November this year.
Although the UK is famous for ceramic arts, it is fast becoming a dying craft here due to lack of funds and high fees. Turning Earth will provide an affordably priced, easy access studio for potters across London.
Turning Earth will open in two large railway arches in Haggerston and provide an open-access studio for part-time potters in Hackney on a membership fee basis – a ground breaking initiative for the UK. Previously seen in the States, this model provides shared facilities in a similar way to a gym.
Tallie will open the studio with master craftsman, Stuart Carey, who has lead classes for Royal College of Art and Central St Martins. The pair took to Crowdfunder.co.uk in the hope of raising £8,000, they managed to reach this target in less than 48 hours and have currently raised £10,295 with 37 days of the campaign left.
On Wednesday 26 June, Tallie and Stuart held an open evening at a studio location, based next door to the proposed site, where they provided laptops with which some 250 guests could place their pledges on the project. This innovative approach allowed the project to reach the 8k target in a matter of hours.
Tallie Maughan said: “Crowdfunding is a great way of engaging a community directly in a product you are developing, and getting them behind it. For us, its primary role is as proof of concept for other funders, as it allows us to show definitively that we have a market.
“The launch event was one of the best nights of my life so far and everyone keeps commenting on how there was this incredibly warm atmosphere, as though you could talk to anyone.”
Turning Earth will work on a monthly fee basis between £100 and £155 a month. This will provide members with 15 hours a week access to the studio as well as equipment, storage, advice and mentoring from the trained staff.
Turning Earth is a social enterprise structured as a for-profit limited company. This means they have a social mission and a commitment to reinvesting profits to continue to meet the needs of their users. Their primary social aim is to expand inclusion in the ceramic arts.
To make your pledge visit: http://crowdfunder.co.uk/