Lewes is a small town with a big personality. A wealth of character and a rich history, the town is well-recognised for its fiercely independent spirit. A thriving hub for creatives and craft-makers alike, it is no wonder Mohamed Hamid chose Lewes as the home for his thriving pottery business when it was first established in 1989.

Mohamed Hamid, The Star Pottery

Star Pottery is much more than initially meets the eye. It is a source of employment for seven residents, it is boosting tourism, tackling mental health and it is a community and support network for the many makers in the town.

Approaching its 30th anniversary, Star Pottery has a lot to celebrate. When walking along Lewes’ cobbled streets past quaint bookshops, tea rooms and antique houses, it is difficult to miss Mohamed’s own work on display as house names and numbers.

Mohamed brings a wealth of experience to his workshop. Having gained a BA Hons in Ceramics at Farnham College, the foundations of a successful career in ceramics was inevitably formed and now Mohamed is described by his students as “a vital part of the local community”

For 35 years Mohamed has specialised in brush decorated, hand-thrown stoneware pottery that is influenced by Islamic Art, Continental Majolica and Dutch Delftware.

Is pottery the new yoga?

Trade in your mat and gym-wear for an apron and modelling tools because pottery is becoming the latest fashion trend.

Potters find their craft therapeutic, inexpensive and the key to expressing emotions practically and safely, allowing for less stress, more peace and a healthier mind.

The Star Pottery is loved within the local community, for providing a safe space for therapeutic art as well as delivering classes that are dedicated to inspiring creativity and individuality in people of all ages, skill-sets and abilities. Gill, a student from a Friday class, said:

“Mohamed has a rare ability to instruct both students who want to take their pottery to a more professional level, as well as being able to encourage real creativity in those who have never had artistic opportunities in their lives.”

Support from Business East Sussex

The Star Pottery was awarded the 100th South East Business Boost Grant (SEBB) which allowed Mohamed to purchase a brand-new kiln that was essential for the continuation of the business.

It was needed to allow Mohamed to meet growing demand and capacity for his popular pottery classes. The new kiln has also enabled Mohamed to deliver a higher volume of products to sell in the on-site gallery, maximising revenue and most importantly, securing the pottery’s future. Mohamed commented on the impact the support has had on his business:

“Without the funding provided, we couldn’t have made this investment. The whole process was easy, and the team extremely helpful with every step of the application process. The new kiln will keep the workshop open to the community for another 20 years!”

As part of the South East Business Boost scheme, Business East Sussex continues to offer comprehensive support programmes, so if you are looking for some help to grow your business, contact us.

 
 
 

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