A story with Karl Greene
We spoke to Karl Greene, Suffolk pottery maker and pottery teacher. We stock a range of his items in our home department.
May 16, 2022

karl greene   Pottery

This month we spoke to Karl Greene, you’ll notice his pottery in our home department, we spoke to him about how the business began, future plans and the uniqueness of his products. 

What’s your story? How did your business start? 

I started potting when I was in my teens doing A levels. There was a studio at Boston College in Lincolnshire that no one else used except me and the hairdressers. I got hooked and carried it on as part of my teacher training degree. I started taking it more seriously as a venture in 2001. Until recently, teaching pottery was my main source of income. Now production is starting to take over more and more.

How many people are in your team?

There have always been people who seem to have been sent to help me along the way. Like friend’s teenage children helping with processing reclaim clay, adult friends learning glaze mixing and throwing skills, in exchange for cleaning time. I currently have someone I am hoping to train up in all aspects of ceramics. It’s mainly me though, but I love to share my knowledge. 

What makes KGreen pottery a cool place to work?

I enjoy sharing my love of clay and I get a real buzz off being with people, especially during lessons. Sometimes working on your own most of the time can be a bit lonely, but I enjoy my own company. I also love helping people and am often asked lots of questions by people. 

What’s next for your business?

I want to continue making and producing as well as teaching pottery. I am looking to expand my production. This means a rejig in my current studio and possibly further down the line, bigger premises. Anyone got a shed or outbuilding that could be turned into a pottery studio?

What makes your products unique?

I make handmade, which means each individual items is unique. An aesthetic that is not always appreciated in western society. I also try and make things being as mindful of the planet as I can be. I am using resources that obviously have an impact on the environment, and so work in ways that seek to lessen and mitigate the negative aspects that ceramic production has. You can see more about what I do on my website, but my whole life is geared to a more sustainable way of living and being.

Best business moment?

Being approached by Wendy (the buyer at Suffolk Food Hall) about producing a range for them! P.s. we didn’t ask Karl to write that 🙂 

A valuable lesson you have learnt?

Set my own deadlines well in advance of when things are really needed. If something will go wrong, it usually does.

What’s your favourite piece? Favourite piece to create?

I really enjoy making Raku pottery. It is a firing technique that uses copper glazes, red hot pots and lots of fire and smoke. The results are always stunning and usually random, with some control over the finish. The whole process involves all of your senses and is just great fun. Plus I love burning stuff!

How many products do you make?

I make a whole range of domestic ware for the Suffolk Food Hall, but alongside that I also make bespoke things that people want made. I have recently been collaborating with a designer to produce a range of wares. I am also looking at producing lamp bases and a more decorative range of mugs and bowls with landscapes on. 

What’s your inspiration?

Sometimes my inspiration comes from the process, when making things and playing on the wheel. Sometimes things are heavily influenced by the nature and things I love; like the sea, growing things to eat, food, hospitality and my faith. 

Name one thing you couldn’t live without?

There are two things, my allotment and my wife.

Favourite song and why?

Secular song – Animal by Def Leppard. I heard it years ago while camping in my Aunt’s loft. It started a love affair with guitars and rock music. 

Church song – Blessed be your name by Matt Redman. It speaks the truth of God never leaving us or forsaking us even in the hard times. 

Finally, what’s your best joke…

Fell in love with the Tim Vine joke group during lockdown. So anything puntastic is worthy. Best one lately “If Fern Britton kidnapped Chris Tarrant, that would mean Britton’s got Tarrant!” 

Thanks to Karl for taking the time out to talk to us, you can find his range of pottery in our home department.