Q&A: Anna Perring, ceramicist and founder of Luna Lighting

At this time of year, the glow of candlelight is a lovely thing. I have a set of delicate porcelain tea light holders lined up on our mantelpiece and I love the ritual of lighting them on a dark winter’s night. Each light is pierced with a tiny pinprick design, the patterns of light that scatter across the room have the quality of fairy lights and fireflies.  The random mixture of her designs also appeals.

The tea light holders are individually hand made by ceramicist and fellow studio holder Anna Perring of Luna Lighting.

Anna_Perring in the her studio
Anna Perring in her studio

Each one bears the maker’s mark, with the throwing lines still clearly visible.

Bromptons pennyfarthings tandems
A selection of Anna’s bicycle designs: Bromptons, penny-farthings and tandems.

Anna picks out the patterns with a variety of found and made tools

Anna's tools for piercing the holes
Anna’s tools for piercing the holes

and then fires them at 1,260 degrees so that the porcelain vitrifies and becomes especially translucent and tactile. They’re then glazed in a glossy off-white.

Window sill
The designs glow beautifully once lit.

 

 

Luna Winter wildlife
Luna Lighting’s Winter wildlife collection

 

Cacti
The pots can also be used as plant holders for small cacti

Anna also makes beautiful tableware.

Jugs drying
A series of jugs drying in the studio

 

In the kiln
In the kiln
Beautiful tableware
Beautiful tableware

I asked Anna to tell us what it was like running her own ceramics business.

Why do you do what you do?

I originally worked in publishing, but when I had my second child a friend persuaded me to do his ceramic’s course. This led to a City and Guilds degree and gradually over the next 5 years I did less and less publishing and more and more ceramics.  I moved to Cockpit Arts and I began to make a living.  I love working for myself, being a creative business surrounded by other creative people.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

My alarm clock and coffee.

What’s the best thing about your work?

Designing, particularly those light bulb moments.

What inspires those moments?

Anything and everything.

Beautiful London
Beautiful London
Cctopi inspiration in Venice
Octopi inspiration in Venice

 

The tea lights I create are a perfect, tiny canvas and I love finding new images that work within it. Often ideas come from requests. Someone asked for a birthday cake, for example, and it has become a favourite.

Birthday cake
Anna’s birthday cake design

At the moment I’m working on a beautiful flamingo for a customer. While this hedgehog was inspired by a friend’s son’s pet!

hedgehog
Hedgehog

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Enjoy it, do your best, relax.  Namiko, my studio manager is a brilliant example of this; even under serious pressure she is smiling and cheerful.

Namiko glazing in the studio
Namiko glazing in the studio

Which book would you rescue from a fire?

A book of photographs of my children as little ones.

Like William Morris, we believe that you should “have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” What every day object can you not live without?

My porcelain coffee mug

 

Gold stripe cup and saucer
Gold stripe cup and saucer

Which piece of music would you pass on to the next generation?

Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah.

Which is your favourite design from Thornback & Peel and why?

Thornback Peel Jelly
Thornback Peel Jelly

I love the jelly mould. It’s printed on the apron I wear every day in the studio.

lunaministars
Luna Mini Star range.

Fine ivory white thrown porcelain tealights with an ever expanding range of delicately pierced patterns that allow the light to shine through.  All handmade in Anna’s studio at Cockpit Arts in Central London.

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