Craft Pop-Up Series No.2: Thidaa

Following on from last year’s 'American Craftsmen in Britain' profiles, Shinola and Jocks&Nerds have collaborated again to create a unique series of pop-up events in Shinola’s London shop. Over the coming months, five craftspeople will set up their own shops within the Shinola store. Members of the public can watch them work, learn what is involved in their craft, and purchase their own bespoke items.

Thidaa, 31, architect and founder of Blue Guy Pottery

Where are you from?
I’m originally from Amsterdam but I grew up in Texas. My father is from Liverpool and my mother from Thailand.

How did you end up making pottery?
A friend suggested I should give it a go; that was just over a year ago. I was immediately hooked. I’ve always done creative things, beginning with dance as a child right up until now working as an architect.

What inspires your work?
With my ceramics a lot of it tends to be serendipitous. I’m still learning so a lot of what happens happens by chance, which is awesome.

What makes your job so special?
The surprise of the unknown. In ceramics something can alter drastically at any stage of the process.

Is there a community aspect to your work with ceramics?
Well, it’s a craft, which means knowledge has to be passed on from one person to another. My work is all bespoke, one-off pieces which means I have to have a direct interaction with all my clients. I might be invited to work on someone’s wedding or create a set of tableware for a cafe. That’s a great privilege and I love it.

Why do you think there is a resurgence in craft in the 21st century and why is that important?
The “slow movement” - which is what I think you are talking about - is important because we need time to step back from the breakneck speed we are forced to travel at with digital technology. When you’re creating, especially on the wheel, you can’t think or worry about anything else except that piece of clay. It’s simple, beautiful and, more importantly, extremely rewarding.

Experience Thidaa designing and creating her Blue Guy pottery at the Shinola store from 12-6pm on Friday 29 May and Saturday 30 May and from 12-4pm on Sunday 31 May

Shinola, 13 Newburgh Street, London W1