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B&B x Colebrooke Stone and Clay


Interview with Colebrooke Stone and Clay

Colebrooke Stone & Clay was founded by the wonderful duo James and Ingrid. They fell in love with the process of crafting beautiful things from clay and decided to start selling their creations at local markets and pop-ups around Bath. 

I had the pleasure of meeting Ingrid at my first Independent Coffee meet-up —a laid-back networking event for business owners in the area. We connected immediately. Ingrid is a truly larger-than-life character, always glowing with optimism and exuding her magnetic South African charm. She was sipping a coffee from a handmade mug she’d created herself, and we bonded over both having recently moved to Bath from Wanstead in London.

James and Ingrid both have their own unique styles. While they are both inspired by nature, James's style feels earthy, calming, and grounded, whereas Ingrid's creations are vibrant and refreshing, with a slightly tribal feel to them. When it came to launching our Men’s Gift Collection, I wanted to include one of James’ espresso cups in our coffee care package, so I went to their magical garden studio to pick out my first selection.

In this conversation with Ingrid, we discuss what inspired her and James to start working with clay, what an average day looks like for them—from what gets them out of bed in the morning to how they unwind. Their story is truly inspiring and a reminder to take a step back, enjoy the process, and lose yourself in the joy of creation and trying something new. I hope you enjoy reading this conversation.

What inspired you to start Colebrooke Stone and Clay?

James began stone carving evening classes in London, and I also went to classes to explore the possibilities that clay offers. We called ourselves Colebrooke Stone and Clay when we began selling our products at local markets. The name came from the lovely road we lived in, which was Colebrooke Drive.

We are hobbyists who love playing with clay, and making beautiful and useful things in our garden studio. I began creating with clay about 25 years ago, but James is fairly new to the craft and started making pots just 3 years ago. We love the idea of selling what we make, so our hobby led us to join local makers markets.

Interview with Colebrooke Stone and Clay

What does an average pottery day look like for you both?

James gets up very, very early and is in the studio before the birds start singing! He loves to throw pots at sunrise and I’m the opposite, preferring to create in the afternoons.

So a typical day sees us both making mugs, bowls, plates, small trinket bowls and sometimes even sculptures, which I love using hand-building methods: slab, coil, pinch pots, adding, texturing, carving… 

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Breakfast! We both love breakfast. Fresh fruit, granola, roasted nuts, yoghurt, freshly brewed coffee in a lovely, handmade mug!

Interview with Colebrooke Stone and Clay

How do you zone out from the world?

James loves listening to the radio while working in the studio, whilst Ingrid prefers total silence, or the glorious sound of the birds twittering in the garden. The immersive process of working with clay is an easy way to zone out, and to be enveloped by the creative flow.

It’s always a wonderful surprise to see that we can make things from a simple ball of mud!

If someone wanted to turn their passion into a business, what would be the one piece of advice you’d give them?

Whilst this is more of a hobby than a business for us, we have seen that showing enthusiasm for our products, warmly engaging with our customers, and taking time to explain the process of hand-making pots means that when people buy from us, they know they have bought something that is unique and that they can treasure.

Interview with Colebrooke Stone and Clay

Every gift featured in a B&B gift box has been consciously made with love, right here in the UK. Ingrid & James share with us their top pit stops when visiting their hometown of Bath.

There is so much to do in Bath. It’s a wondrous small city. For lovers of art, there are the Holburne Museum, the Victoria Art Gallery, The Museum of East Asian Art, the Beaux Art Gallery, and other small independent galleries tucked away inside streets.

A visit to the famous weir and just wandering about is always lovely, especially if the sun is out and making the Bath stone buildings glow. The number of independent and high street shops is incredible, and one day just isn’t enough!

EAT: Well, depending on taste, the choice is vast! Pomegranate and Baba’s Mezze are great for authentic and delicious Turkish delights. Beckford Canteen always offers superb food and service. Chai Walla is perfect for Indian street food.

Pintxo for Spanish tapas. Robun serves a really delicious bento box at lunchtime. Landrace Bakery is known for its cinnamon buns!

SIP: James says that Vero’s and The Colombian Company serve the best coffee in Bath - they also do great toasties! I love the coffee at Jaq’s as it’s nutty and has a caramel note. Café Lucca is always really good for lovers of iced coffee and carrot cake. 

SHOP: Studio 22 is always worth a visit and each Friday to Sunday, different local makers and artists sell what they make. Wool and the Hidden Store are amazing small independent shops if you need wool, household items, or something to take home as a token of a visit to Bath.

DO: Go on the Abbey Tower Tour. It runs every hour on the hour from 11am - 5pm. 

As Bath is a city with a wealth of interesting places to see and explore, it’s so hard to recommend just one! The street music in Bath is top-notch, and there are pitches all over the city where local musicians entertain the passing visitors and locals alike. Merlin Smith, the guitar wizard, is our favourite!

Make sure to check out our Coffee Lovers Gift Bundle or add a hand-thrown espresso cup to any order using our Build Your Own Gift Box feature. Stay in the loop with Ingird & James on Instagram