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New beginnings...

Updated: Jul 6, 2018

hafotty interiors north wales denbighshire nature wind turbines artwork furniture artist ceramics vintage retro repurposed design ellie derbyshire betws gwerfil goch

Ok where do I start?

I guess I should tell you a little about myself and how I ended up living half way up a Welsh hillside, with not another house in sight, in order to have the space to let my creativity run riot. Well a little over a year and a half ago I was living in Stoke on Trent, an industrial metropolis, but also a hub of creativity. I had moved there 20 years earlier, from the beautiful Sussex countryside where I lived a free childhood; able to roam and wander to my hearts content. Frequently stopping to ogle at some fungi or to whip up a 'meal' consisting of bracken, with a side of beech nuts and topped with a mud and grass jus! Well I guess that's where it really all began. My love for design and making... digging in the dirt, to try and remove clay from the Sussex soil in order to make a plate to eat off.

In Stoke I studied Ceramic Design, as you should in the Potteries, and went on to complete both a BA and an MA in the subject. I missed my rural beginnings but I had found a spiritual home I guess, a place to feed my love of mud... eerrrm well clay. I began to put down roots there, first working as a designer in the ceramics industry and then running a design business with a dear friend, who sadly uprooted and emigrated to New Zealand - my country of birth of all places!

Eventually, as many ladies do, when my children came along. I took a backseat from my career and worked in a school and as a Youth Worker for many happy years, albeit a little stressful! Both the perfect jobs to fit 'round the kids and still feed my love of learning through play, plus I could knock out a pretty good display board (... if I do say so myself).

Anyhow, 20 years passed and something was not sitting right, something was calling me... A lack of opportunities for creativity? space? air? or just a yearning for being back to nature and doing what I love best. Making something beautiful from little bits of nothing.

So that was it, an epiphany I guess you'd call it. No more urban sprall for me, traffic jams...noise. We just did it. My husband and I got our house valued, sold it in a day and put in an offer on our own, remote, beautiful little slice of rural Wales. It has room for me to grow and spread my wings, get back to where it all started. Ok, not exactly where it all started, but a place that our family had had many day trips, holidays and happy memories in.

Here's to the start of Hafotty Interiors. I hope that some of my pieces bring up a similar feeling in you as they do in me. You can feel the life in a older object, you can see the desire in something plain to be something beautiful again and at the same time make a little less impact on this wonderful world we live in. I hope to bring you tips on styling your home, a little insight into rural life after the city, ideas on how you could make a little gem out of nothing and share with you the pieces I've created.


So please join me in my journey into my new Welsh life...



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Ellie Derbyshire
Ellie Derbyshire
Jun 11, 2018

@zoeadderley Looking forward to writing it Zoe. Me too... Stoke has been a very important chapter in my life, that ended up leading me to where I am now. With lots learnt and fabulous friends gained along the way. There's lots of things I miss about Stoke but North Wales has won a place in my heart. It has a rugged beauty and soul that's unquestionably more me! Love my adopted home. X

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Ellie Derbyshire
Ellie Derbyshire
Jun 11, 2018

@bonitadance ...and so it does but where it takes us nobody knows! xxx

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Can’t wait to read the next chapter. I’m personally glad we both ended up in Stoke and our paths crossed. However, I’m sure where you are now is much more ‘you’. Miss you all. X

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bonitadance
bonitadance
Jun 09, 2018

...and so the adventure continues Ellie 😊

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