Village People: Jo Millar of Biscocho Ceramics – Village Green

Village People: Jo Millar of Biscocho Ceramics

This month's Village Green maker is Jo Millar who is an Edinburgh based potter, creator of the ceramic match striker pots exclusively available at Village Green. 

 

 Jo Millar, Biscocho

Photo credit: Jo Tennant Photographs

Where’s your favourite coffee spot? 

I love Red Kite café, which is very near my studio in Abbeyhill. Their savoury and sweet scones are the best!  I’m also a huge fan of Williams and Johnson coffee served at Custom Lane.


How did you start doing what you now do? 

I learned to throw pots when I was living in Colombia. I had previously done some hand building, but once I got on the wheel I was completely hooked. 

I didn’t have children back then so I had a lot more time. I was in the studio 3 times a week for a couple of years. I haven’t really stopped since, except to have my daughters. 


Have you always done what you do? 

I’m actually  a teacher and teacher trainer and spent more than 15 years living and working abroad.  I still teach part-time. I love the balance I get teaching part-time teaching and potting part-time. I just wish there were a few more days in the week!


What’s your next project? 

I’ve  recently Crowdfunded for a kiln so I’ll be making all the rewards for that.

  

Jo Millar, Biscocho

Photo credit: Jo Tennant Photographs


What are you most proud of?

I’m proud of my past self for starting, and completing, my cup project: @ayearincups.

I had my daughters quite close together and I found staying at home with a newborn and a toddler (and severe sleep deprivation) extremely challenging.

As soon as my youngest hit 6 months and could be left for a couple of hours, I started going to Mudstation on a Saturday morning. I challenged myself to make a cup for everyday of the year.

I made 366 cups (it was a leap year!) and sold them to pay for the sessions in the studio and donated £400 to Bikes for Refugees, a wonderful local charity welcoming New Scots.

The project really helped me have something other than my children to think and talk about. I also made connections with lots of people on Instagram and the local community.

I’m glad I didn’t overthink it at the time, I just launched it. The support I got was overwhelming and it gave me the confidence to start Biscocho.


What was the last book that you read?

 I haven’t read much since I’ve had children but this summer I actually read a couple of books! I absolutely loved Three Women by Lisa Taddeo.


Do you listen to podcasts? Have you got a recommendation?

Yes, I’m a big fan of podcasts. I regularly listen to The Potters Cast and How to Fail by Elizabeth Day when I'm in the studio.


My new favourite is On the Irregular by Java Bere, she’s interviewing creatives and talking about the (often irregular) paths that they’ve taken to get to where they are today. 



Ceramic Match Striker Pot

 

Ceramic Match Striker Pot