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Sudbury pottery studio praises success of small workshops for aspiring artists after scrambling to adapt to coronavirus restrictions

A Sudbury pottery studio has found that changes introduced to allow it to trade during the coronavirus pandemic have encouraged aspiring artists to explore their creativity.

Rachael Pedersen was tasked with having to quickly adapt her ceramic sessions to reflect the Government’s social distancing guidelines.

Instead of hosting classes of large groups, a maximum of four people are provided with their own work space during each session at Rachael Ped Ceramics in Brundon Lane.

Rachael Pedersen has set up a successful pottery class workshop....PICTURE: Mecha Morton. .. (41283603)
Rachael Pedersen has set up a successful pottery class workshop....PICTURE: Mecha Morton. .. (41283603)

“It has been working very well,” said Mrs Pedersen.

Having had to close her studio during lockdown, the uncertainty of how she could operate the business safely encouraged Mrs Pedersen to explore alternative ideas.

“It was quite a worry at the time, especially as I didn’t really know what would happen,” said the 33-year-old.

“So I floated my idea about having workshops, as opposed to large classes, with the members who have come here for a long time, and most of them were very happy with it.”

The new concept has enabled each member to focus on their own projects, while Mrs Pedersen is on hand to offer any advice or support.

Encouraged to work independently, Mrs Pedersen said she had noticed an improvement in the group’s creativity.

“It’s been great for them because they have been able to come up with their own ideas,” she said, adding that many of them had benefited from the confidence boost.

“Sometimes, if you have someone to fall back on, who gives you constant help and reassurance, you don’t learn to get on with it yourself,” said Mrs Pedersen.

As part of a series of social distancing measures put in place, each work space is thoroughly cleaned after each session, with hand sanitisers for everyone to use.

Highlighting the importance of the measures, Mrs Pedersen said: “It’s for everybody’s safety and I want to continue running the studio; I can’t afford to close, so we have to very careful.”

Having relocated to a larger studio in February, Mrs Pedersen said the additional space had been ideal.

“We have our own entrance, so we don’t have to pass other people,” she said. “It’s all self-contained and couldn’t have worked better.”

To find out more about the business, go online to www.rachaelpedceramics.co.uk.