Shaping Big Success with Juliana Inniss

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Thursday, March 11, 2021

Professional potter and principal of Painted Earth, Juliana Inniss, has continued to shape her growth as an artist and entrepreneur through the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC). Riding the wave of excitement from her 3-month residency at the Forest Row School of Ceramics in the UK, sponsored by the BIDC, Juliana hosted an industry workshop to share with local artisans what she had learned.

“This was an opportunity to give back as part of my relationship with the BIDC,” she said.

Held at the scenic Red Clay Pottery in Fairfield, the 2-day workshop attracted several local artisans, some of whom were teachers and many of whom were entrepreneurs. Prior to kicking off day 1 of the workshop, Inniss afforded an opportunity to share some of her insights from the Forest Row experience.

Initially, she approached Sheena Thorne, her BIDC Business Development officer, about the Forest Row opportunity that she had heard about in one of the BIDC’s other industry workshops.  With the help of the BIDC Inniss would soon find herself thousands of miles away from home gaining new skills to take her craft to the next level. “It was intense, it was a total immersion in ceramics'', said Inniss citing that the 3-month experience was indeed an awesome one. The total experience culminated in a body of work for exhibition. Inspiration for her graduating exhibit would come through a visit to the famed Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge where Inniss was inspired to “…have something of sustenance to share with my community”.

The experience imprinted on Inniss the vast potential for the pottery industry in Barbados and the opportunity for export that lies ahead for Barbadian ceramics.  “Ceramics is huge internationally, and I would love people to grasp that concept. There is a ceramics show every year in Southern Africa, Europe and other places in the world. There is a tremendous opportunity to export and to teach people about your history using this art form”.

Upon her return to Barbados, Inniss was impelled to see two major outcomes from hosting the workshop - first, would be the widening of skillsets for workshop attendees and stakeholders in the industry; and the acknowledgement of the viability of ceramics as a business by the wider community.