This beautiful property in Devon is home to Jeremy and Cath, their kids, Milo (4) and Beatrix (1), and their pointer cross pup Bernard (2). We came to know Jeremy and Cath through the beautiful wares they create under their business, Feldspar, which we stock in the IN BED Flagship store, and we’re very pleased to share their special home and story on The Journal.
“We live in rural Devon, in an old longhouse – parts of it are 500+ years old. There are no straight lines, every door is a different height (and not always regular human height) and in some places the walls are half a metre thick. And it’s half thatched. It’s great, we’re at the end of a long lane and our only neighbours are sheep and cows, and a herd of wild deer in the field. We’ve been here for 3 years – we moved down from a basement flat in central Hackney when our son was 3 months old. We rent, so we can’t make big changes, but we’re lucky in that the kitchen is housed in a big glass box, which means the house has a better relationship with the outside than if it was just those tiny old windows hiding under the eaves. “
Handmade bone china pieces by Cath & Jeremy.
“Originally we had our business from here too, but we’ve outgrown it now – (also kilns and thatched roofs are not natural bedfellows). We’ve set up a studio on a cider farm about 20 minutes away in some old Victorian barns – our commute is over hills and fields with amazing views of rolling moorland, and in the Autumn, the mist pools in the valleys making it all otherworldly. And we have our home back, which is great. We’re currently building a treehouse in the garden – it’s got charred larch sides and overlooks a field where the deer graze at dawn, so the idea is that if you sleep over in it you’ll have a perfect view with your morning cup of tea. It’s got two floors and a lantern at the top, and room for a home-dug-clay sink to be plumbed in – we got a little carried away…”
Our commute is over hills and fields with amazing views of rolling moorland, and in the Autumn, the mist pools in the valleys making it all otherworldly.
“Being environmentally aware is second nature round here – we’re surrounded by wilderness (or as close to it as you can find in England at least), so we’re conscious of leaving it be as much as possible. We have our own borehole for water, we grow much of our own veg (although I’m currently in an ongoing battle with some hungry rabbits), we shop locally as much as possible and we eat very little meat (only that reared by people we know!). In the business we use only fully recycled and recyclable packaging, and the workshop is also predominantly wind powered, which is great.”
In the business we use only fully recycled and recyclable packaging, and the workshop is also predominantly wind powered, which is great.
“When we moved down here, for a slower pace of life and some (head)space, we spent some time experimenting with a pottery wheel that we’d bought on impulse from a potter on the moor – it was just before Christmas and we had both our families coming to stay, but not enough plates and bowls – so we made them! And a table big enough for everyone to sit around (it’s still our kitchen table), and then we just enjoyed it so much we carried on designing and making, experimenting with different materials, and Feldspar sprang up from that experimenting.”
Cath & Jeremy’s quaint bed, dressed completely in IN BED linen in Mist.
“We like things that are well designed and built to last – we trawl through antique shops finding really simple, basic things that are just so elegantly thought out. When we moved here a friend gave us a Victorian silver egg-coddler that was designed to enable people to boil their eggs at the table – it works perfectly still (if you can find eggs small enough to fit inside) and is just a beautiful object. Aside from old finds though our first thought when we need something is to design and make it – that’s how a lot of our collection comes into existence!”
“Our china clay comes from Cornwall – about an hour away from our workshop – and is made up into bone china slip (liquid clay) in Stoke-on-Trent, where bone china was invented in the 1700s. We like to use materials that are the best that we can find locally – so for our upcoming natural skincare range for example we are using beeswax from Dartmoor, kelp from the coastline here in Devon. We also dig our own clay – Devon sits on very clay rich earth, so we’re able to dig it up from our garden, process it and make objects with it all within about a 10 metre radius. It’s a deep orange/red colour, very beautiful and a wonderful contrast to the bright white of the fine bone china.”
“At the moment we’re working on lamps and lampshades. Bone china lends itself so well to light – it can be cast so fine as to glow like a lantern when lit from within, but then is white opaque otherwise – so this is where we’re working now.”
“We’re currently exploring how to hold scent in under fired china – we’re experimenting with creating 100% natural scent diffusers using only under fired bone china… “