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Plea for help after fire guts Purple Punk Potter’s studio

A Crowd-funder has been launched to help a Stoke Newington potter whose studio was gutted by fire.

Lesley McShea, known locally as the Purple Punk Potter, described the fire which tore through her studio off Stoke Newington Church St on July 4th as: “the worst thing ever to have happened in my life, apart from people I love dying.”

The fire, which is thought to have been caused by an electrical fault, melted through the electrics of Lesley’s kilns and clay pugmill, destroyed thousands of pounds of stock and ruined her treasured portfolio of work.

Lesley, who supplies pottery to local shops such as Know & Love and offers pottery lessons, didn’t have contents insurance and her students have launched a Crowdfunder to help her get back on her feet.

She added: “I feel like half my heart has been torn out. I’ve been in that studio for 25 years – it’s my little sanctuary.

“My students have helped me a lot – they are lovely and have helped me move items out of the studio while I clean up.

“The first I knew of the fire was when the firefighters called us at 1am – we rushed straight down there but it was several days before we were able to come in to assess the damage. All the fumes made it very unsafe till then.”

Money raised through the Crowd-funder will help replace expensive equipment and repair the fire damage to the studio. Any extra funds will be used to replace tools and help Lesley through this period where she will not be able to see income from new commissions or classes.


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