TWENTY-FIVE years after leaving The Spa, Tralee, Valerie Clifford has returned from Paris to set up a new business in the town...and all in the space of three weeks!
'Valerie Clifford Porcelain and Painting Shop' opened its doors on New Road, Tralee to the public on Monday, September 9, selling hand painted porcelain and bone china, as well as paintings.
Through trial and error, Valerie taught herself how to design and paint porcelain and bone china. The mother of three had her own business in Paris but always wanted to come home and sell her creations in Kerry.
Three years ago she came home and held an exhibition of her work in the Oyster Tavern in The Spa. From that great success, she made the decision to come home and cater for her Kerry customers.
Her Paris-based shop also held classes in painting porcelain, which she is also keen to start in Tralee too. Valerie's imagination and hopes don't stop there either. She's keen to combine her fluency in the French language with her talent and begin teaching French to sixth class pupils while painting.
"I saw a niche here in Tralee for gifts and presents along these lines. My creations are something different to give someone and they can be personalised to whatever you're celebrating – birthdays, christenings, weddings, everything," said Valerie.
Valerie also uses materials sought from Banna and Barrow Beaches. She uses slabs picked up on the beaches and paints these too. The seashore has always been an inspiration for Valerie and she portrays sea life, beaches and the seaside in a lot of her creations.
"I can paint anything you want, from chocolate themed to love hearts, to golf to polka dot and humour," added Valerie.
Valerie begins her creations by drawing or stencilling her design and then decides on the colours and patterns to use. Once finished, she places the porcelain and china in a kiln at 820 degrees, which makes her creations oven and dishwasher safe.
Valerie's premises is situated at 1 New Road, Tralee and for an example of her work you can visit www.vcecreations.com