Welcome to BEARS SHARES: in this monthly blogpost we love to share some insight into the superhuman(s) behind local businesses in our hood. Finding out about their work, passion, lightbulb moments, likes and tips for a happy life. Now, more than ever, we love it when we can inspire you to shop local and support local. Dive in and enjoy the read. Email us here if you have a suggestion on which local business you like to see featured here next month.

This month in BEARS SHARES we are featuring the amazing local potter and our (almost) next-door fab neighbour, José Carvalho

José was born in Portugal and moved to London in 2006. He recently opened a new studio and gallery at 250 Goldhawk Road, just a few doors away from Bears Ice Cream Parlour W12. José's work can be functional and decorative and has recently been shown at Otomys Contemporary Gallery, Chelsea Physic Gardens and Holland Park Ice House. It has also been used in projects by Conran and Partners, Colefax & Fowler, Soho House, bwt London and Heckfield Place. José is grateful for receiving so much positive feedback about his work and for this to be recognised by people buying his work, asking for commissions and writing about his work in the international press.

How did you become a potter? 

My secondary school was specialised in the Arts. I had a wonderful sculpture and geometry teacher who introduced me to clay as a medium. However, I only used clay for pottery when I moved to the UK in 2006.

What does an average working day look like for you? 

I get to the studio by 9am. Some days I produce my own work which can be for a commission. When I am not producing my own work, I run group workshops and private lessons. I also teach after school pottery classes at Ravenscourt Park Primary School. 

How’s your work life balance?

Managing my own business single-handedly, I am usually very busy but I enjoy my work.

What is the best advice you have been given?

From my parents, to be honest and always do good and help others.

What advice would you give?

The same as my parents gave to me and to live life to the full.

What’s the biggest misconception in your industry?

That beautiful individual hand-made pottery can be made for a similar price to mass produced cast items. Thankfully, in the last decade, people are increasingly appreciating the work involved and therefore the pricing of hand-made pottery. 

What’s your most loved London restaurant?

If I am being treated, The River Cafe, especially in the summer time when you can eat outside - otherwise, the wonderful Angelsea Arms.

What’s your favourite weekend activity?

Swimming in cold waters! I love winter wild swimming, especially in the sea.

Your film recommendation?

Ignorant Fairy (Il fate ignoranti).

Your book recommendation?

Driving over lemons, by Chris Stewart.

What superpower would you like to have?

To be able to stop poverty. 

What’s your favorite Bears ice cream and why?

ALL - but if I have to choose only one, it would be the cone dipped into milk chocolate with honeycomb on top - yummy! For me the ice creams at Bears are the best because they are made with love and served to you by the most friendly team. 

Who would you like to invite at your dining table and share a Bears ice cream tub with for dessert?

My other half for sure. I would also invite my nephew and nieces because they love the ice creams from Bears.

Tell us a little secret about yourself ...

I don’t really like going for a walk. 


May 19, 2022 — Vera Thordardottir