A Flying Visit to York

Last weekend I finally managed to board the train from Kings Cross to York for a one night stayover with my family. The main missions were to visit the Lotte Inch Gallery where my work has been showing and the fairly newly opened Centre of Ceramics Art (CoCA) nearly next door to Lotte. We also managed to fall in love with York; with just so much character, history, atmosphere and brilliant shopping & restaurants too (!) making our short stay feel frustratingly rushed. We can’t wait to get back there again.

Lotte Inch Gallery was positively buzzing with visitors on the Saturday who were also enjoying the York Open Studios trail that Lotte had helped to organise with Kiosk. The gallery is warm and welcoming in a quirky, timber beamed Tudor building with beautifully curated works in the Life Stills exhibition currently showing. 

I converted some of my recent gallery sales 🙂 into a pair of lovely James and Tilla Waters ceramic beakers from the gallery and then we wandered off to pay a visit to Kiosk, on recommendation from Lotte, for a most excellent pot of tea while also picking up a small Jono Smart vessel with a Sue Pryke ceramic spoon to add to my own collection. Kiosk is a very friendly, relaxed cafe on Fossgate that also stocks very high quality British Studio Ceramics. They’ve had a tough time though and had only just reopened the week before our visit, after being submerged during the flooding of York over Christmas. 

CoCA was everything I had hoped it would be. All of my studio pottery idols were represented there including Lucy Rie, Chris Keenan, Julian Stair, Edmund de Waal, Louisa Taylor and Grayson Perry. The space itself is magnificent as is the central installation Manifest of 10,000 bowls by Clare Twomey. I do hope my photographs below help to convey at least some of that…

Ceramic Art London 2016

On Friday morning I took a break from the wheel to head to Central St Martins near Kings Cross in London, a fabulous new venue for Ceramic Art London. Many of my favourite potters and ceramic artists show here each year along with new faces. I love talking to them and most are very friendly and more than happy to swap tips and ideas.

Below is a small selection of photos from the morning, followed by links to the artists …

Ali Tomlin Ceramics 

Jill Shaddock Ceramics

Jae Jun Lee Ceramics

Sue Pryke

Alison Gautrey Ceramics

IKUKO Iwamoto 

Kate Schuricht

Jin Eui Kim 

All ready for Life Stills at Lotte Inch Gallery

Hot on the heels of the 20 in 15 exhibition, is Life Stills at Lotte Inch Gallery in the heart of York. The show runs from 16th March to 28th May. I’m especially delighted to be exhibiting alongside studio potters James and Tilla Waters whose work I admire – I drink many cups of tea from one of their beautiful mugs every day. It promises to be a great exhibition of drawing, painting, printmaking and ceramics and a great excuse to visit York very soon. Exhibition information below along with a little taster of the pieces that have been packed and ready for dispatch today…

  
  

Mudge at Mine in March

Just over a year after first meeting photographer (and musician) Bill Mudge at the Frost Fair, the exhibition of his 20 in 15 – The Lives of Artists photography project opened at the Mine Gallery in Carshalton last night. The gallery has been completely changed around in the last week with photographs of the working lives of 20 creative people and organisations on every wall, including many examples of their work – including new works fresh my own kiln this week, a beautiful print by illustrator Alex Foster and an amazing galvanised wire sculpture of a hare from world-renowned sculptor Kendra Haste.  The show runs until March 27th – some photos below. 

And taking centre stage is the phabulous photobook of the project that was created after a successful round of crowdfunding on Kickstarter and launched yesterday at the gallery! The book is now available to buy in the Mine Gallery and also online here: 20 in 15: The Lives of Artists by Bill Mudge. After being the first to back the Kickstarter project, my family is now proud owners of the first two copies of the book and a beautiful enlarged print of my studio (the last image below) that has just gone to the framers today     🙂 

20 in 15 – The Lives of Artists

Photographer Bill Mudge came round today for tea and cake and to show me the mockup and layouts for his new photobook 20 in 15 – The Lives of Artists. It’s looking great! He has spent the last year photographing twenty very different creative people and organisations, including me in my studio. One of the best bits of the project has been getting to know Bill and his lovely family over the last year. His photography is quiet, reflective, imaginative and precise – much like Bill himself. The costs of designing, printing and publishing the book are being crowdfunded through Kickstarter. At the time of writing the campaign is nearly 60% funded and not quite halfway to the finish date. It’s doing well and just needs a final shove to the line. Please share or pledge if it sounds interesting to you.

Whether or not the book gets funded, there will definitely be an exhibition of the project in March at the Mine Gallery in Carshalton (5th to 27th March). As well as the photos, each of the artists are also contributing their works to exhibit. 

Preparing for Lotte Inch Gallery

It was great to take a break from the pottery wheel this week to meet Lotte from the beautiful new Lotte Inch Gallery in York. She’d been down to London to visit the London Art Fair and managed to find time to pop South of the river to visit my studio in Carshalton and see what I do.

So now I’m starting work on a new set of porcelain pieces, discussed with Lotte, and aiming to be ready for the Life Stills exhibition that will run from 16th March to 28th May 2016 in her gallery.   

The Life Stills exhibition will feature breath-taking work from York based painter Amy Rose Clyfan as well as Michael Kirkman, Alexandra Leadbeater and Becky Adams with special art-star guests Edward Burra and Ivon Hitchens!

The gallery is in an amazing location, being very central, near York Minster and right next door to the Centre of Ceramics Arts (CoCA) which is a world-class exhibition space dedicated to British studio ceramics …”the largest and amongst the most important in the UK”. I’m very pleased that Lotte has invited me to exhibit and can’t wait to visit York soon.

  

Christmas delivery for McQueens

I was really excited back in November when McQueens Flowers asked me to produce a batch of porcelain bud vases for the New Year. McQueens are an amazing contemporary London florist who supply famous establishments like Claridges and The Connaught and events such as the Vanity Fair Oscar party, the Wimbledon Champions Ball and the TriBeCa Film Festival in New York. 

First I created and posted a box of prototypes to McQueens for them to have a think about. I was then surprised and a little daunted when they phoned to ask if I could pull out all the stops to produce a batch in time for them to dispatch before Christmas!  So I took a deep breath and gave it a go. 

The vases were all finished and dispatched just in time last Wednesday and here’s a set of photos to document how it went. Very hard work generally with some long nights at the wheel but it went well, I’ve learned a lot, the kiln behaved beautifully and the only real problem was a fox that stole three pairs of my kiln gloves in the night. Unfortunately, in the final push I forgot to get a shiny close up photo of the finished articles but I hope you’ll get the idea.