Exhibition: Watts Ceramics 2019

Anyone still hankering after my thrown work may like to take a trip to Surrey for this group show as a selection of my tableware and servingware pieces will be featured.

Watts Ceramics 2019
7 September - 20 October
Watts Contemporary Gallery
Free admission | All works for sale

“ For the first time, Watts Contemporary Gallery will present a group ceramics show, bringing together work by nine leading contemporary artists to demonstrate the diversity of contemporary practice and to celebrate the long tradition of pottery at Watts Gallery – Artists' Village.

Featured ceramicists include Julie Ayton, Sophie MacCarthy, Penny Green and Felicity Jones.

Inspired by the legacy of ceramic artist Mary Watts (1849 – 1938), the artists in this exhibition are all women. Mary Watts was the co-founder of Watts Gallery - Artists' Village, teaching clay modelling to local villagers and subsequently helping them to establish a pottery co-operative that provided employment in the village for over 50 years. Between 1900 and 1956 the Compton Pottery flourished, selling at Liberty & Co and receiving commissions from the most eminent architects including Lutyens and Clough Williams-Ellis, for his Italianate village, Portmeirion.

Significantly, the exhibition takes place in one of the original Compton Pottery buildings, remodelled as part of the restoration of Watts Gallery – Artists' Village to provide a gallery space in which the charity can show and sell work associated with the ethos of the Artists' Village. Proceeds from Watts Contemporary exhibitions directly benefits Watts Gallery Trust's Art for All learning programme.

Work selected for this exhibition – which includes terracotta, stoneware, earthenware and porcelain – will show how leading contemporary makers are exploring new techniques and pushing artistic boundaries whilst acknowledging the influence of the past.

Studio potter Julie Ayton makes exquisite stoneware and porcelain pieces and, in a career spanning 25 years, has exhibited widely across the UK; as the daughter of renowned potter Clive Bowen, Helena Bowen always had clay 'at hand'. Inspired by a love of horses, Helena creates carefully modelled ceramic horses; Lucy Burley draws inspiration from the still-life paintings of Giorgio Morandi and from nature's palette to create her elegant sculptural vessels; Penny Green's detailed ceramic figures and objects include references to the past, including medieval illustrations and Elizabethan miniatures; Felicity Jones decorates her fine porcelain and white earthenware pieces with plants she collects while out walking with her dogs, adding underglaze to create a beautiful watercolour effect; award-winning Silvia Komodyova makes tableware and terracotta vessels inspired by the folk traditions and artefacts of her native Slovakia, tapping into the idea of social history to create modern interpretations of traditional designs; in the course of her 40 year career, Myra McDonnell has collaborated with illustrious clients including Raymond Blanc, Soho House and Watts Gallery. Myra's tin-glazed pottery has been exhibited internationally and for this exhibition Myra will be showing highly decorative platters and bowls; Sophie MacCarthy's slip-painted earthenware is widely admired for its distinctive imagery and bold, joyous colour, and Stephanie Robinson takes inspiration from the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and from the Arts & Crafts movement to create elegantly patterned work inspired by nature, and Jane Sarre will present her tactile serving and table-ware, inspired by family tradition. “

Cream of Coastal Currents 2019

I’ll be showing solo here in my studio this year so there will be plenty of space to spread and show you lots of new work. There will also be older pieces and seconds at bargain prices as well as demonstrations of work in progress.

Here’s my pick of the rest of the programme for this year…

Eshibitions & events


Open studios


South East Open Studios (SEOS) 2019

My next event will be SEOS - starting very soon on June 8th. There’s lots to do in the studio to get everything ready for you. It’s a huge programme so before it starts I thought I’d share some details of the exhibitors that particularly caught my eye.

Showing with me in my studio is Annabel Faraday (venue no 128)

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Fellow Clay Culture Trail members Anna Thomson (no. 131), Kate Schuricht (168) and Wendy Love Hinds (95) can be found in Ninfield, Tenterden and Goudhurst respectively.

In the Hastings area:

Ali Stump (108, Benenden), Brenda Hartill (123, Udimore), Tim Riddihough (124, Pett Level), Liesha Yaz (138, Mayfield)

Further afield:

Margaret Devitt (20, Sevenoaks), Rebecca Laister (63, Hadlow), Jan Brine & Jess Levine (87 & 88 Tunbridge Wells), ceramics by Lorraine Singer & Anne Wagstaff (90 & 91 Tunbridge Wells), photography by David Shaw (156 Ashford), Tracy Nors (184, Rye)

Clay Culture Trail

You are all invited to join us for the first ever Hasting Clay Culture Trail event. We have 13 talented ceramicists in 4 venues for you to visit. It’s an amazing range of work so there’s lots to discover!

My studio is one of the venues (no. 1 on the map) and I will be showing my new Dungeness series as well as my thrown tableware collections . I’ll also have christmas decorations, postcards and seconds at clearance prices and information about my forthcoming courses.

Guest artist Yvette Glaze will be showing with me and brings along hand-built forms that carry her distinctive print-making approach.

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We look forward to welcoming you for pot-talk, home-baked goodies, mulled drinks in handthrown cups and more.

For full details you can download the leaflet: inside / outside, or see the Facebook event listing.

New exhibition at Gallery57 Arundel

Great news! My work will be featuring in a new still life exhibition at the wonderful Gallery57 in Arundel, opening on Saturday. When I was developing the Feast collection one of the things I paid particular attention to was the way in which my forms could contribute to an ad hoc still life tablescape as they were used or shelved, so it'll be fascinating to see it deliberately paired up and displayed in this way.

Gallery57 is genuinely my favourite gallery to follow on Instagram as they always show beautiful interesting work and curate it brilliantly, so I am beyond thrilled to have my pots included in their autumn/winter show. Do go along if you get the chance. Arundel may be a small town but it punches way above its weight for contemporary art with several good galleries so it's well worth a trip! If you can't get there in person you can always check them out on Instagram.

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Coastal currents 2018: my pick of the events & exhibitions

Coastal Currents is the massive arts festival for Hastings & St Leonards. I will again be opening my studio as part of the festival but I thought you might also like to see some of the many many other things that are happening to whet your appetite!

NEW QUEERS ON THE BLOCK  performance

NEW QUEERS ON THE BLOCK performance

Claudia Kappenberg  Shore Variations

Claudia Kappenberg Shore Variations

Bernard McGuigan:  Solo Sculpture Exhibition

Bernard McGuigan: Solo Sculpture Exhibition

There's also an intriguing series of installations by Shopkeepers of the World exploring the idea of the charity shop as the archive of the community. The completed works are on display in a range of shops in Bexhill & St Leonards. Details on p53 of the printed programme, but I haven't managed to find them on the website so we may have to just go for a wander and see what we find!

A taste of Christmas at Great Dixter

Join me at the Great Dixter fair on Sat 24 & Sun 25 Nov. Dixter is the home and garden of the inspirational garden writer Christopher Lloyd, famed for his creativity and his entertaining. The event is a fitting mix of food, gardens, books, crafts and more - and of course there's the house and garden to enjoy as well.

Do come along and join us if you can, full details are on the Dixter website.

New Hastings stockist: Printed Matter Bookshop

Sometimes it helps to have a shopkeeper in the family. As you may know my partner recently opened Printed Matter Bookshop and has generously offered me some space to sell my wares. I'm utilising the space to create a local outlet for seconds, samples and overstock all at 50% off so do check it out if you're in the area and like a hand-crafted bargain.

If you'd like to know more about why something gets marked down as a second you may find this blog post interesting: what is a second?

The shop is open everyday except Weds and stocks a great range of interesting books so check those out as well!