Wednesday, 13 March 2019

April's Maker's Lunch with Matt Horne

12noon -  2pm


The Makers Lunch programme is increasingly demonstrating how informal conversation and good food can help to enhance our insights and knowledge about the craft of studio ceramics.

We have always admired Matt's work as he has to be amongst the very best of makers using crystalline glaze decoration. The high skill levels displayed in his thrown pieces and the often unusual colour combinations will ensure a stimulating and enjoyable show of his fine pieces.

Decoration is always a major interest for ceramic enthusiasts and the crystalline process poses more questions than most. Do not miss this opportunity to spend what will be an absorbing and enjoyable lunch with Matt.

 Ring the Gallery  01905 754484  to book your place now.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Maker's Lunch with Peter Hayes 2nd March 2019

The Maker's Lunch is now becoming an established feature on the Bevere calendar, however each of these events is an unpredictable two hours of conversation with open and frank discourse with the invited maker. I had assumed at the outset that there would be a time when we would be hearing much the same responses from our guests each month – far from it. Each lunch has demonstrated that ceramicists are as diverse as their pots and so it proved again with a thoroughly entertaining and insightful two hours with Peter Hayes. I have known Peter for quite a few years now  and notwithstanding the advancing years his creative energy and enterprise grow rather than diminish.

Peter has been showing at Bevere for a number of years and we always have high expectation when a new group of pieces is due. We are never disappointed.  His distinctive and original work has always impressed. Whatever the scale, from small to very large, every piece has a presence and significant visual impact. By building up textured clays combined with burnishing and polishing the surface, Peter achieves opposites of rough and smooth with finishes from weathered clay to sun baked leather. 

What he revealed during his time with us, was a desire to produce work which evoked a response from people through simple, elegant design. He had always wanted to avoid over-complication which obscures the beauty of grain and texture in the clay and provokes a desire to touch and physically experience each piece.
Peter has a strong intellectual curiosity and his desire to travel is fired by an interest in different cultures and their approach to craft as well as making. He spent 10 years working and travelling in Africa and for the last nine years has been working in India for two months of the year helping to support craft communities. He welcomes the interactions of the relationships with Indian craftsmen which has led to him looking at new constructions and using different materials.

He emphasised the importance of Bath and his studio above the River Avon and how the context within which he works contributes to his making process – pieces left in the river for long periods, the use of clays left decades ago by the canal to repair and reinforce collapsed banking. Incidentally, having worked for his father in print making when he was young and not enjoying the experience, he was determined that his children would not work for him – his son and daughter are now key members of his team!

These reports are intended to give a brief insight into two hours of stimulating discourse and an excellent lunch – in Peter's case you will gather there is material for a lengthy essay. He sometimes feels that he may be guilty of rambling too much but in effect every aspect of his reflections on his work, ceramic practice and extensive career provides considerable insight into the life of this remarkable maker. Long may he continue.

Stuart Dickens
Ceramic  Curator
Our next Lunch with the Maker is with crystalline glaze ceramicist Matt Horne on 
Saturday 6th April from Noon - 2pm. Places are limited to 10 persons and cost £15 each. Contact us to book your place on 01905 754 484

Saturday, 16 February 2019


From the 1st March until 2nd April we are pleased to feature the work of eminent maker Peter Hayes.   
 Peter has been showing at Bevere for a number of years now and we always have high expectation when a new group of pieces is due and we are never disappointed.
His distinctive and original work  has always impresses. Whatever the scale, from small to very large, every piece has a presence and significant visual impact. By building up textured clays combined with burnishing and polishing the surface, Peter achieves opposites of rough and smooth with finishes from weathered clay to sun baked leather. 

Peter has been making for several decades and his creative energy has grown rather than diminished over that time as he continues to develop his work and the materials he uses. A significant indicator of his boundless energy is the initiative he has taken in creating a craft village in India which has contributed to the development of his work as well as the skills of Indian makers.

I am also delighted that this month we are showing the work of two new makers to Bevere.  

 Bronwen Grieves has been quietly and prolifically developing and refining her ideas and process over a 30 year period. Her works strive to balance structure with fluidity, using organic and inorganic forms as a reference point. I have been particularly impressed with the imaginative structure of her pieces and hopefully you will be too!

Sarah Wygas has been producing ceramics for the past 18 years and has a passion for aesthetically pleasing functional pieces. In July 2018, she received a Highly Recommended award from Denby for the pieces shown at the New Designers exhibition.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019


It was a great pleasure to start the Makers Lunch programme for 2019 with a most enjoyable and informative two hours with Geoffrey Swindell. All of us  - perhaps unexpectedly in some cases – were fascinated by the visual impact of his small but extraordinarily decorated vessels. It was also refreshing for a maker to show examples of failed pots demonstrating the ups and downs of the development process. It was very clear however that the only pots to emerge for public view and sale were those that met Geoffrey's exacting standards.

Perhaps one of the most revealing aspects of our time together was during a discussion about 'presence' – often associated in our minds with large imposing vessels. Geoffrey used the word 'intensity' to describe his work and it was interesting to hear his response to a question about producing some of his pieces on a larger scale when he said that if he did so they would lose their intensity. All of us who have held one of his fine pots in our hands will acknowledge this I am sure. We agreed that presence was a multifactorial phenomenon involving design, craftsmanship, decoration and context.
Geoffrey has been making over many decades and his creative drive has never declined over that long time. He described in some detail how his distinctive decorative voice emerged and developed often influenced by everyday objects including small children's toys. All of us were amazed that such small and apparently delicate pieces were hand thrown. A broken piece which he brought with him demonstrated the finesse of his potting.

We discussed at some length the changes in the ceramic market and public taste over the last two decades and in some ways the originality of the Swindell voice had maintained interest during these changes.

This lunch demonstrated the value of an intimate small group conversation which enables detailed and stimulating revelations about the rigours of design and making as well as the frustrations. Importantly, everyone is at ease and can contribute freely knowing that their views and questions will contribute to our wider experience during the two hours we spend together.

An excellent and most enjoyable start to the 2019 Lunch Programme.
Stuart Dickens
Ceramic Curator
February 2019

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Graduate Show 2019 Winner

We are delighted to announce that the winner of the 12th Annual Graduate Show voted by visitors to the exhibition is @ab_ramics Abigail Johnson, who graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2018. From our discussions with people who admired her work, it was evident that the quality of making, decoration and elegant design very much captured the current vogue. It has a timeless quality which will look good at any time and in any context. Abigail's reward will be continuing representation by Bevere and we look forward to seeing her work here again soon.

Thursday, 31 January 2019

The Curator's View - February 2019

The Annual Graduate Show was very well received and although the final count of the votes of visitors to the exhibition has yet to take place, we know that the voting has been quite competitive. Watch this space for the winner to be announced. I am confident that we have some excellent new talent to enhance our list of makers and artists.
Geoffrey Swindell last exhibited here in 2015 when his work was received with interest and enthusiasm.  He is uniquely a ceramic miniaturist whose making skills and creativity are extraordinary. He has been making for well over 40 years and there has been no diminution of his imaginative practice.
When his work was unpacked I was blown away by the quality in the making - which is a given - and by the continuing inventiveness and creativity evident  in each vessel. He has made a fine selection of pots for this feature and further more, I am delighted that he will be joining us  on 9th February for our monthly Maker's Lunch when we will have the chance to talk with him at length about his practice and his creative drive.
Geoffrey's work demonstrates profoundly that the presence of a vessel isn't a matter of scale but other essential elements which his work embraces. We will learn more about what they are as we spend time with him and his work.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

12th to 29th January 2019
The opening of the 12th Graduate Show on Saturday 12th January more than met our expectations. By general assent, this is one of the best Graduate Shows we have held for some time and we were heartened by the response of the exhibitors who came to the opening and the visitors to the exhibition – many of whom had been to previous shows. What has pleased almost everyone is the confirmation that creativity and imaginative art and craft are still alive and well in the UK.
We have always seen the promotion of emerging talent as an important means through which ceramic art is regenerated. This show – and do come and see it if you were unable to come on Saturday – is attractively diverse with exhibitors that were selected because of their evident skill and creative ability.

Visitors were pleased to be able to cast a vote for their favourite exhibitor and whilst naming names would be inappropriate at this time – we can say that the votes are well spread across the exhibitor list, suggesting that the work on show appeals to a wide range of people. We know that some voters had considerable difficulty identifying a single favourite – again  a positive indication that there is much to appeal in what has been an eagerly anticipated show.

You will gather that Saturday's opening generated a genuine buzz of enthusiasm  including those of us at Bevere who put the show together.

Do try and get to see the show before it closes on the 29th.

Stuart Dickens  Ceramic Curator