Saturday, 4 November 2017

MAKER'S LUNCH 3 NOVEMBER 2017 DAVID AND MARGARET FRITH




It was a pleasure to have two highly respected makers joining us for lunch. David and Margaret have been making together for over fifty years and notwithstanding the passage of time they continue to be creative and curious about possibilities.

They spent considerable time with their pots talking about the making process and their inspiration. What emerged very clearly was that their undoubted craft skills were learnt through making significant amounts of domestic ware in their early days,  which meant repetition throwing and precision. It is their combination of skills and creativity that continue to drive their not inconsiderable output.

They are aware that it is increasingly difficult for makers to earn a living as they have done throughout their professional lives. Increased costs, changes in the market and public taste are all impacting on makers.

They related many anecdotes about their experiences here and on the continent where they travelled and sold work when they were young. Interestingly coming to terms with the different cultural status of ceramics in various countries was an issue we talked about at some length.

What clearly drives both of these fine makers is the desire to make – yes, selling is important to pay the bills but making is at the heart of every aspect of their lives together. As Margaret said at one stage – it may be fifty years but we are still learning.

It was a tremendously stimulating experience enjoyed by all of us.


Thursday, 26 October 2017

THE CURATOR'S VIEW November/December 2017

 
THE CURATOR'S VIEW
November/December 2017

We have brought together a group of makers to end the Bevere year on a high note. David and Margaret Frith have been making their pots together for over fifty years. Notwithstanding that long time, they continue to enthral with their decorative innovation and their concern never to stand still. There is a freshness of approach and an ability to surprise which remains with them both still and long may they continue. I am also delighted that they will be featured in our Maker's Lunch to be held on 3rd November.

Claire Seneviratne produces raku vessels which have a wide appeal. Her first show here was a great success and her pieces were admired and purchased by many of our visitors. Her smoke-fired pots are first fired in an electric kiln, sometimes she partly glazes them and may add a metallic lustre. Then one at a time they are surrounded with oak sawdust which slowly burns around them in an incinerator. The sawdust creates beautiful markings and subtle shades and colours. 

Tim Andrews is a master raku potter with a reputation for quality and innovative design whose work has been exhibited all over the world. We have always enjoyed having his fine work in the gallery as in many ways he is the definitive raku potter. So many of his pieces have that centrepiece quality which would enhance a table or a windowsill anywhere. 

Another new maker to Bevere is Hilke MacIntyre.  Hilke was born in Germany. She studied architecture at the College for Art and Design in Kiel and worked for various architects until she moved to Scotland in 1995. Since then she has concentrated on printing, painting and ceramics, combining a simplified figurative style with bold shapes, strong colours and abstract patterns. Her work is widely exhibited in galleries throughout Britain and has been selected many times for the annual show at the Royal Scottish Academy. It is her ceramics we will be showing this month and I am sure that her original graphic and sculpted pieces will produce many a smile.


Stuart Dickens
24.10.2017

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Maker's Lunch - Barry Stedman

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MAKERS LUNCH
7 OCTOBER 2017
BARRY STEDMAN

One might be forgiven for thinking that regular meetings with ceramicists would eventually lead to predictable responses and recurring themes. Not so. An enjoyable two hours with Barry Stedman demonstrated once again the different ways in which makers become engaged with ceramics and that the what of their work is  an infinitely variable  aspect compared with the more prosaic issues about how work is produced.

Barry was in his thirties when he began to engage with ceramics after ten years in retail. He had always been into drawing and painting but for him the combination of clay and painting was an irresistible combination. He was a successful student at Harrow – Kyra Cane, our guest last month was one of his tutors. He has been making ever since and his genuinely abstract decoration has become a recognisable voice in ceramics. He also works two days a week with Edmund de Waal supporting the glazing and firing of Edmund's output. Barry's work couldn't be more different and he has tried  - successfully I believe – to maintain his own voice despite working with Edmund since leaving Harrow.

Barry sees his work changing over time. Colour range is more restricted and we are seeing in his latest pieces what looks like a combination of charcoal and marking that is redolent of abstracted landscape.

He was very open about the pressures of professional life as a ceramicist and the need to balance workload with creative energy and avoid over production with perhaps inevitable consequences. What was evident however, was that he had no regrets about his courageous decision to change career for a much more volatile environment. The lunch with Barry was a very good example of how intimate, open conversation can be revealing, insightful and importantly a really enjoyable experience.

Next month we are having David and Margaret Frith joining us for what should be yet another stimulating experience.

OCTOBER FOCUS 2017

Featured potters -
Sara Moorhouse
Masazumi Yamazaki
Barry Stedman - Maker's Lunch October 7th
Supported by over 40 Studio Potters, Original Paintings, Fine Art Hand Crafted Prints, Jewellery & more.

Fri, 6th Oct 2017 - Wed, 1st Nov 2017

 

Sara Moorhouse has exhibited at Bevere before and wherever her work appears the 'wow' factor is always evident. There are some makers who have that immediate impact and the use of colour and banded decoration leave no one indifferent to her technically brilliant and stunningly presented work.








Masazumi Yamazaki has lived and worked in Wales for quite a time now, but there is no sense in which his strong oriental influences have been dissipated by his Celtic environment. His figurative ceramics are always amusing and even shocking. Prepare for both!







Barry Stedman may have been a studio assistant to Edmund de Waal but his painterly abstract vessels bear little resemblance to Edmund's aesthetic. Barry has always been a popular maker – his vessels are three dimensional paintings that benefit from time and contemplation. Delighted to have him back at Bevere. 

Sunday, 3 September 2017

MAKERS LUNCH REPORT- SEPTEMBER 2017 KYRA KANE




It was a great pleasure to have Kyra Kane join us as our guest to this month's Maker's Lunch.
Kyra had her first show at Bevere in 2016 and it was very well received then. She has exemplary skills evident in her finely thrown porcelain pots. Once again, we are seeing porcelain as the ultimate clay body for tactility and luminescence. Her vessels are elegant and have great presence.
As we anticipated Kyra, with a reputation as a fine teacher of ceramics, is an articulate speaker who gives real insights into the development and expression of her creative drive. She prefers to use porcelain – difficult as it can be to work with – as the 'canvas' for her pots and she talked about the importance of brush choice in the decorative process and the use of black in all its shades to enhance her vessels.

She also talked about the volume of her pots and the importance of the inner as well as outer dimensions of each bowl.  She particular likes using Limoges porcelain and although less physically able, as handworking clay has taken its toll over the years, enjoys making large vessels. Although using black for decoration, she introduces colour such as yellow which brings fresh nuances to her pots.

It is the physical act of making – and making that meets her expectations rather than others – that brings her immense pleasure. Such is her creative drive that she can never see herself not making  - whatever the scale or form may be in the future.

At the end of an engrossing two hours together everyone left with a smile – it was that kind of experience..

October's 'Lunch with the Maker' is with Barry Stedman on Saturday October 7th contact us for more details and to book your place.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Curator's View September 2017



Whether you see September as late Summer or early Autumn this month's featured makers will prolong the sunshine.  All three makers have shown here before with some success and I have no doubt that together they will provide an admirable contrast in both technique and creative style.

It is a pleasure to have a fine group of Claire Murray's original figurative sculpture. They will make you smile but also reflect on the inner self which is redolent of so much of her work. I see that she is now using more colour in her work and this adds to the dramatic qualities of her quirky pieces. There is literally no one else making work like this and I am sure that these figures will generate considerable interest and comment.



 



Sylvia Holmes has not had a group of pieces here for a while. Her admirers will recognise her decorative technique which is abstracted with subtle uses of colour and brushwork. She combines layers of texture, line and colour to create rich, evocative, tactile surfaces on simple thrown or hand-built stoneware pieces.  This is simply three dimensional abstract painting.








Kyra Cane had her first show at Bevere in 2016 and it was very well received. She has exemplary skills evident in her finely thrown porcelain pots. Once again we are seeing porcelain as the ultimate clay body for tactility and luminescence. These vessels are elegant and have great presence. Kyra is a well known teacher of ceramics and I am delighted that she will be with us at this month's maker's lunch to talk about her work and her creative inspiration.






Clearly there will be much to enjoy this month and I hope that our visitors will agree.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

THE MAKER'S LUNCH 5 AUGUST 2017 -RICHARD MILLER



   Richard is showing here at Bevere Gallery for the first time. His wood-fired stoneware is distinctly decorated and although inspired by the Japanese ceramic culture in which he has spent some time, he likes to make functional pots that create a dialogue with each other and indeed with us.  I have handled a vast number of pots over the last fourteen years, but I can remember none like these vessels,  which, I have to say, benefit from close study – there is a lot to take in.

Seen en masse you might be forgiven for thinking that these are identically decorated pots – their primary distinction being shape and function. The benefit of listening to Richard talk about his creative drive and making processes is to understand that every pot  - large or small  - has a provenance based on  his British Guianian heritage. His father came from Guiana and his mother from Wales. The cliché 'every picture tells a story' is no cliché in this case, Richard knows the origin and meaning of each of the myriad images he reproduces on his vessels.

He is deeply interested in the history of the British Empire and the contribution of peoples from many Empire nations to the UK and its institutions. His pots are an interesting mix of delftware and contemporary studio pottery. This adds to the sense of the past embedded in each and every vessel.

It would be difficult to spend two hours with him without reference to his role as technician on the Great Pottery Thrown down series. He provided an insiders perspective on the programme and there was acknowledgement of the stress and effort required to support the competitors. He also talked about the tile making company which he acquired when it was closing and turned it into a successful business.

So – in summary -  we were greatly entertained by this charming and articulate potter. It was another example of how our appreciation of pots is significantly enhanced by understanding 'the what' rather than 'the how'.

Thank you Richard for a stimulating experience and I am confident that I speak for all those that attended the lunch.

 Stuart Dickens - Ceramic Curator