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

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

12th – 29th January 2019…/graduate_show_2019/
As each year passes it occurs to us that we may not be able to sustain the quality, creativity and interest that we hope is inherent  in any Graduate Show. This year is particularly encouraging as the range of work and the creative energy is as strong as any of the best years we have been holding this important event – important because it is one of the vehicles through which the studio ceramic sector is re-energised. 
We have also selected more work from non ceramicists this year as we are keen to provide contrast and exposure to other craft skills.

As always we will be asking visitors to select the maker that they like the best and the exhibitor with the most votes will be represented by the Gallery for the coming year.

This year we will be showing three makers from last year – One Year On – Spencer Penn, the winner last year, Julie Hutton and Kate Bergin.

As always we hope that our visitors will find this show an exciting and stimulating start to the New Year. Below is a taster of some of the work we will be showing.

Monday, 3 December 2018


It was a particular pleasure to have the eminent maker Gabriele Koch  with us for this last Makers Lunch of the year. We have shown her work at Bevere on at least two occasions and her work always adds something special to the look of the Gallery.

Gabriele was born in Germany, although she has lived and worked in the UK for many years. She concentrates on simple forms, trying to relate equilibrium and tension, stillness and movement, expansion and the containment of volume. Contrast of colour is produced by the colours of the clay, black and white. 

The work we have in the gallery before us is a significant number given that Gabriele is only physically able to produce around twenty pieces a year. Whist she explained that her spinal/neck problems had seriously hampered her production, it also became more evident during our discussion that these apparently simple pieces took considerable time to process and complete – particularly the use of integrated porcelain decoration and the paring back of surplus material.

We talked at length about her training in the UK at Goldsmiths and the contrast between British and German ceramic cultures. As we discovered, during the discussion with Yo Thom and Akiko Hirai, Britain provides a greater professional freedom for personal development for the young ambitious maker.
Hand-building is obviously an important aspect of the making process for Gabriele. She coils her pots and their shape and shaping is at the heart of her making ethos.
It became increasingly evident as the event proceeded that Gabriele has an insatiable creative drive and she continues to make wonderful pots notwithstanding her physical constraints – long may she do so!

Stuart Dickens
3 December 2018