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

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

The Maker's Lunch with Yo Thom - 3rd November 2018

We have just enjoyed two hours with Yo Thom who provided modest but articulate insights into the development of her distinctive domestic ware. Although she developed all her interest in ceramics in the UK and trained with Lisa Hammond – a time which she talked of with affection and grateful thanks – there is no doubt that in Yo's pots we see a strong Japanese influence. She lucidly described the way in which her decorative  voice developed over the early years of her career.

Having moved from London to Shaftesbury in 2009 – a move partly influenced by her desire to take up wood firing – a difficult proposition in an intense urban setting – she started a family and the demands of three young children and settled for high temperature electric firing. However, she still has ambitions to take up wood firing.

Yo acknowledged that it would have been much more difficult for her to make her way in ceramics in Japan because of the hierarchy and elitism within centuries of making tradition. The status of ceramics is entirely different in Japan with established makers given high status in society. Nevertheless Yo welcomed the freedom she had working in the UK and the many opportunities that potters had to develop and take alternative approaches to their work.

Appropriately, we spent some time talking about the 'clothing of food' with hand built plates and culinary accessories. This certainly a long established Japanese culture which is certainly not widely observed in the UK with the exception of the ceramic enthusiasts, of course. Everyone agreed that Yo's pots added much to the pleasure of eating and drinking even the simplest of meals.

The lunch was enjoyed by everyone not only because Yo is a charming maker who enjoys talking about her creative endeavour but because  they engaged completely with Yo and importantly her fine pots. This lunch confirmed, yet again, the value of this monthly event in promoting wider interest in ceramics and their origins. Thank you Yo for making the effort to be with us.

Stuart Dickens
4 November 2018


Sunday, 4 November 2018

Featured Maker's Lunch with GABRIELE KOCH
An opportunity to preview the display with our ceramic curator, Stuart Dickens and Gabriele; then over lunch enjoy an informal discussion

Saturday1st December 2018 - Saturday1st Dec 2018
12 noon - 2pm

Places are limited to 10 persons and cost £15
email to book your place or call 01905 754484

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

THE CURATORS VIEW November/December 2018

November/December 2018
I am not known as a Christmas enthusiast but nevertheless it is a time when the gallery can provide exciting and stimulating possibilities. We have tried to ensure that our visitors will have a special experience. The group of five makers brought together for this feature have all been at Bevere before and much admired. Two of them will be joining us for the November and December Makers Lunches – more of which later.

Rowena Brown is an original maker. Her groups of houses and the isolated buildings anchored on rock-like plinths explore themes of self, solitude and community. She has developed an approach to decoration and firing that results in multi-layered surfaces. Our challenge is to show her pieces in the most effective way to maximise the presence of each edifice. 

Petra Bittl is a highly respected German potter whose work has appeared here several times.  Her ceramics are painted, scratched, inlaid with porcelain and decorated with slips. The painted elements are simple: circles, spots and lines compliment the hand built and thrown forms.  Petra's work has always been popular with our visitors and once again it is her originality and creative energy that appeals.

Masazumi Yamazaki produces quirky figurative pieces which show humans in a different light. This is work that cannot be ignored there is no middle ground here you will either love his work or hate it but you will admire his ingenuity and skill. The cultural influence is clearly Oriental but nevertheless there is a universal humanity which is expressed with skill and humour.

Yo Thom makes thrown and hand-built functional stoneware with influence from the traditions of both British and Japanese pottery and food culture. She aims to create tableware, which will become “clothes for food”.  Yo’s pots perform their function as tableware in harmony with the food whilst retaining their strong personality. Importantly, she is joining us for lunch on 3 November. I have no doubt that it will be a most enjoyable event.

Gabriele Koch is another eminent German maker living and working in the UK. She concentrates on simple forms, trying to relate equilibrium and tension, stillness and movement, expansion and the containment of volume. All pieces are hand built with a heavily grogged stoneware body and fine porcelain. Contrast of colour is produced by the colours of the clay, black and white.  I am also delighted that she has agreed to join us for the Makers Lunch on Saturday 1 December which I know will be another treat for ceramic enthusiasts.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Featured Makers Lunch, Saturday 3rd November - Yo Thom

The Featured Maker Lunch is proving to be  a stimulating experience for everyone  - and that includes our guest maker.

This month, we are delighted to be joined by YO THOM whose work has always been popular. She makes thrown and hand-built functional stoneware with influence from the traditions of both British and Japanese pottery and food culture.

Yo’s pots perform their function as tableware in harmony with the food whilst retaining their strong personality. Find out more by booking your place for the lunch which will be held on Saturday 3 November between 1200 and 1400. Tickets are £15.


Thursday, 11 October 2018

Maker's Lunch - 6th October - Akiko Hirai

If we needed any encouragement to maintain our Makers Lunch Programme then Akiko Hirai's first visit to Bevere provided just that. The level of exchange and interaction between Akiko and our lunchtime guests was engaging and very informative and judging by the sales of her work there is no doubt that her work is widely admired.
By her own admission, she has no secrets; all aspects of her working practice were openly discussed. She gave frank and direct answers to the many questions she had over our two hours together. Her work is clearly influenced by the Japanese tradition but with a strong contemporary feel. Her recognisable ceramic voice developed over time rather than some overnight revelation and as with so many creative makers she continues to experiment with new glazes. The moon jar and sake bottles demonstrate the  looseness of her making technique and what can best be described as a controlled randomness which leads to such well balanced yet quite eclectic pieces.

She enjoys the multicultural environs of London where she lives and works and based in the Chocolate Factory along with other artists and makers she welcomes the interaction between them. There is often a sharing of insights and experience which can inform ones own practice.

Her teaching experience is considerable and she has no doubt that this informs her own making as the need to understand process and the impact of specificactions underpins her own approach to making. She is always keen to understand the why as well as the what of her creativity. In many ways this is evident in her love of the written word and the emphasis she places on describing her environment and her remembered perspectives on the world.

Above all else there is a modesty about Akiko which is so appealing and not withstanding her own perspectives on her work she is very open to the views of others. She has a cerebral approach to her work and a clarity about what she wants to achieve and given that English is not her first language, we could only admire the articulate responses to questions and her facility to describe her ceramic life so perceptively.

Thank you to all those who spent lunchtime with us as it is their interaction that makes the event a memorable one.

Stuart Dickens

Ceramic Curator

Saturday, 15 September 2018

The Curator's View - October 2018

It is always a pleasure to change over the gallery and create a different look. This month is going to be special as we have three makers who have been with us a few times before and they have always generated interest through their creativity and undoubted artistry.

Akiko Hirai is one of our favourites and we are pleased to see her work here again. Her Japanese origins are clearly evident in most of her pieces but they are nevertheless contemporary and often at the edge of design and ceramic development. It is her innovative spirit which pervades her making that attracts so many to her fine vessels. I am particular pleased that she will be joining us for the Makers Lunch to be held on on 6 October.

It is too long since Alasdair MacDonell  

and Sally MacDonell
have shown here and I have missed their exceptionally innovative and original approaches to ceramic sculpture.  They do have distinct stylistic voices, however they  share the same values in terms of skills and a concern to enhance the home with objects of beauty and long-lasting interest. I last saw Sally's work at Ceramic Art London and was struck then by the maturity and confidence in her making.

More than any language we might choose to describe the work this month, the smile is likely to be the most common expression of the pleasure that I know will be generated by Akiko, Alasdair and Sally

Stuart Dickens
Ceramic Curator
September 2018