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

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Next Maker's Lunch Saturday 6th October

We are delighted that Akiko Hirai has agreed to join us for the Makers Lunch on 6 October between 1200 and 1400. when she will be discussing her fine work which will be featured during October.

She describes her work as semi-spontaneous and we can see the freedom of expression which marks her use of clay. This promises to be an exceptionally interesting and enjoyable time with this highly respected maker – as well as a delicious lunch.

To join us ring Bevere Gallery 
 01905 754484   and book your place – there are only a limited number of places.

Friday, 17 August 2018

The Curator's View - September 2018

The change of makers each month is coming around with extraordinary speed, or is this just the perception of an ageing curator? Nevertheless, we have an exciting mix of styles and making techniques that will hopefully maintain your interest in what is happening at Bevere and in the world of studio ceramics.

Hyu Jin Jo was at Bevere the first time in one of our Graduate Shows – her work was certainly highly regarded then. Now living and working in South Korea, she has built on her well-developed skill base to produce work which combines the contemporary with the traditional oriental. There is a simple elegance of design underpinned by her evident making skills. This is work which will sit comfortably in any context - always an indicator of good design. Delighted to be showing her work here again.

Lara Scobie will be known for her previous shows here. Based in Scotland, this skilled maker in porcelain has high level design and decorating skills which give her work such a distinctive voice. She often uses simple line drawing to exceptional effect. For her, it is the balance between composition and form, absence and presence, that offers some of the most exciting opportunities for expressing her creative voice.

Add to these the range and diversity of other makers in the gallery and as always it should be an enriching experience.

Stuart Dickens
August 2018

Sunday, 29 July 2018


Before the end of the exhibition featuring her work, I was delighted to welcome the eminent German potter Christiane Bernstiel with her artist husband Ulrich Sack. They were on a visit from their home in Neuenkirchen, Germany staying with long time friend the musician, Paul Wilson.

I have great admiration for the Bauhaus movement which was so influential in refocusing design after the jugendstil period (German Art Nouveau). Its impact was felt across the range of arts and architecture for many years after the Bauhaus School closed in 1933. Christiane's father Otto Lindig was for a time lead potter at the Bauhaus.

This gives some insight into the influences on her work; the picture of Christiane with myself holding a splendid large jug which captures the fundamental principles of Bauhaus design – 'sculptural functionality' most succinctly defines it.

The time over lunch and in the gallery was a real pleasure and Christiane showed so much interest in the work on display as well as appreciating the way we had displayed her own pieces. I am pleased to say that she much admired what we are trying to achieve at Bevere with the emphasis on quality and diversity. Her work most certainly adds to that range and I look forward to showing her work into the future. Hopefully, we will also have the chance to see her and Ulrich again.

Stuart Dickens
Ceramic Curator

Thursday, 19 July 2018


The year advances at a pace - the change around this month seems with us all too quickly. We have three very different makers for us all to enjoy. Two of them have not exhibited here before and the third has shown here on several occasions and his reputation grows with each exhibition.

Many of you who are regular visitors will know the work of of Jin Eui Kim He is a meticulous maker with high level design and making skills. He demonstrates the impact of line and subtle colour on the way we view a vessel and the way light can change everything. Visitors to the gallery have always been amazed at his immaculate technique – all his work is hand decorated with stunning accuracy and flawless finish.

Laura Bird is here for the first time.  She is an  illustrator and potter based in Hackney, East London. With her background in illustration, a strong focus on narrative, character and pattern can be found in each piece. This is definitely ceramics to make you smile.

Ben Arnup is the other newcomer to the gallery this month although he has been an established and innovative maker over a number of years now. Trompe l'oeil is a familiar technique in art and his use in ceramics produces pieces which will always make you stop and think twice – at least! We are also particularly pleased that he will be joining us for the Makers Lunch on Saturday 4 August and I am confident that it will be a fascinating and insightful experience. Do come and join us.

So there we are -  hopefully enough to whet your appetite for yet another month.

Stuart Dickens
Ceramic Curator
August 2018

Friday, 13 July 2018

Demo Week in the Gallery Stable

We are delighted to be holding a week of ‘Meet the Maker/Artist Demo Days’ here at Bevere, in our Stable between 11am-3pm Monday 16th - Friday 20th July🎨

You will be able to come and interact with the artist during their demonstration to give you an insight into some of the classes we have on offer.
Monday 16th July-
Karen Stone-Watercolour artist
Tuesday 17th July-
Sally Morgan-Lino cut artist
Wednesday 18th July-
Kate Wrigglesworth-Artist who uses a variety of medium
Thursday 19th July-
Val Briggs-Wildlife artist
Friday 20th July-
Rachel Murgatroyd-Calligraphy
We would love to see you!

Sunday, 8 July 2018


We have now held a number of these events and all have been much enjoyed, however this lunch with such an eminent maker was exceptional.

I was delighted when Walter agreed to join us, not only because of his international reputation, but, having known him for a long time, I knew that he would talk openly and freely about his work and  decades of experience.
In the Gallery, Walter talked eloquently about the fine group of his pots we have featured this month – salt-glaze and earthenware – and almost every vessel enabled him to describe his approach to making and interestingly how a number of his glazes were developed over time. What was evident from the outset was the extent to which he thinks through the making process and reviews the options at each step in the making. This may be getting the right colour and texture of glaze or ensuring the clay body is appropriate and facilitating.

It became very clear that notwithstanding his years of experience, he continues to experiment and develop his work. This is, in many ways a function of his undying creative spirit, which has remained with him since he was a boy. For the makers round the lunch table he provided valuable insights into making, glazing and firing his work. For the non-makers, he impressed with the clarity of his descriptions and importantly the sheer amount of time that is devoted to making – making work of such quality and originality that is.

It was particularly fascinating to hear him explain how the large extruded jug on show was made. Extruding on that scale and diameter is technically tricky and clearly it took him time to work through ways in which shape and form could be sustained through the extrusion and subsequent processes. The result speaks for itself. It is a magnificent piece of his finest salt-glaze ceramic.

Teaching has always been an important part of his ceramic life and he gave a number of insights into the mutuality of the teaching environment – learning from it himself as well as clearly giving support advice and insights to his pupils.

Notwithstanding his international reputation and his undoubted skills in making and design, Walter's modesty and readiness to learn is always apparent. Whilst it may be a cliché that his work speaks for him, I have to say that he adds so much in his conversation which leads to even greater understanding of the man and his fine work.

Thanks once again to Walter for a memorable two hours.

Stuart Dickens
Ceramic Curator
July 2018

   The Next Maker's Lunch is with
Ben Arnup  on Saturday 4th August

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Ceramic Curator' View of July in the Gallery

JULY 2018

From a Curator's perspective, this year has been a  particularly stimulating one so far and I have to say that this coming  month is an exceptional one even by Bevere standards.

Walter Keeler needs almost nothing to be said by way of introduction. He is one of the great British potters whose making and design skills are supreme. Not only is it good to have his work at Bevere once again, we also have the added bonus of a Makers Lunch with him on Friday 6 July. Book now to avoid disappointment and to hear Walter talk about his life in ceramics and the making of the pots that we will have on show.

It is also good to have the work of New Zealand born Raewyn Harrison back in the Gallery again. She is inspired by a love of architecture, history and a less conscious, but no less important, fascination for tidal landscapes. She uses a wide range of making and decorating processes which produce original pieces with a strong storyline.  

The first new maker to the Gallery this month is Matt Davis. Matt is at the cutting edge of current design and making technolog 
y. His computer aided design vessels are fascinating objects which redefine the traditional in a 21st century language. Controversial his approach may be but his work cannot be ignored.

We have an additional Featured Maker for this month and I am delighted to welcome the work of the German potter Christiane Bernstiel to Bevere. Her father was the eminent Bauhaus potter, Otto Lindig and there is no doubt that the Bauhaus influence is evident in her fine work which is characterised by her sculptural shaping of pots and the simplicity of decoration. In her own words, she focuses on each individual pot and the border between use and sculpture. This may well be the first time that her work has been seen here in the UK. Notwithstanding her heritage, she has her own voice and it is a privilege to be showing her pots this month and beyond.

You will now understand why I feel  this year has been such an exciting and stimulating ceramic experience. Come and join us!!!

Stuart Dickens 

Maker's Lunch with Walter Keeler on Friday 6th July