Everyday Beautiful

7th June 2019 - 6th July 2019

Perfectly Functional Ceramics for the Everyday and the Unexpected

For centuries the emphasis on what we eat our food from and drink our coffee out of has been a subject of much debate and intrigue. Never has this been more true than today, when the perfect plate can be the dffference between a good meal and a bad one, and the tea cup with the handle 'just-so' the making of moment. 

This collection of new works from Francis Lloyd-Jones, Katrin Maier and Gill Thompson (Sytch Farm Studios) provides the opportunity to add to your own collection of everyday delights with the odd star of the show available for those more special occasions too.

Francis Lloyd-Jones has been surrounded by handmade pots and ceramics all his life. A background in Fine Art and a multidisciplinary practice led to a marrying of both the desire to obtain a craft skill and a persistent interest in functionality. Working for the Craft Potters Association and Ceramic Review magazine in the UK provided a prolonged exposure to current British studio ceramics, resulting in a clear idea of what appealed to him. Francis was accepted onto the Design And Crafts Council Ireland's Ceramics Skills and Design Training Course in 2016, and after graduating has taken up an apprenticeship with renwoned potter Lisa Hammond. 

Describing his work, Franics says "My work does not shout for attention. It sits quietly in the day to day, occupies a spot in a routine or peers out unobtrusively and may occasionally cause a double take. Functional objects are my main concern; pots made for use but also objects that nod towards a past function, featuring remnants of utilitarian components now ultimately defunct but repurposed as decoration. For me, pots are things that operate on the fringes of people’s lives and this is where I feel most comfortable operating. It is an almost unconscious contentment from using or being surrounded by things that are slightly out of the ordinary. It is a subtle business." Francis lives and works in South London.

Katrin Maier has also recently returned to London after spending two years in Thomastown in County Kilkenny, S.E Ireland, where she completed The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s Ceramics Skills and Design Training Course. She was one of just 6 non-Irish makers, along with Francis Lloyd Jones, to be accepted onto this increasingly prestigious course, following in the footsteps of the likes of Florian Gadsby, Derek Wilson & Adam Buick

In rural Germany, where Katrin grew up, she connected with nature. From her mother and grandmother, she learned to use her hands, to grow things, to make and mend. During her years in Berlin she soaked up historical and political knowledge and, while living in London, she learned to appreciate art. Her time in West Africa nurtured an interest in other cultures, in how people live and how they make sense of the world.  In ceramics, she has found a material, a way of working and a life philosophy that brings together all these parts that are so important to who she is. Before being accepted on the DCCoI Ceramics Skills & Design Course, she was largely self-taught, and she retains an intuitive approach to making and aesthetics                     

Katrin makes mainly wheel thrown ceramics for table, kitchen and bathroom. The shapes and surfaces of her pieces are functional, tactile and clear. She is particularly interested in lines and pulls that emerge when glazes, clay body, slips and oxides react with each other in the kiln. Katrin lives, works and teaches in London.

Gill Thompson grew up in the Cornish village of St Agnes, from where she still sources her clay. Gill fell in love with clay at primary school after making a large pinch pot, when she was told her pot would not be 'real' as it was not going to be 'fired' a fascination with the material was born. Basic throwing lessons at Newquay Tretherras Secondary School led on to qualifications in Art and Design including a Master's degree in Ceramics.

During 16 years of Art and Design and Ceramic teaching Gill continued to throw pots as presents for friends. Moving to Sytch Farm five years ago gave her the chance to have her first private pottery and an opportunity to build on her skills.  “Over the last 20 years as a hobby for myself, I made pots for friends" she says, "then I had the opportunity to take a table at a show which I was reluctant about, but in a couple of hours I thought ‘oh, crikey maybe I should take it more seriously".

Gill Thompson has sold her Sytch Farm Studio tableware to The Hairy Bikers, Si King and Dave Myers; Brompton Cookery School; Tom Kerridge’s The Coach in Marlow and The Hand and Flowers; Hampton Manor; Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 Restaurant, and many more.

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