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For National Creativity & Innovation Day, The Ceramicist looks at studio pottery

April 18, 2021 2 Comments

The Ceramicist Skylark Galleries blogger Vivien Phelan logo

In the run-up to National Creativity and Innovation Day on 21 April, The Ceramicist, aka Vivien Phelan, looks at studio pottery.

Studio pottery comprises original artworks by professional and amateur artists working alone or in small groups to create unique items or short runs of ceramic art works, as opposed to factory-made pieces such by Royal Dalton and Wedgwood. Studio potters are nowadays more often referred to as ceramic artists or ceramists.

In 1873 the Martin brothers (namely, Robert, Walter, Charles and Edwin) founded what is known as the first studio pottery in UK. Their studio was in Southall, part of the Borough of Ealing. Today examples of their work can be seen in the library of Dominion Centre. The Martin brothers were key figures in the Aesthetic Movement, which extolled handmade centre point to the industrial age, and kicked off a revolution in British Art Pottery.

We must remember that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” before I quote the Financial Times who describe it as, “Glorious grotesque steeped in gothic fantasy”. The pieces they made were so grotesque, with their bulging eyes and toothy grins, that, when a piece was sold, the UK Government banned its export on grounds of its “outstanding aesthetic importance”. Plymouth museum saved as a “national treasure”.

Today at auction the Martin brothers ceramic art sells to collectors for significant sums.

So time, perhaps, to take a look at the ceramic art - original art for sale - made by members of the Skylark Galleries collective - which are today’s collectables.

Man and horse ceramic by Richard DicksonMan & horse ceramic vase by  Richard Dixon H 38cm £325.00. To see more of his amazing & diverse ceramic & print making click here.

Three in a bed ceramic by Heather TobiasThree in a bed porcelain & oxi des by Heather Tobias. £295.00. To see more of Heather's artwork, click here.

 Together again ceramic art by Vivien Phelan The Ceramicist blogger for Skylark GalleriesTogether again smoked fired ceramic by Vivien Phelan.  £280.00.  

Cowrie plate ceramic by Corrine EdwardsCowrie Plate by Corrine Edwards
38 Cowrie shell imprints.
Stoneware clay. Dry sky-blue glaze
Diameter 33cm (13”)


2 Responses


April 28, 2021

Great to learn about studio pottery!


April 21, 2021

Very interesting read and love the artists’ work you’ve featured!

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