Magpie {49}

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Small gas-fired stoneware bowl with feldspathic green crackle glaze, by Florian Gadsby

This is a tiny thing but it’s very special to me. It is made by Florian Gadsby who has been working with Lisa Hammond at Maze Hill Pottery for the last two years. I have two pots made by him, the first being a piece of the standard ware produced by the apprentices, and this bowl in his own style which marks the completion of his apprenticeship. He has decided to remain at Maze Hill but working part-time for Lisa, which will allow him to devote more time to making his own beautiful work. 

As a self-taught potter reading Florian’s Instagram feed has been enlightening. He writes detailed and absorbing posts filled with information which have made me look more closely at every element of the potting process.

This bowl is hand thrown with a high iron stoneware body. Some of the iron flecks can be drawn out through the clay and into the crackle glaze when the piece is reduction fired, particularly around the rim. One large speck has blossomed on the inside of the bowl, rather like a beauty spot. Stunning.

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Capital

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A while ago I mentioned that I had received an artist’s bursary from Aberdeen City Council. The first installment allowed me to go to Copenhagen to participate in a week’s workshop with Eric Landon, and the second was to fund my application to a London Craft and Design fair called Made London. The application was successful, and after spending over a month in busy preparation, I set off the week before last on a thousand-mile round trip to the South, with my car laden with pots and a display stand.

Over the last three years of being in business I have exhibited at a few fairs, but limited to Scotland and the borders. I found the prospect of such a prestigious event very unnerving, and having a mishap with my kiln the week before didn’t help my nerves. However, any anxiety was quickly dissipated when I arrived at the stunning One Marylebone and found Jon and Anne Marie from Tutton and Young, and an army of porters to help me unload and find my stand.

One Marylebone is a grade one listed de-consecrated church in the centre of the capital, designed by Sir John Soane and built in the early 19th Century. It is packed with beautiful design features including endless chandeliers, floor to ceiling arched windows, winding staircases, mosaics and stained glass. I was lucky to have my spot in the first floor Galleries with a wonderful tree top view across to the new Regents Place development.

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Setting up was a bit frantic. I had needed to incorporate a lot of storage into my stand and there was a fair amount of building to be done in the allotted four hours. Luckily we were allowed early entry the following morning, before opening, to make final adjustments etc.

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With over 120 selected exhibitors the quality of work on show was simply spectacular… from ceramics, jewellery and textiles, to glass, furniture and leatherwork. I’m amazed I came away with any money left at all as there was temptation everywhere.

I only photographed the ceramics on show, purely because of time restraints. It is difficult when you are exhibiting on your own to even get to the bathroom, let alone take time out to peruse everyone else’s glorious wares. Luckily I had some very kind neighbours who watched my stand during a couple of quieter moments to allow me to take a few shots.

The fair ran from Thursday 20, with a packed private view during the evening, to Sunday 23 October. Then after a hasty take down and a delicious Sunday dinner at my friend’s house I set off the Monday morning for the long drive home to Aberdeen. All in all it was a tremendous experience, and I loved meeting new customers, catching up with old and making new friends. It’s a big distance for me to travel, but so many things made it worth it.

Very many thanks to Aberdeen City Council for making this possible and giving me the opportunity to get my work seen by a wider audience. Huge thanks also to all my friends and family who seized this chance and came to visit me during one of my rare trips south of the border.

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Spontaneous throwing lines by Kirsty Adams

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Exquisite, fine porcelain by Justine Allison

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Hand-painted mark-making by Tamsin Arrowsmith-Brown

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Charming illustrations by Helen Beard

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Stunning glazes by Linda Bloomfield

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Landscape inspired porcelain by Candice Coetser

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Microscopic translucency by Amy Cooper

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Nostalgic slipware by Victoria Claire Dawes

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Pieces with inlaid jewels by Tamara Gomez

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Intricately patterned porcelain by Ikuko Iwamoto

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Hypnotic illusions by Jin Eui Kim

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Graphic mark-making by Katharina Klug

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One hundred cups by Emma Lacey

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Layered textures by Hilary Mayo

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Lively layered slipware by RAMP – Roop and Al Make Pots

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Contemporary tableware by Elizabeth Renton

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Japanese miniatures by Yuta Segawa

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Marks, lines and texture by Ali Tomlin

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Artisan craftsmanship by Jeannine Vrins

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Complex glazed landscapes by Paul Wearing

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Pared down forms by Pottery West

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Calm patterns by Mizuyo Yamashita
(image by Mizuyo Yamashita)