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.
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.
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.
Spontaneous throwing lines by Kirsty Adams
Exquisite, fine porcelain by Justine Allison
Hand-painted mark-making by Tamsin Arrowsmith-Brown
Charming illustrations by Helen Beard
Stunning glazes by Linda Bloomfield
Landscape inspired porcelain by Candice Coetser
Microscopic translucency by Amy Cooper
Nostalgic slipware by Victoria Claire Dawes
Pieces with inlaid jewels by Tamara Gomez
Intricately patterned porcelain by Ikuko Iwamoto
Hypnotic illusions by Jin Eui Kim
Graphic mark-making by Katharina Klug
One hundred cups by Emma Lacey
Layered textures by Hilary Mayo
Lively layered slipware by RAMP – Roop and Al Make Pots
Contemporary tableware by Elizabeth Renton
Japanese miniatures by Yuta Segawa
Marks, lines and texture by Ali Tomlin
Artisan craftsmanship by Jeannine Vrins
Complex glazed landscapes by Paul Wearing
Pared down forms by Pottery West
Calm patterns by Mizuyo Yamashita
(image by Mizuyo Yamashita)