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Studio Selections

Studio Selection Pieces

Our Studio Selections showcases a few of the items we currently have in our Shop and celebrates the inspiration and creative process behind them. Each piece has been expertly created by the maker. Below we have four pieces of work that we are featuring as part of our Studio Selections.

Ceramic Barge Jug by Peter Deans
This beautifully made Ceramic Barge Jug has been created by Essex potter, Peter Deans.
We have chosen this piece because of it’s combination of light blue, green tones which have been expertly used to create a delightful swirl style. The Jug also incorporates an unusual barge jug motif.
Featuring the words, Barge Jug, it celebrates the wonderful magnificence of the barge. On the Essex coastline in places such as Maldon, near to where Peter is based, the Thames barges can be seen sailing out along the estuary.
Peter’s work combines the decorative with the practical, and this Jug could be used for a variety of purposes or just as a decorative item.
About the maker:

Peter is a potter based in Essex who specialises in classic decorative domestic ware such as large bowls, platters, jugs, salt pigs, vases, casserole dishes, garden pots and teapots.

Growing up in New Zealand, Peter has always enjoyed pottery, sharing studios with other potters in Christchurch before moving to the U.K and working for Chelsea Pottery. Nowadays Peter works from his studio on the Essex coast.

Peter is inspired by early Chinese/Japanese and Roman and Greek pottery.

“I am also influenced by natural forms such as the unique New Zealand kowhai flower, which I use as my main wax resist decoration.  Some of my decorative bowls are influenced by the sea running over the pebbles and sand on the seashore.  Others are derived from organic forms such as seedpods, poppy seed heads and pumpkins” says Peter.

Much of his glazed stoneware is reduction fired in a gas kiln, as Peter likes the rich colours you can obtain from the metal oxides, such as iron oxide, copper, cobalt and so on.

“I love to make beautiful pottery that people can admire and also use” says Peter.

To view our ceramics range please click here.

To go directly to the Barge Jug click here.

‘George’ Hand felted Vessel

This delightful piece has been created by Suffolk maker, Evelyn Plantizer.

We love the originality and flexibility of this vessel, which can be utilised in a variety of ways, bringing new life to tired pieces and those objects often relegated to the recycle bin.

Below Evelyn describes the process in creating this piece.

“Here I used a rough sheeps wool from a local sheep called “George”. The natural deep chocolate brown colour has some lighter fibres incorporated as well. I added lustrous white silk fibres as a contrast to the natural wool fibres. The wet felting process makes the fibres shrink and a rippled effect is visible”

Rougher wool works well for objects especially when incorporating other materials and fibres like shiny silk or spun wool threads. Their natural colours remind Evelyn of working with clay or porcelain – the inspiration for making vessels was born.

We all have so many objects standing around – here we have the opportunity to put them away flat when not in use. The bottomless vessel! Sleeves are made to cover ugly vases, jars or even plastic bottles, and can be sent flat in the post – in a jiffy (bag). And when one includes a voucher for flowers or a seed packet for the garden, who wouldn’t like such a present!

The vessel can be filled with dried or fresh flowers, greenery from the hedge or a candle. Evelyn produces one-off items; nothing will be produced in high numbers because the materials will always give her new ideas to explore.

About the maker

Evelyn has been an artist, maker and educator for many years. Her inspiration is often texture and materials, which she likes to explore using different techniques from glass fusing, pottery, silver smithing, paper collages and felt making. Working with raw wool, often sourced from local sheep or Alpacas in Suffolk, she cards and combes and then felts the wool with water, soap and muscle-power.  It can be a time-consuming process until the natural materials bond together to form a new and strong material – felt.

To view Evelyn’s work and that of other textile artists please click here.

To view the ‘George’ Hand Felted Vessel please click here.

Another piece that Evelyn has created (not available in our Shop) is an Alpaca wool vessel, as seen below.

Evelyn comments “Here I experimented with different qualities of Alpaca wool and added a rim of very fluffy fibres around the top. The main body has added textures using pre- felted off cuts and wool threads. I produced a flat piece of felt and then sawing it together in an oval shape. The ugly plastic flower pot gets an unusual make-over”.

White Alpaca Vessel

Pink Opal Bracelet

This wonderful pink opal bracelet features an unusual oxidised silver clasp. This beautiful piece is a delight to wear and could be worn with a variety of outfits.

Pink opal can range in colour from pink-white, cream to lavender. Pink opal is considered to be a stone of relaxation and which has a deep connection to the heart chakra.

This lovely piece is designed by Essex based maker, Nanuk Jewellery and measures 7.5 inches in length inc clasp.

About the maker

Louise, the maker behind Nanuk Jewellery, studied jewellery making and design at university, after which she spent some time working in a local jeweller’s before setting up Nanuk Jewellery.

Louise mostly works with sterling silver, incorporating wire work, gemstones and traditional pearl knotting techniques. She enjoys using colourful strands of gemstone beads, making them into necklaces, bracelets and earrings with her own hand made silver fittings.

“I like to include colour and intricate small details in my work, and combining gemstone beads with my own unique handmade findings gives me a chance to do this” says Louise. Louise also makes a range of steam punk jewellery under the name of Nanuk Designs.

After completing several very enjoyable bookbinding classes, focusing on different styles of binding and traditional techniques, Louise has also started to make her own journals and sketchbooks, using decorative papers and leather for the covers, and different paper for the pages to accommodate either writing and journaling or sketching and watercolours.

We have a selection of these books in our Shop, please click here to view.

To see more of Nanuk Jewellery’s work and that of other jewellery designers please click here.

To see the Pink Opal Bracelet please click here 

Laburnam Twist Pen

We have chosen this lovely woodturned twist pen made using laburnam wood. Geoff from Grumpy’s Woodturning makes a range of woodturned pens, which are very popular and make beautiful gifts for someone who loves to write.

Laburnam wood normally ranges in colour from an orangish brown to a darker violet brown, darkening with age. It is an easy wood to turn with despite being a hard, dense wood.

We love the different tones in this laburnam pen and think it is a great example of an expertly turned, wooden pen. The pen takes a cross-style refill.

About the maker

Geoff is the man behind Grumpy’s Woodturning.

Geoff has always been interested in wooden items since his school days. His interest in wood was kindled when he saws a woodturner demonstrating at a builders merchant trade show.

The tools used in woodturning are hand held on a rest and all cuts are a combination of hand and eye co-ordination. Once the piece is turned to Geoff’s satisfaction, the finishing process begins. First the piece is sanded to a fine finish and then the sanding sealer is applied. This is when the attractive grain pattern pops out. Then, depending on what the piece is intended for, Geoff either polishes it with wax or food safe oil.

Geoff uses various timbers and likes home grown timbers such as Ash, Oak and Beech. He also enjoys working with timbers from abroad, with Sapele and Olive being favourites.

” I know a tree surgeon and sometimes he gets me some unusual timber like Laburnam. I also use reclaimed timber when I can get it. A couple of years ago a neighbour gave me some beautiful Mahogany that had been lying around at Tilbury Docks. It made some beautiful goblets” says Geoff.

Apart from the pens he makes, Geoff doesn’t work to a set plan. ” I start off knowing what I am going to make eg. a bowl and then the shape of the bowl evolves in my mind as the work progresses. This means my products are all unique and one of a kind” Geoff comments.

To view more woodturned items please click here and to go directly to the Laburnam Pen click here.