45 Southside Gallery
New Brewery Arts
At seventeen I moved to Hereford to study at Hereford School of Art & Design, transferring to Redruth School of Art to take a further ceramics course for which I was awarded a diploma with distinction. After work experience with several established potters, I opened my own pottery in Newquay in 1971.
An opportunity arose in 1975 to begin a large production pottery in Devon on the Flete estate. After this in 1982, I took my family to La Borne in the department of Cher, France, where an ancient pottery village still survives, repeating the traditional forms and ways of wood firing important to that region of central France, using an anagama kiln.
In 2000 I went again to live and work in La Borne.
Exhibitions and Memberships: These include numerous one-man shows in Britain; collective shows in Europe, Japan, the USA, Saudi Arabia, South Korea. I was a member of the Cornwall Crafts Associations, the West Country Potters Association and the Penwith Society of Arts. I became a member of the Association of Potters of La Borne.
I returned to Cornwall in January 2014 and I have renewed my membership of the Cornwall Crafts Association.
Becoming older means that I haven’t the strength I had formerly so production must follow my body’s rhythm. Even so, I can’t wait to begin work each day! When a kiln is unpacked the thrill is the same as it was to me in 1971 when I started my first pottery.
I have spent the last seven years passing the skills and tricks I have developed to Karen, formerly my final apprentice. She is now a potter in her own right and works in our shared studio. The tableware range is now a joint affair and seems to work exceedingly well for both of us.
I work with several porcelain bodies, obeying the rules I have made for myself each time I throw. If I am making my Etherial range, then each piece is thrown as thin as possible; if I am not happy then I will try harder on the next. Of course, making moon jars requires different rules.
I pride myself in never having purchased a ready-made glaze. I play with my glazes, making them from raw minerals and oxides. Being compatible with one another makes them easier to blend; the firing does the rest. Kiln packing, shelf placement and the passage of the flames dictate how the glazes will look on the gallery shelf.
As a rule I fire my gas kiln once each week; however, a large order can mean a firing every day. I still find fun in working out timing schedules for each. My firings in general are fast: only 5 hours from cold to 1280c. This is one of the ‘break the rules if it works’. There are many more in the workshop, privy only to myself.
I once asked a dear friend while I was working in La Borne to fire a piece of work to 1300c in one of his gas kilns. After three hours he rang to say that it was ready for collection. This was my first encounter with the fast firing of porcelain.
I don’t often feel the need to name my studio pieces, unless I see a theme that seems to correspond to what I have created, then it is named.
Would I change my job if I were 21 again? Not at all… it might be nice to have a little more money - but is that the human trait of Greed?
In 2017 Karen Carlyon joined my studio.
Karen began to express her creative ideas by taking watercolour classes and later ceramics. She spent several years with Paula Downing, hand building large sculptural pieces using various clay bodies. She now fires her wheel thrown porcelain pieces in a gas kiln; the inspiration for her work comes from our coastline and long spells watching the movement and colours of the sea. Her main production is indivdual studio pieces, she also takes commissions, supplying galleries mainly in the South West.
In 2020 we began a joint venture, Toll House Pottery, to run alongside our individual studio work. Together we work mainly in porcelain with exciting high temperature glaze colours, the result of years of research and experimentation.
Our new online shop makes available not only our individual studio work but also the range of tableware we have been developing together.
We’re excited about our new work and the chance to show it online as Toll House Pottery Ceramics. Now you can browse through our range of tableware and choose your own sets and colours.
All products are dishwasher, oven and microwave proof. Unlike industrially produced ceramics, sizes and colours may vary slightly since all items are hand made. There may be slight variations to glazes between firings.
Have a look at our studio ceramics too. We are dedicated to extending our considerable talents with new shapes and colours. This is a great opportunity for you to see how these develop. As new work is produced, examples will be posted regularly in the shop.
Everything is available for delivery by courier, we only ship in the UK.