Serendipity, Open House & Garden

26th June – 13th July

19 Grove Park Terrace, London, W4 3QE

Please call +44 (0)20 8995 9960 or email info@joannabird.com to enquire

Artists listed in alphabetical order

Norah Braden

Norah Braden (1901 – 2001) is one of the foremost British potters of her time. After graduating with a diploma in painting at the Royal College of Art, she studied at the Leach Pottery from 1925 to 1928, where she became particularly interested in wood ash glazes. She subsequently worked alongside Katharine Pleydell-Bouverie at Coleshill for eight years, both using ash glazes made from plants and wood on the estate.

Karen Bunting

Karen Bunting (1949 – 2024) was born and brought up in Yorkshire. She graduated from London University with an honours degree in chemistry, but quickly realised that this was not the career for her. After a brief time programming computers in the early 70’s, she discovered pottery.

Karen set up her first studio in an Acme mixed complex on Acre Lane in Brighton, and later established her own studio and home in Hackney with her artist husband, Peter Bunting. Karen was Chair of the Craft Potters Association for 15 years.

Seth Cardew

Seth Cardew (1934–2016) was a distinguished English potter and sculptor. He graduated from Camberwell school of Art, and later he returned to Cornwall to assist his father Michael Cardew. Seth continued the family legacy. He was known for his work at Wenford Bridge Pottery in Cornwall where he created unique, functional ceramics with traditional techniques and a modern aesthetic. His pieces are celebrated for their craftsmanship, expression, and influence on contemporary ceramics.

Halima Cassell MBE

Born in 1975 in Pakistan, brought up in Manchester and now living in Shropshire Halima Cassell’s varied, multi cultural background is tangibly present in her work. A natural creativity presented itself at an early age and was nurtured to fruition as Cassell carved her way through an art based education: an undergraduate degree in 1997 and an MA in 2002.

Cassell combines strong geometric elements with recurrent patterns and architectural principles, maximising the impact of the complex surface patterns with contrasting contours.

Pippin Drysdale

Pippin Drysdale’s work evokes a timeless and breathtaking sense of space and place within finely crafted porcelain vessels, narrating the mesmerising vastness of colour experienced in the unique Australian landscape. The landscape is the ever constant lure, the catalyst for making, the connecting point and anchor for each new development. Her works is ambitious. It negotiates interweaving journeys through various landscapes describing her artistic practice and her engagement with the sites she documents.

Elizabeth Fritsch CBE

Elizabeth Fritsch CBE trained as a musician before taking up ceramics in 1966. After studying at the Royal College of Art with Hans Coper, she worked at the Bing & Grøndahl factory in Copenhagen, where she held her first solo exhibition. She was a major prize winner in the Royal Copenhagen Jubilee Competition. In 1987 she was chosen for the Bernard Leach Centenary Post Office Stamp issue with Hans Coper and Lucie Rie.

Her work can be seen in many public collections, including the Belle Rive Museum, Zurich, the Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, the Shigaraki Museum, Japan, and the Victoria & Albert Museum. In 2008 Joanna Bird curated a solo show for Fritsch at The Fine Art Society.

Edward Hughes

Edward (1953-2006) Having graduated from Bath Academy of Art, Edward studied as a postgraduate student on the Japanese Government Scholarship at Kyoto City Art College from 1977 to 1979. He was awarded the Tomimoto Kenkichi Prize for Domestic Pottery at the college’s graduation exhibition.

Following his studies, Edward established his first pottery studio at Shiga, mounting his first solo exhibition at Osaka in 1979. Exhibitions in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka became annual events until his return to England in 1984 to set up his studio in Cumbria. Much of his work was sold in Japan. He had one man show in the Diwa foundation in London.

Edward made reduction fired stoneware and porcelain, mostly slip decorated and glazed with locally obtained wood ash glazes. He sought to emulate the warmth of Cardew’s early slipware, but in stoneware.

Francis Lloyd-Jones

Francis Lloyd-Jones initially studied Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art. After completing the two-year Ceramic Skills and Design Course in Thomastown, Ireland, he went straight on to work at Maze Hill Pottery as an apprentice to Lisa Hammond, finishing in January 2022. He is a selected member of the Craft Potters Association and was short listed for the Heritage Crafts Trainee of the Year 2021.

Francis now lives, works, and teaches in the Farmer’s Arms, a community project focussing on expanding education and social programmes. They run workshops in architecture, self-build techniques, gardening, ceramics, and carpentry, serving as a learning space for all ages and skill levels.

Rupert Spira

The skill of throwing on a potter’s wheel was the basis of Rupert Spira’s work. Having been an apprentice to major ceramic artists he set very high standards in his craft, making large pieces of work with more extraordinary attention to detail than one might anticipate. Rupert graduated from West Surrey College of Art and Design, Farnham and then worked for Michael Cardew at Wenford Bridge.

He set very high standard in this craft making very large works of art with extraordinary attention to detail. His versatility allowed for varied scale and decoration, from monochrome finishes to intricately hand-written text. Rupert also embossed poetry on some of his work, and in some cases, poetry he wrote himself. Rupert stopped making in 2015.

William Staite Murray

William Staite Murray (1881-1962) was born in Deptford, London. He attended pottery classes at Camberwell College of Art from 1909 to 1912, and set up his own pottery in Rotherhithe, London, in 1919. He was appointed Head of Ceramics at the Royal College of Art, London, in 1926.

His work is distinctive. He worked in stoneware and earthenware, often leaving the throwing marks visible as expressive features. He built his own gas-fired kiln, and applied rich glazes in natural colours. His brushwork often consisted of a few abstract strokes which tended to enhance the form. He was one the first artists to give titles to his work and he thought of his pots as inhabiting a space midway between sculpture and painting.

Katharine Pleydell-Bouverie

Born in Berkshire, Katharine Pleydell-Bouverie (1895-1985) grew up in a seventeenth century stately home. In the 1920s, she moved to London and visited Roger Fry at his Omega Workshops; this inspired her to attend the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London where she was a student of Dora Billington. In 1924 she worked under Bernard Leach at St Ives, where she met Michael Cardew and Norah Braden. After spending a year at St Ives, Katharine set up her pottery on the family estate at Coleshill in Buckinghamshire, joined in 1928 by Norah Braden.

She used ash glazes, prepared from wood and vegetables growing on the estate. In 1946 she moved to her second pottery at Kilmington Manor in Wiltshire where she worked until her death in 1985. At Kilmington she used first an oil fired kiln, and then an electric one.

Lucie Rie DBE

Born in Vienna, Lucie Rie (1902-1995) studied ceramics at the Wiener Kunstgewerbeschule under Michael Powolny and Robert Obseiger from 1921 to 1926. She showed her work in various exhibitions concerned with the products of the Wiener Secession, including the Paris exhibitions of 1925 and 1936. She arrived in England in 1938 and established her studio in Albion Mews, West London, where she remained for the rest of her working life.

Her earliest English works were ceramic buttons, brooches and tableware, which she made with the assistance of Hans Coper after the Second World War. However, once wartime exigencies and immediate post-war austerities were over, Rie was free to develop her work, bringing to it an infallible sense of style combined with a certain ‘English’ sense of balance between form and surface.

Louisa Taylor

Louisa Taylor studied a BA degree in 3D Design: Ceramics, at Bath Spa University (2000-2003) and then spent a year working as a production potter in rural Lincolnshire. This was followed by a Masters degree in Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art, London (2004-2006). Louisa set up her ceramic business in October 2006 and is based in Brighton, East Sussex where she produces her tableware range for shops, galleries and collectors in the UK and internationally.

Kaja Upelj

Kaja Upelj is a Slovenian artist working between Slovenia and the United Kingdom. She graduated from the Royal College of Art (2018) specializing in glass, prior which she received BA in Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana (2016). During her MA, Upelj developed a technique in which iridescent colours occur from chemical reactions within glass.

We hope that you have enjoyed the virtual exhibition ‘Serendipity, Open House & Garden’. We look forward to seeing those of you who are able to come at the gallery.

We would like to thank all the artists, photographers Alick Cotterill and Sylvain Deleu.