other days by appointment
The JOANNA BIRD GALLERY is delighted to announce its Winter Exhibition, The Joy of Things to Come. The Exhibition will run from 15th November – 15th December, Tuesday to Saturday, 10.00am – 5.00pm, and by appointment.
We are pleased to be showing a selection of outstanding contemporary work set alongside that of historic masters. The work on display draws on a wide variety of art and craft disciplines: sculptural ceramics, porcelain, hand blown glass, and studio pottery. The artists represented in The Joy of Things to Come include: Dawn Bendick, Prue Cooper, Pippin Drysdale, Elizabeth Fritsch, Lobmeyr Glass, Hanne Heuch, Francis Lloyd-Jones, Tom Perkins, Judith Rowe, Anthony Scala, Pam Su, Louisa Taylor, Miranda Thomas, Kaja Upelj, Matthew Warner, Gregory Warren Wilson.
Also works by past masters: Alan Caiger-Smith, Edward Hughes, William Staite Murray, Lucie Rie and Charles Vyse will be exhibited.
This virtual exhibition features a few select pieces, although there is more work available from each artist exhibited. Please visit the artists’ pages for our full listings, or email email@example.com for more information.
DAWN BENDICK (b. 1977, USA) is an artist working with time, light, and multitone glass based in the UK. She works with a combination of natural and artificial lights to trigger changes in the colour of this unusual and magical material. Her work is inspired by natural light and our intuitive ability to track time without technology. By tapping into our peripheral senses with her dichroic glass, she questions how we can bring awareness to the change in seasons, atmospheric light and weather.
Bendick’s work has been covered by Elle Decor, DAMN magazine, FRAME, Wallpaper, étapes, and WWD(NYC). She has worked with artists and designers internationally on textiles, performances, and installations.
Alan Caiger-Smith MBE (1930 – 2020) was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He studied painting and drawing at Camberwell School of Art in London, and between 1949 and 1952 read History at King’s College, Cambridge. In 1954-55 he attended evening classes in ceramics with Dora Billington at Central School of Art, where he learned tin-glazing, and in 1955 opened his pottery at Aldermaston in Berkshire. This became the main centre of decorated pottery production, with 6 to 8 potters working there at any one time. From 1956 to 1963 Caiger-Smith also ran a studio in Homer Street London, which ran concurrently with that in Aldermaston.
In 1963 he began to experiment in reduced lustre decoration that has since become typical of his work, and for which he is celebrated. He undertook research into Islamic glazes and wood firing. Some of the commissioned work he produced was on a large scale which had to be fired in a factory.
From 1973-78 he was Chairman of the British Crafts Centre, and in 1976 featured in “Pottery Decoration”, one of six films in the BBC Craft of the Potter series. In 1988 he was appointed M.B.E.
The Aldermaston Pottery closed in 1993, and since then Caiger-Smith has written “Pottery, People and Time”; a history of the Aldermaston Pottery, and has worked on commissions. Only in the last few years of his life did he again produce studio pottery. Other books he has written are Tin-Glaze Pottery in Europe and the Islamic World (1973) and Lustre Pottery (1985).
Prue trained as a painter and spent twenty years dealing in eighteenth and nineteenth century drawings before deciding to go back to making. After a three-year ceramics course she set up her present studio with Regina Heinz, in 1996.
Prue’s dishes are meant to be used and enjoyed; slip decorated press-moulded earthenware is an approachable and friendly medium. The designs reflect her view of life, celebrating friendship and the sharing of simple pleasures.
Some dishes have inscriptions, which are not separate from the designs but integral to the whole both in form and meaning. The overall design echoes the sense of the words, as a tune echoes the sense of the lyric.
An acclaimed International Artist and Master of Australian Craft, Pippin Drysdale’s career as a ceramic artist spans 40 years. Her passion for the craft is inspired by a love of the landscape, and in most recent years she has focused on the vivid desert in Australia.
Her works evoke 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.
Through a continuing investigation of the flora and landforms of the unique areas of Australia and a commitment to engaging with the cultural, social and political agendas that are shaping them, she is open to embrace each new creative challenge.
Pippin Drysdale has been chosen as one of Western Australia’s 15 Living Treasures. The 2015 State Living Treasures Award recipients were chosen by a panel of distinguished members of the arts and culture community.
Hanne Heuch (born 1954, Oslo) studied ceramics at Bergen School of Arts and Crafts before graduating from the National College of Art and Design, Oslo in 1979. From 1988 to 1992 she was Professor and Head of Department at Bergen National Academy of the Arts. She currently teaches at the Academy of Design and Craft in Gothenburg.
Heuch has worked on several commissions for public buildings in Norway, using pigmented laminated building glass produced at Planglasteknik AB in Stockholm. Her work is included in many public and private collections: SKMU Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand, the Museum of Decorative Art and Design, Oslo, and the Museum of Decorative Art, Bergen.
Elizabeth Fritsch trained as a musician before taking up pottery in 1966. She studied ceramics at the Royal College of Art under Hans Coper. After leaving in 1971, she worked in the Bing and Grondahl factory in Copenhagen where she held her first exhibition. She was a major prize winner in the Royal Copenhagen Jubilee Competition. In 1987, she set up her own studio in London and in that year, was chosen for the Bernard Leach Centenary Post Office Stamp issue with Hans Coper and Lucie Rie.
Fritsch was renound for flattening her clay forms to create optical illusions, and using layers of brightly coloured slips which are sanded to reveal the layers below. Her original style led to an illustrious career, where she was awarded a CBE and Senior Fellowship at the Royal College of Art, and shortlisted for the Ceramics Jerwood Prize for Applied Arts in 1996 & 2001.
Elizabeth has said of her work ‘I want people to be satisfied with the vessel just as they would be with sculpture. But as you see (what I make) is not really intended to be used. It has what I call a ‘surrealistic’ use.’ When Fritsch decorates her vessels she often thinks in terms of ‘moving from the earth into the air’.
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.
Edward made reduction fired stoneware and porcelain, mostly slip decorated and glazed with locally obtained wood ash glazes. The pottery mark stamped on all of his work incorporates, in addition to his initials, the Japanese characters Earth and Fire, signifying the basic elements of the potter’s craft.
Chiarastella Cattana is a fabric designer based in Venice, Italy. Her work weaves traditional craftsmanship together with contemporary colours and patterns. By mixing different threads, she is able to give her creations a life and texture that are her signature.
Her career began in Milan, at a time when Made in Italy was stressing the importance of product quality. Through the experience in fashion, her knowledge of fabrics became the rule, and made her passion grow stronger. Full of movement, her designs are uniquely modern, bringing innovation to traditional weaving techniques.
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. Recent group exhibitions include: Joanna Bird Point of Balance, Ones to Watch, Clay College Stoke, Ash Ember Flame, Embassy of Japan; Future Perfect at Make, Hauser and Wirth, Somerset.
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.
Founded in 1823 by Josef Lobmeyr, J. & L. Lobmeyr, is now in its sixth generation as a family run business. J. & L. Lobmeyr, continues to produce exquisite Venetian glassware, both functional and decorative, including glasses, chandeliers. Lobmeyr glasses are first mouthblown, then cut, engraved, and polished by hand, every single product is handled with the care of at least 18 hands during production.
William Staite Murray 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.
Staite Murray was one of the most celebrated, influential, and successful British studio potters in the years before the second world war. He exhibited in fine art galleries with painters and sculptors, and his work commanded high prices for that time. He considered himself to be a fine artist and distanced himself from the folk craft tradition of his potting contemporaries. However, like Bernard Leach he looked to the East, finding aesthetic inspiration in the Oriental ceramic tradition, and spiritual sustenance in Buddhism.
Stylistically, his work is distinctive. He worked in stoneware and earthenware, threw large pots and often left the throwing marks visible as expressive features even though he turned the feet. He built his own gas-fired kiln, and applied rich glazes in stoney and mossy greys and browns. His brushwork often consisted of a few abstract strokes which tended to enhance the form. He thought of his pots as inhabiting a space midway between sculpture and painting, and relished giving his pots titles.
Tom Perkins has worked as renowned letter carver and lettering designer for the last 25 years. Working to commission, he designs and uses his own letterforms in all his work, which includes carved inscriptions (using a wide variety of British stones and slates), lettering for graphics and painted lettering in buildings.
Tom’s work has been exhibited both in the UK and abroad and recent commissions include a large opening plaque for the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace, cast metal lettering for balustrade adjacent to St Martin-in-the-Fields and commemorative plaques for Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. His book The Art of Letter Carving in Stone was published by the Crowood Press in 2007.
Born in Vienna, Lucie Rie (née Gomperz) 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 then 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.
Even after Hans Coper left to set up his own studio in 1958, they continued to exhibit together and their work, although very different, represented a new departure from the Eastern influences that until then had been the British studio potter’s sole source of reference. Lucie Rie’s work is to be found in numerous major public collections, as well as many private ones.
Working by the sea in Hastings, artist and potter Judith Rowe makes a wide range of earthenware. She uses traditional techniques which she learned under Eddie Hopkins in the renowned Winchcombe Pottery in Gloucestershire.
Judith has established nature as the central motif which permeates her work both metaphorically and literally, since she decorates her cups, jugs and bowls with birds and plants and regularly throws pots with clay that she collects from the shore’s surface at low-tide. Loving nothing more than to be on the beach or in the fields, she decorates her earthenware using oxides, and paints surfaces that mirror the greens, greys and blues of the sea and surrounding landscape. Judith has cited Minoan terracotta pottery as her biggest inspiration.
Anthony Scala has been working in glass for over twenty years. Initially trained as an architectural model maker, he discovered his passion for glass during an apprenticeship with Peter Layton at London Glassblowing, which sparked his interest in cold-working techniques. Scala has exhibited extensively throughout the UK, including at the British Glass Biennale and Modern & Contemporary Glass at Bonhams, and in 2005 he won the prestigious Glass Sellers’ Award, making him the youngest contender ever to receive this prize.
‘My inspiration is drawn from the optical effects glass and light can induce upon one another, and in turn, how these shifting qualities can manipulate the perceived image of an object. Through them it is possible to create objects in which the laws of light, shadow, and reflection combine in ways only nature can dictate, thereby allowing us a tantalising yet transitory glimpse of refractive creations forever beyond our grasp.’
Pam Su is a Taiwanese-American artist working in ceramics characterized by the anomalous. She holds an MA in Ceramics and Glass from the Royal College of Art and a BA in Film Studies from Cornell University. Pam has exhibited internationally and was one of the 2019 BCB Fresh Award winners.
Louisa Taylor studied a BA (hons) 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.
Alongside making her work, Louisa is a Senior Lecturer on the BA (hons) 3D Design and Craft course at the University of Brighton, visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art, and a short course tutor at West Dean College. Louisa is a professional member of the Crafts Potters Association and Contemporary Applied Arts, London. In 2012, Louisa undertook a six-month post (January – June) as artist in residence at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Louisa is the author of numerous books on the subject including: The Ceramics Bible, Ceramics Masterclass and Glazes for the Contemporary Maker.
Miranda Thomas is a renowned potter based in Vermont, born in New York but raised in Italy, Australia, and England. Introduced to pottery at the age of 16, she has since apprenticed and worked with some of the world’s most notable potters, including Michael Cardew CBE, with whom she received her most significant training, as well as Alan Caiger-Smith.
Her pottery is collected in numerous homes, including those of celebrities and dignitaries such as President Barack Obama, President Joe Biden and Pope John Paul II.
Miranda’s designs draw from the English countryside, as well as using symbolism and patterns from ancient Japanese, Middle Eastern, and Aboriginal designs, among other international influences.
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 to which she received her 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.
Kaja has won numerous scholarships and awards. This includes a Queen Elizabeth Trust Scholarship in the UK, and being named one of the global emerging young talents at New Horizons 2018 in China. She has exhibited internationally, showing in art fairs such as Collect in London, Miart and Milan Design Week in Milan, as well as in the Nomad Circle fair in various cities.
Charles Vyse (1882 – 1971) was born in Staffordshire to a family in the pottery industry. He studied sculpture at the RCA before becoming a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors and continued his study at the Camberwell School of Art. He worked with Nell, his wife, who was exceptionally knowledgeable concerning ceramic chemistry. He occupies an important position in the history of British Studio Pottery as one of the pioneers experimenting with high-fired stoneware glazes of Chinese type. His work is technically of a very high order.
Matthew Warner completed his BA at Camberwell College of Art in 2010. He went on to study under Julian Stair and now works from his studio in South East London. Matthew is inspired by the work of the 18th century potter, Josiah Wedgwood.
‘Pots fascinate me because they embody and articulate so much information about society and culture. They are relics or signals of taste, social behaviour and cultural history. Their forms are incredibly diverse and at the same time carry a universal understanding. These everyday objects span social divides and convey very concentrated messages about their environment. I am particularly interested in the social connotations of these objects throughout history and more specifically how they have been deployed to promote ideas of class, power, and even moral understanding. My new work explores these perceptions of status and how they are influenced by functionality, social environment, material and ideas of luxury.’
Gregory Warren Wilson’s brilliantly colourful and innovative work in glass plays with the translucent nature of the material. Having lived for many years in Italy and Australia, light is crucial to his work as an artist. Each piece is conceived on multiple layers of hand-cut glass; allowing light to interact with the glass spatially, penetrating the depths within each frame. His designs sparkle and scintillate, as the irregularity of each unique piece enlivens the surface of the glass, refracting light in ways that are unpredictable and appear to change when viewed from different aspects.
Warren Wilson’s work is, in part, sculptural, as each piece can only exist in three dimensions. His work invites the eye to exult in pure colour, and to investigate the mysterious depths of the space that the designs inhabit within their bespoke frames.
Warren Wilson is a prize-winning poet. He has published six collections and was awarded an Arts Council Grant in 2008. He was chosen to exhibit in the 2022 British Glass Biennale. A number of his glass designs take as their starting point a fragment of poetry. Over time, his visual response develops into a ‘correlative’, resulting in a glasswork that exists in its own right, while alluding, albeit obliquely, to the original literary source.
Thank you for visiting ‘The Joy of Things to Come’. We hope that you have enjoyed the work by each artist and their thoughts on the theme.
Exhibition opening hours are Tuesday – Friday, 10am – 5pm. Private viewings with Joanna on other days can be scheduled by appointment.
For all enquiries, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +44(0)208 995 9960.