Elaine Bolt Ceramics Woodland Vessels (photography by Yeshen Venema)I hope this message finds you well and enjoying the lovely weather we’ve been having.
May is nearly here so it’s time for my Open Studio weekends. Find out the details below.
You can also see updates on my latest activities and where you’ll find me and my work over the next couple of months.

Open Studio

This May I will be opening up my studio at Atelier 51 in Brighton for four weekends, giving you a chance to look around my workshop and some of the other artists spaces in the building.

I will have new work available to buy and for the first time will be demonstrating throwing on the wheel in my studio for the open weekends.

The dates are: May 5/6th, 12/13th, 19/20th, 26/27th

Times: 11am to 5pm

I will be demonstrating ceramics and throwing on the wheel in my studio each weekend from 2pm – 3pm.

The open studios is part of Brighton and Hove’s huge ‘Artists Open Houses‘ event across May. So if you’re coming from further afield you can make a day of it and visit artists and makers all across the city. The Shop at Atelier 51 will also be extending upstairs so there will be lots of new top-range craft and art works to see, all selected by Made London organisers Tutton and Young.

Elaine Bolt ceramics studio, image by Thom Atkinson

Location: Atelier 51
51 Providence Place, Brighton, BN1 4GE

Getting there:

five minutes walk from Brighton Station (leave by the rear exit and down the steps)

just off London Road (we’re opposite St Bartholomew’s Church, just behind Costa)

You can park at London Road car park on Providence Place

Atelier 51 Brighton shop front

Artists Open Houses logo

Atelier 51 logo




Atelier 51 is Venue no.12 on the ‘Beyond the Level’ trail, as part of Brighton’s Artists Open Houses event.


I currently offer one to one classes where you can try throwing with porcelain or hand-building with clay at my Brighton studio.
These sessions can be booked individually for yourself or as a gift for someone else.

Dates can be arranged with me to find a day that suits you.

Find out more or book at my online shop

Make Makers classes

I have two group classes this year organised by the ‘Make Makers‘ events team.
These small group sessions will be held at my studio in Brighton and are perfect for beginners and those wanting to learn new skills.

Ceramics with Found Objects and Mixed Media – 23 June
Working with clay; make a spoon, plate and cup – 10 November

West Dean College

I will be running workshop sessions this year at West Dean’s Arts and Craft Festival. On Sunday 3rd June I will be running a morning session on making with found objects and afternoon throwing sessions. Find out more about the workshops available over the Festival weekend.

Spring Selections

I’m delighted to say my work is available this Spring through these galleries:

Atelier 51 – Brighton, East Sussex

Bircham Gallery – Holt, Norfolk

Gallery 57 – Arundel, West Sussex – as part of the exhibition: ‘A Contour, A Curve, the Lie of the Land’ – on from 19 May – 27 August 2018

Moore Gallery – Somerset (by arrangement)

Snug Gallery – Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire

Unit Twelve Gallery – Staffordshire – Making Ground collaborative work as part of the exhibition ‘Is It Useful?’, 26th April- 1st September 2018.

Thank you

To find out more:
Visit my website or catch up with me on Instagram for more.

Thank you to photographers Yeshen Venema, Alun Callender, Thom Atkinson

Thank you for reading. I hope to see you soon.


Making Ground

29 November, 2015

Making Ground

Making Ground project

Fantastic basket maker and willow artist Annemarie O’Sullivan and I have been working for the last year on the development of a collaborative project and an Arts Council funding bid to help support it. The project ‘Making Ground‘ will be based at a disused brickworks near Horam, in East Sussex, where Annemarie grows her willow. The project will run over the course of a calendar year in 2016. We aim to source our materials – both willow and clay from this site.

I’m delighted to say that the funding has been awarded!

Read on to find out more or visit our Kickstarter project page to get involved.
[please note: our Kickstarter funding was successful and has now ended 01/2016]

Evolving ideas

On several occasions over the year I’ve visited the site, with Annemarie, for preliminary research; digging up clay samples and firing them; bringing home willow to play with and test; trying out basket weaving and exploring ideas. The land and the project has already started to take a hold on me and influence my work.


Shortly before we found out the grant had been awarded, we filmed ourselves on the land talking about our plans and the landscape we’ll be working in. We recorded ourselves talking about the project and made a video to help us raise essential funds, and to key people into what we want to do. The bits of the video with me in the frame make me feel a little uncomfortable. I don’t often like to be in front of the camera, but it’s the second time in a year, so I guess I’m starting to get used to it!

The clay

The clay, by the way, fires beautifully. It’s been lovely to see how the clay dug straight from the ground looks after biscuit firing and when fired to high temperature (1280 C) in reduction. I did minimal work to process the clay, merely removing the worms and some bigger roots (!) but it’s very promising. I’ll post some pics when I’ve got something more to show.

The Project

As well as producing collaborative work we’ll be inviting the public, friends, early career makers, craft collectors and artists to join us through walks, picnics, and workshops on the land. We want to share our experience far and wide.

Willow bed at Sacred Earth, Horam

Getting involved

We are looking to raise £2000 to add to our successful Arts Council grant of £15,000. We have set up a Kickstarter page which offers some fantastic and exclusive opportunities to get involved with the project, the site and our work. Visit the Kickstarter Making Ground project page to find out more about workshops, walks, artworks and events you can get involved in. You’ll need to be quick to get in on the activities, the project will start in early January! [please note: our Kickstarter funding was successful and has now ended 01/2016]

Annemarie O'Sullivan basket making

The plan

The project will run over the course of a calendar year and will involve various stages of research, development, collaboration, making, working with others and exhibiting the final outcomes.

Annemarie and I will also be working with Rachel Henson – an artist working in the field of film and photography.

Our key partners include:
Fabrica – Brighton based arts organisation
The University of Brighton – involving arts students
Sacred Earth – who manage the land at the old Horam Brickworks
Making Lewes – promoting the exchange of knowledge in the fields of Making, Architecture, Design & Sustainability

At the former brickworks in Horam

Arts Council England

You can find out more about the work of Annemarie and myself by watching films, made about us by the fantastic R&A Collaborations.

Pursuit of Intrigue

Bundles of Willow


Pursuit of Intrigue

22 March, 2015

‘Pursuit of Intrigue’ is the title of a new short film made about my work.

The film offers a sensitive portrait of my current work; focusing in on my ceramic and mixed media objects; dipping into my thought processes, taking a peek at how I work with clay and incorporate found materials.

The film can be viewed online here.

Here’s the story of how the film was made.

This winter Richard and Arron of the amazing R&A Collaborations came to Sussex to make a film about my work and inspirations. They specialise in creating films about makers and their processes; exploring their work, their ideas and their making.

Elaine Bolt, Newhaven Beach

At Newhaven Beach

They spent a day filming and recording with me. Our first location was a visit to Newhaven beach, one of my favourite spaces, and a place that is a strong source of inspiration for me. I was filmed walking by the sea and investigating ‘found objects’ discovered on the beach.

We then spent time in the studio as they filmed me making new work and playing with compositions of found and made objects. They filmed me throwing on the wheel, turning and hand building.

Elaine Bolt, throwing with porcelain

Elaine Bolt, throwing with porcelain

My little workshop became quite a crowded space at times as I tried not to trip over power cables or get clay on the camera. They filmed finished pieces, but mostly focused in on the details; offering intriguing glimpses rather than giving away the whole story.

They then interviewed me; asking me about my ideas and inspirations, enquiring into what it is that draws me to make the things I make. I found it quite fascinating how some of the thoughts and ideas I have, to do with my work, seemed to coalesce as the interview took place. Some things that had only been a vague notion in my head became clearer through the process of being asked to name and describe them.

Richard and Arron - capturing images in the studio

Richard Foot, capturing images in the studio

After that intense day of filming and recording, they then worked away at bringing it all together to make a short film. So many different subjects and processes had been covered over the course of the day, that I think it must have been quite a challenge to create a strong story that offers a coherent flavour of my work. But I feel they’ve really created a lovely piece – the finished film offers an engaging portrait of me and my work right now, and I hope those watching it will enjoy the journey.

Elaine Bolt 'Buoys' detail

Elaine Bolt – ceramic buoy with mixed media detail

R&A Collaborations have also made many beautiful films of other crafts people and makers. My personal favourites from their collection feature the work of ceramicist Silvia K in ‘Harvest‘, willow artist Annemarie O’Sullivan in ‘Bundles of Willow‘ and mixed media maker Samantha Bryan in ‘Desire to Fly‘.

Round Robin

21 December, 2014

Elaine_Bolt_IMG_1819I was a tad busy this Autumn/Winter. If I try to put it all down I realise it looks a bit like a Christmas round robin letter – a lengthy listing of what I’ve been up to, regardless of the audience! So, no obligation – feel free to enjoy only the pictures and skip the rest! I won’t be offended.

exhibiting at Made London and Made Brighton –  I exhibited my work at two big shows this Autumn/Winter – Made London and Made Brighton. I spoke to so many lovely people and sold some of my favourite wall pieces and objects. It was a bit hard sometimes to see some of them go, but the people who bought them really seemed to connect with the ideas behind the work. Again it was great to meet up with some fantastic makers such as fellow ceramicists Carys Davies, Paul Wearing, Silvia K, Alice Walton, Hilary Mayo; plus Annemarie O’Sullivan (basket/willow artist), Emily Kidson (jewellery), and the members of the 2014 Hothouse alumni group amongst many others.

It was lovely to then take my work to Silvia K’s beautiful open house in Hove. She had curated a wonderful selection of work by talented artists and crafts people.

Silvia K's open house

visits to museums and other places

Uppark House –

I’m interested in how installations and ‘interventions’ by makers in craft disciplines respond to the themes and aesthetics of a particular place. In October, I visited Uppark House to see the work of several artists as part of the ‘Unravelled‘ installation. There were some fascinating responses to the house and its history by a number of makers in different materials. The regular displays in the house also offered an opportunity to consider how museum houses present the story of their domestic history. The kitchens and ‘below stairs’ spaces are, I often find, the most fascinating spaces. I particularly liked the silverware and kitchen utensils laid out in rows, as if mid-polish. The house also offered a thoughtful reflection on the fire that had destroyed much of the building in the 1980s.

Steven Follen - 'Trade' at Uppark HouseUppark House kitchen

Craft Interventions in Domestic Spaces –

Shortly after that visit, I attended a one day seminar event organised by the Crafts Council on ‘Craft Interventions in Domestic Spaces‘. It offered a useful insight into past projects and collaborations between museums, houses and makers. I came away still feeling intrigued about the directions my work might take, if presented with such opportunities. But it was also enlightening as to the challenges that can be faced.

Pitt Rivers Museum –

In November, I went to Oxford to go to one of my favourite museums the Pitt Rivers. I’ve been a few times and love the slightly gloomy setting and the seemingly endless exhibits crammed into countless cabinets. There’s always so much to see, both on display and in drawers you can pull out, that you’ll always see something new. It’s easy to see how many makers have been inspired by its collections.

Pitt Rivers museum - display

Institute of Making –

In December I went to a special event held at the Institute of Making. The day long session was organised by the Institute and R&A Collaborations. They brought together 38 makers from many craft disciplines for an opportunity to learn about the facilities and collection; to discover the materials held there; and to experiment with different making processes, materials and ideas. I loved trying out pewter casting, working with willow and creating objects with various plastics. These were all materials I hadn’t really ever worked with before and may well filter through into future ideas for my own work. It was also a great opportunity to properly meet some makers that I had only ever ‘met’ on Twitter and Instagram! Photos from R&A Collaborations can be seen on Facebook.

Elaine Bolt - Pewter casting at the Institute of Making

being captured on film – 

My final ceramics adventure for 2014 was to be filmed by the dynamic duo that is Richard and Arron of R&A Collaborations. I could say a lot about this challenging/amazing experience, but I’ll post more about it in the new year, when the film is ready.

Richard and Arron - capturing images in the studio

And finally… 

Thank you all for visiting my blog in 2014 It’s always worth it for me to put these things down in writing. I hope it’s sometimes worth the read! Merry Christmas and Best wishes for 2015!

Pitt Rivers Museum eskimo and polar bear

Crafts Council Hothouse logo

My adventure on the Crafts Council’s Hothouse 2014 programme has almost finished. Thirty-eight emerging makers, including myself, were selected to take part in an intensive programme of business and craft development. We’ve participated in a series of workshops and events designed to bring on our craft businesses and help us formulate the beginnings of a career in the sector.

It’s been a lot of hard work, including trying to get to grips with tax and finances (there have been a lot of spreadsheets) as well as working on our presentation skills (some drama and roll play did occur!).


Hanne Mannheimer

Alongside the workshops we were each assigned a ‘buddy’ and a ‘mentor’ – professionals already working in our field of practice, to help and guide us along the way. My ‘buddy’ is Hanne Mannheimer who makes beautiful vessels as well as site specific work. My ‘mentor’ is Katharine Morling who creates fascinating objects in porcelain forming ‘three dimensional drawings’. Both have been extremely helpful and supportive.


Katharine Morling



Aspects of the programme have acted as a kind of continuation of university studies in a way – supplying a feeling similar to having that collective experience and group of peers around you.

As a kind of finale to the programme, a selected number of Hothouse participants are now showing their work at the New Ashgate gallery in Farnham. The work on show illustrates just a small amount of the fantastic range of crafts in the programme, but the pieces on show also compliment each other really well. The show is on to the end of July, but I hope to continue existing friendships and supportive networks as well as establishing new ones to help carry on the dialogue.

Here are some images from the New Ashgate Gallery show.

The Little Things

31 May, 2014

Right now I’m in the process of selecting work to show at the Contemporary Crafts Festival at Bovey Tracey in Devon which takes place next weekend. Some new pieces that are heading for the festival are all about the details and the little things. Teaspoons, thimbles, tiny bottles and surface decoration.


Elaine Bolt teaspoon - porcelain

Come and visit my stand at the show from the 6 to 8 June 2014 to see the little things, and the bigger ones too.

Contemporary Craft Festival logo


I’m currently working away in my studio getting ready to being part of The Contemporary Craft Festival at Bovey Tracey from 6 June to 8 June 2014.

The festival is the largest craft fair in the South West and one of the finest in the UK. The show features over 190 selected makers selling directly to the public.

I’m hoping to be showcasing some new work and new ideas (some of which are still a little bit under wraps!) so it will be exciting to share them with the visiting public. If you’re planning on going, do pop by my stand, it will be great to chat.

I will be taking my work there for the first time, as part of their Crafts Council Hothouse marquee. I will be exhibiting alongside other top emerging makers in a variety of craft disciplines including Alex McCarthy, Anna Brimley, Anna Gravelle, Angie Parker, Brittany Delaney, Cristina Zani, Hilary Mayo, Jenny Ayrton, Julia Jowett, Marie Canning, Radiance Furniture Design, Stephanie Tudor, Theo Wright and Katy Luxton.

Hothouse is a programme of support from the Crafts Council for emerging makers. Click on the logos below to find out more about the programme, the exhibitors and the rest of the festival at Bovey Tracey.

Contemporary Craft Festival logo


Bircham Gallery Exhibition

22 February, 2014


The next show I’m gearing up for is at the fantastic Bircham Gallery in Holt, Norfolk. They are holding a ‘Newcomers’ exhibition “showcasing new artists and makers at Bircham Gallery taken on during their anniversary year“. Exhibitors in the show include:

Paintings: Stephanie Lambourne, Sally Tyrie, Stephen Robson, Helen Terry.
Ceramics: Katharina Klugg, Lowri Davies, Sarah Jenkins, Patricia Shone, Elaine Bolt, Alison Graham, Vicky Shaw.
Jewellery: Mariko Sumioka, Emma Goward, Stacey Bentley
Textiles/Paper: Matthew Harris

The show runs from the 8th March to the 2nd April 2014. More info on opening hours and directions can be found on their facebook event page.

I’m delivering the work there next week as I’ve created a few new utensil pieces and these are always a delicate affair. The delivery also gives me an opportunity for a mini ceramics road-trip to Holt via a few museums and galleries, including hopefully the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, and the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, at UEA.

Bircham Gallery Newcomers exhibition 2014
Textiles by Matthew Harris



On the weekend of the 15th and 16th of February I will be exhibiting at Aspex Gallery, Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth as part of their Contemporary Makers Fair 2014. I’ll have a range of my work there for sale, including some new designs fresh out of the kiln.  The event will be open from 11-5 on both days and will showcase a selection of designer makers from the South East including fellow Crafts Council Hothouse participant Jelka Quintelier. Aspex will also be running workshops for children and adults across the weekend.


Designer Crafts 2014

30 December, 2013

So 2013 has been an exciting year for developing and exhibiting my work. My first full year of business since completing my MA has been a pretty busy one. I got back in the studio today after a short break and am busy working on some new ideas and pieces. There’s lots to look forward to in 2014 and it’s starting well, with the first Crafts Council Hothouse event next week and a fantastic show in London starting soon after.

I will have a selection of my work available at the Designer Crafts 2014, ‘Shop within the Show’, organised by the Society of Designer Craftsmen. Come to the Mall Gallery from the 10th January to see ceramics, furniture, glass, jewellery, metal, mixed media, textiles and wood by both established, and emerging, designer-makers.

My pieces will include a selection of celadon vessels and some rather cute sets of tiny pots and spoons.


The show will be at The Mall, London SW1 and runs from Friday 10th to Sunday 19th January 10am to 5pm (closing at 4pm on the 19th).

Designer Crafts 2014