A show of hands

19 November, 2013

I’ve just got home and am trying to quickly recharge my batteries after a stint of showing and selling my work. In fact, it was two shows and the work of many hands that became the focus of the past two weeks for me.

As detailed in my last post, I had a stand at Handmade in Britain and at Art in Clay. Here are some images of the stands I set up.

It was also fantastic to get a chance, albeit brief, to leave my stand and see the work of other makers and artists at the shows. For example, another potter at Handmade, Jane Sarre, who has written a great piece on her blog with tips for setting up and running a stand.

It’s hard to single out makers from so many who made beautiful and interesting things at the shows. But some of the ones I chatted to, and admired the work of, included silver by EJ Mahoney; wood pieces by Mark Hanvey; ceramics by Richard Heeley; lighting by Felix Proctor amongst so many more.

I also met and talked to many visitors who were makers themselves, over the two weekends, and it was great to have their support and interest. Makers who visited included jewellery designer Emily Kidson, potter Juliet Macleod, UCA ceramics student Hajnalka Rezes, and fellow future Hothouse participant Imogen Noble (more on Hothouse next). Thanks to you all for visiting and keeping my spirits up on long days. They were both great shows and great experiences in very different ways. But I could do with a rest now!

Setting off

3 November, 2013

This week I’m packing up all my best pieces, and heading off to show my work at two fantastic events:

I have some new ideas to share as well as my range of vessels and other objects. Here are some images of pieces for the shows, fresh out of the kiln.

See below for details of both shows, including venue location, opening times, and tickets.

I hope to see you there!

Handmade in Britain – 8th-10th November

handmade in britain

The show features over 100 exhibitors in all disciplines including furniture, jewellery, textiles, ceramics and glass – all with a focus on quality and craftsmanship.

I will be exhibiting as part of their ‘New Graduate Showcase’ a celebration of new talent in a dedicated gallery within the show.

As well as my work, the showcase will feature 4 other emerging makers and designers in the field of contemporary crafts. These include textile designer Amanda Gibbs; jeweller Anna Byers, glass artist Peter Kucerik and interior accessories designer Felix Proctor.

A pdf of the flier with location and contact details can be viewed by clicking here: HandmadeinBritaineflyer

Venue: Chelsea Old Town Hall, King’s Road, London, SW3 5EE
Opening Times: 11:00 – 19:00 Friday 8th; 11:00 – 18:00 Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th November
Admission Prices: One day: £7, Concessions: £5. There is an online early bird offer of £5


Art in Clay Farnham – 16th-17th Nov.

art in clay logoArt in Clay Farnham 2013

Art in Clay at Farnahm Maltings is a dedicated ceramics fair, showcasing some of the finest ceramics currently being made by individual makers in the UK and Europe.

There will be a range of work from newly qualified artists working in clay, to potters with many years of creative work behind them.

Venue: The Maltings, Bridge Square, Farnham Surrey, GU9 7QR
Opening Times: 10am – 5pm Saturday 16th; 10am – 4.30pm Sunday 17th November
Admission: Adult £5 Concession £4.50 Children 15yrs and under go free


Setting out

29 September, 2013

I’ve been focusing on compositions recently, bringing together individual elements that together form a single piece or create a ‘set’ There’s something about composing these elements that fascinates me. It also seems to satisfy my ideas about how my work can be displayed: contrasting porcelain with the dark terracotta.

The idea for the ‘grounds’ (the thrown terracotta bases) used in these pieces, is influenced by every day items as utilitarian as a tray or a placemat ready for dinner. For some pieces though they might also suggest an extended ‘shadow’ for the pots placed on it, or simply offer a visual boundary for grouped items.

Selected compositions, including those pictured, along with a range of my other pieces, have just been sent off to the very lovely Bils and Rye Gallery in Yorkshire.

I’ve just sent off a selection of pieces to the Junction Art Gallery in Woodstock (Oxfordshire).

Elaine Bolt vessel group

It might be the name Woodstock making me feel wistful and reflective (and just a little bit cheesy), but I love having pieces at a new gallery, it makes me look at my work in a fresh light. In choosing pieces to send, I need to put together a selection that works well together, and that fits with both mine and the gallery’s approach. This often has the knock-on effect of making me reassess the pieces I have available and what I plan to make next.

I’ve also been working on how I’m represented online. So, I’ve just updated some images and info on the fantastic Craft Finder website and bought a new domain name for my own website: elainebolt.com (you’re already here). I’m also working on building up a small collection of work available through the new online shop Home of Artisans.

I still have lots of other places where my work is represented that could do with some refreshing and I’ll keep working on that. But for now I’ve got to get myself back to the garden

Earth and Fire 2013

27 June, 2013

Elaine Bolt Ceramics, Earth and Fire 2013 shared stand, detail

I got back from Earth and Fire at Rufford in Nottinhamhsire this week and am just recovering from the experience! It was exhausting but also really rewarding. I had a lot of very positive feedback on my work, sold lots of pieces and made some great friends amongst my fellow potters. I shared a stand with the very lovely Valerie Price-West. We were two of the six ‘newcomers’ that were selected for the show from the UK’s ceramics graduates of 2012. It was an honour to be selected and fantastic to be part of the show.

I don’t have much time for a full review today, as I’m setting off to Aberystwyth for the International Ceramics Festival which starts tomorrow. But before I head out the door again, here are a few photos I took of our stand at Rufford. If you were there, and saw my work, thank you for stopping by.



Elaine Bolt CeramicsI’m getting my work ready for Earth and Fire at Rufford in Nottinhamhsire next week. I’ve got a fresh batch of pieces out of the kiln and I’m looking forward to displaying my pots alongside some of my ‘curious utensils’. If you’re in the neighbourhood, come along to see over 100 potters all in one place.

Earth and Fire 2013 Banner

Curious Utensils

2 June, 2013


Alongside making vessels, I have another side to my work; making curious utensils or ambiguous objects. I’ve recently created some more of these small and obscure things using my usual materials of porcelain and terracotta, as well as found objects including metals, wood, fibres and organic materials.

When I show them to people they almost always suggest a function, imagine what it might once have been, or tell me what they think it reminds them of. And its always something different, often something unexpected…



Bircham Gallery

12 May, 2013

A selection of my work will shortly be available at the Bircham Gallery in Holt in Norfolk. The gallery has a fantastic selection of contemporary studio ceramics along with a wide range of  crafts and artwork.

The pieces I’m sending include some of my celadon vessels, my grouped compositions and the reduction fired terracotta vessels that I named ‘Dark Metal’.

The terracotta I use turns a dark chocolate colour through the reduction firing process and gains a kind of metallic quality to the surface. I love the contrast between these pieces and the light celadon glazes. The compositions I’ve produced bring both elements together in a single grouping.

Elaine_Bolt_Waiting composition detail