On the move

15 November, 2015

These last couple of months have been hectic to say the least. I can’t quite believe how busy its been. So here’s a bit of an update – A lightning speed run around what I’ve been making, seeing, winning, writing… plus a picture of a strange creature from York.

Elaine Bolt Woodland Utensils

I made a lot of new pieces which I showed at Brighton Art Fair and at Made London, I made and delivered work to several galleries, I contributed to an Arts Council grant application for a collaborative project ‘Making Ground’ and, as of today, moved my workshop ‘Atelier 51’. Now I must get ready for our four weekends of Open Studios starting next weekend!

I also went to see lots of amazing exhibitions, including visiting the Potteries Museum at Stoke on Trent, the new Centre for Ceramic Art in York, the Ai Weiwei exhibition at the Royal Academy, the Potteries Friday Late at the V&A, a symposium on ‘What is Luxury’ also at the V&A, and a symposium on Memory and Objects at the Wellcome Collection. I’ve barely stopped and didn’t get to write it all down for my blog as I went along. But I have been featured in lovely online magazine UK Handmade magazine in their Winter 2015 edition. I’m also hoping to have a feature on my work in the beautiful Oh Comely magazine‘s Christmas edition.

Brighton Art Fair and Made London

The shows were amazing, I met so many lovely people and had some great sales too!  I was so chuffed to receive the ‘Best in Show’ award at Brighton Art Fair, awarded by Oh Comely magazine. Look out for the next edition of the magazine which will hopefully include a bit on me!

Brighton Art Fair, best in show rosette

Making Ground

I’ve been working with amazing basket maker and willow artist Annemarie O’Sullivan on an Arts Council funding application for a new collaborative project called ‘Making Ground‘.  We’re also working on great ideas for crowd funding. If we’re successful, I’ll have lots more news on this soon. So keep your fingers crossed for us.

Making Ground project

Atelier 51

Today I finally moved to my new studio in Brighton. It’s called Atelier 51, and is on Providence Place. It’s very exciting and a bit overwhelming at the moment but I can’t wait to get making there. Atelier 51 is the new HQ for Tutton and Young Ltd, and fellow artists and makers at the workshops are: Sarah Young, Silvia K Ceramics and Rhoda K Baker.

This coming weekend we go straight into having open studios for four weekends. See my events page for more info and dates.

New workshop at Atelier 51


The Centre of Ceramic Art in York absolutely blew me away. The curation is really interesting and the pieces on display are amazing. This guy, pictured below, is by Kerry Jameson. I also loved watching the video with Anthony Shaw talking about his collection, amidst the very pieces he collected.

Centre of Ceramic Art at York Museum

I think I could have written a blog post on each of these bits of news. But this will do for now!

Elaine Bolt Woodland Utensils

Objects Can Tell Stories

11 September, 2015

Objects, stories and lost spoons

‘Objects can tell stories’ is a tag line that I use for my work and its an idea I find I keep coming back to. Objects both found and made can speak to us in so many ways, evoking a real memory or suggesting something completely imaginary. It’s a thread running through my work, and in particular though the mixed media objects and wall pieces I make.

Out to Sea (detail) by Elaine Bolt


When I work with ‘found objects’ and mixed media, I often put groupings together to form framed compositions. The process of selecting, designing and assembling the compositions takes me a good long time to do. I use objects and fragments of things that have been lost or discarded; pieces I’ve collected in different places over time. Some of these pieces I’ve had, and mulled over, for a very long time. I combine these with ceramic pieces that I’ve made, to create new forms and groupings of ambiguous objects.

These photographs illustrate some of the composition process. This particular grouping has changed several times before finally finding its form. This piece is called ‘Out to Sea’ and includes pieces of copper, aluminium, wood, thread, lichen and rope as well as porcelain and terracotta. What’s the idea behind it? Should I say or just let it speak for itself?


My groupings of ‘curious utensils’ often include somewhat fragile looking ceramic spoons and brushes along with other, perhaps more ambiguous, unspecified pieces. Here groups of ‘woodland’ themed utensils are gathered and framed. They reflect some of the look of an elaborate table setting perhaps, mixed with a hint of a museum display?


In a couple of weeks time I will be showing my work at Brighton Art Fair for the first time. This is a slightly different environment than I’m used to as I’ve previously shown at more firmly craft-focused events. At this fair I’ll be featuring my mixed media wall pieces and will have only a few pots on show. It should be a great event and an interesting experience for me.

I’m also focusing on my mixed media pieces for the upcoming ‘Language of Objects’ show at Unit Twelve Gallery. I’m very excited about this show as it features a fantastic range of contemporary makers combining unusual materials in their practice.

There’s more info about both these shows on my events page along with my usual updates on twitter and instagram.