This weekend kicked off Merton Arts Festival and so the studio has been open for visitors to come in to see and purchase Clover and Emilia’s work as well as some pieces by students. Most of the wheels were superseded for the weekend by tables displaying all manner of pots, cups and more.
As you entered the studio, the first display was a collection of many of Clover’s small plant pots and vases, each truly unique and showing a real variation in shapes and decoration. I loved how Clover had set them out with flowers and succulents, especially the sunflowers grown on her very own allotment!
Turning right into the studio, the next display showed Clover’s range of tea cups in a number of different glazes. To the left was her new collection of plates, bowls and mugs with a blue, mint and oatmeal glaze combination inspired by a visit to the seaside. This is one of my favourites as I love how the glaze runs down into the bowls and mugs creating a wave effect just like the sea. Above were examples of saggar-fired vases, some with a beautiful, metallic, silver-red effect, and some where leaves and foliage have been tied to the pot during firing so you can see a smoky outline of fern fronds.
Clover’s display also showcased her raku work showing the completely different effects you can produce with this firing technique. The glistening copper and green vases stood in stark contrast with the smooth-yet-cracked appearance of the black and white naked raku vases.
Clover also encouraged students to come along and sell some of their work and a table was dedicated to work by Charlotte, one of Clover’s regular students.
Emilia’s work was also displayed and I love her delicate, detailed and frankly immaculate pieces. I chatted to her for a while about her espresso cup range and was fascinated by not only the intricate process of making and glazing that is involved to get the results, but also the inspiration and vision behind every part of it. For example, the dark cups are designed to be used in the morning - their colours represent the light outside, some being all black and others have a warm pinky-white glow inside, and the delicately spiked texture of the outside is meant to help you feel more awake.
I have to admit it didn’t take me long to cave and purchase one of Clover’s gorgeous seaside ramen bowls and a set of Emilia’s espresso cups. I’m becoming a bit of a collector and that’s before I’ve even started making pots myself! I love hearing from artists about what inspires their work or the techniques they’ve used. I find that it immediately connects me to their work and I understand and appreciate so much more the complexity and skill that go into creating them. I guess that’s the beauty of Merton Arts Festival where you can meet and chat to the artists in the area and get a feel for what they do. It’s very likely that there’s more to it than you might expect!
Clover & Emilia’s studio is open from 11am-5pm during the weekend of 21st and 22nd September with throwing workshops and demonstrations.