On a recent trip to Gloucestershire, I made a trip to a little town called Tetbury. It was love at first walk down the high street. Packed with antique shops but not the musty kind, the kind full of carefully sourced beautiful products thats you want to buy and fill your house with. I was totally blown away by the place and managed to go and explore for two days running. Even with a hubby and two kids in tow I managed to get that epic sense of excitement with every new find. Even the stuffed animals allowed us a chuckle as my three year old kept saying "did that used to be alive once too", no flies on her! Whilst my one year old quacked at anything that resembled a duck, made me smile anyway. One of my favourite finds was an amazing florist, come art gallery, come antique shop called TWIG, I was totally overwhelmed by the place and hopefully will have a chance to share more with you in the future. One of the things I found for sale in TWIG was a display of works by a potter named Richard Phethean. Bold, almost tribal abstract earthenware vessels. I decided I needed to find out more and set out to visit Richard at his studio in Penzance, Cornwall.
I hadn't realised when I stumbled across this pottery what an important find I had. It turns out that Richard Phethean has a very important role in the world of ceramics. He is a fellow of, and Chair of the Craft Potters Association, and is on the Crafts Council of Great Britain's Index of Selected Makers. The Craft Potters Association has a store called the Contemporary Ceramics Centre opposite the British Museum in Bloomsbury dedicated to the best in contemporary studio ceramics and where you can find Richards and many other works for sale.
Richard moved to Penzance, Cornwall last year, the place where he was first introduced to pottery at the age of 14 and where he has now set up an impressive studio complete with wood-burning stove from which he works and also does various courses in pottery throughout the year. It is a great studio and I was very fortunate to meet and chat with him whilst one of his courses was happening. He has a small gallery for his works in the back where I managed to get a few pictures which hopefully capture their beauty for you.
As you can see the pottery is not functional but more of an art piece. Made from thrown, altered and assembled vessels in terracotta and slip decorated, Richards work explores contour and profile while the painting resembles early twentieth century abstract works. The colours are bold and would be great as an addition to a contemporary or eclectic interior. Adding a fantastic vibrant bit of life that would brighten up even the darkest of corners. Saying that, please don't put these works of art in the corner, they need to stand out and have a light shone on them for all to see. These decorative vessels definitely have the thumbs up from me, I hope you like them too.
Photos credits to Anna Wilson Interiors
For more information on Richard Phethean please take a look at
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