Ceramics: Lina Lav

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Lina Lav’s website front page

Lina Lav makes exquisite ceramics with recurring motifs of bee, honey, feathers, gold paint and text.  Check it out at her website.

Based in Boone, North Carolina, she is also developing canvas painting – as featured on the front screen of her website.  This is her sole painting so far, but obviously one to watch out for.

Thankfully, there is an abundance of ceramics choices.  Despite this appearing under our blog section “Thing of Beauty” – you can see that there are no less than – well – three.  So we are in plural things of beauty land here.



“A Fine Line” – 4 artists’ exhibition, Edinburgh

City Art Centre, Edinburgh have a current exhibition curated by printmaker Angie Lewin and Lizzie Farey (willow weaver) who invited ceramicist Frances Priest and artist/printmaker Bronwen Sleigh to exhibit also.  (The exhibition runs until 18th February).


“In Conversation” (L-r) Amanda Game, Frances Priest, Angie Lewin, Bronwen Sleigh, Lizzie Farey

It was an absolute pleasure to be with them yesterday, at their “In Conversation” discussion, chaired by Amanda Game (independent curator and producer), and to hear them speaking about the process of making art and an exhibition together.  The talk was facilitated with warmth by curator Maeve Toal.

The exhibition took 3 to 4 years to put together but was a really pleasant collaboration.  The generous size of the exhibition space was a bonus, encouraging all the artists to work on a larger scale than usual.  They also agreed on the process of pattern as important to their work, although they work in very different disciplines.  There were also surprising associations, such as the ceramics tiles by Frances, likely to be used on a wall – and the architectural drawings by Bronwen.


Ceramics craft and Fine art: Fiona Byrne-Sutton

What do you see in this featured photo of one set of Fiona’s ceramic works?  (My answers at bottom of this post). Here’s a brief taster of an article in Craft Scotland – full version here.

  1. she’d like her work to be on show at the new V&A in Dundee, Scotland (currently being built)
  2. she makes freestanding ceramic assemblages
  3. very influenced by medieval art in Florence, Italy
  4. studied fine art at Goldsmiths Art College (sounds like the start of a Pulp pop song!)
  5. as mature student, went on to study ceramics at Glasgow School of Art and Cardiff
  6. happily blends fine art and crafts in her work
  7. there are serious health and safety risks in her artmaking

The 8th fact is that I am instantly drawn to her work, its ins and outs, negative space, simple but cheerful colourways.

I wonder what you see in the shapes on the shelf?

What I notice in the constructions on the shelf are shapes and suggestions of:

elephant, teapot, nougat, pointing, half hoops and a bucket, negative space, a well, a house, a still, a pointing finger, a window, a door, niche, archway, cavity, emptying, filling and visual rhymes (where sometimes the shape is actual and the same shape is in an opening or negative space).

Quirky Ceramics Painting

Enjoying the work of James Ward, aka Jimbobart particularly on plates:



… and there are doormats… a welcoming masked panda or a vaguely threatening cat (“I’m so sorry Mr Bond, but my villainous sidekicks must kill you – it’s in their job description”… is what I imagine him saying)


Jimbobart’s works are available to purchase in Liberty’s London or online, on his website http://www.jimbobart.com.  They are quirky, without being at all cloyingly sentimental – there’s a kind of a feel of “The Wind in the Willows” book here.  If you fancy purchasing some for someone else, who has a particular animal they like, his work features cats, dogs, badgers, pandas, brown bears, foxes, penguins, otters – some in underpants and cape, others in full human well-dressed clothing (see “Mr Geography Teacher” stackable coffee cups).


my very favourite plate (although let’s be clear, I’m not the biscuit bandit in the house – cake yes, cheesecake definitely – but biscuits not so much


Creative Takeaways

Obviously, we’re not all skilled graphic designers, but we can still be inspired by Jimbobart.  Here’s a wee video of how you can do some personalised ceramic designs with a ceramic pen, design and carbon copy paper.  Inspiring…

NB: For designs to put on plates and bowls to eat food from, you will need to research which products can be used in this way.

Painting and Party

And for truly simple, fun handpainting gifts try booking a session at a paint/glazing pottery studio, where you can book the time, buy the blank ceramic of your choosing (plate or jug or bowl or mug etc) and they will supply all the paint and materials, fire your finished piece and have it ready for collection a few days later.  If you enjoy this – and it is totally absorbing and therapeutic for even the stressedout – you could also choose to do some pieces with a friend or hen party or kids’ birthday party.  (For the unconfident artist, they do have sponges which you can dab in paint and apply).


Above are some home pics from a friend’s birthday party, where four school friends who now meet up infrequently got the chance to meet and catchup chat while making.


Ceramics newsflash…..

words you don’t see often together.  But if you sighed over the Sytch Farm Studio ceramics featured recently because you live nowhere near their studio – there are good news for folks in Birmingham and London as Gill Thompson has been in touch to say they

will be at Taste of London and the BBC Good Food show in Birmingham – both shows in mid June

Ceramics – Sytch Farm Studios SY5 7LL

From subtle textural fossil to glowing coloured interiors of vessels… Sytch Farm Studios has got it going on.  Potter Gill Thompson throws, turns and glazes the works, in Shropshire, England SY5 7LL – and you can choose from a wide range of colourways to make your own dinner service (a lovely indulgence for a wedding list!).  If you have an order value over £200, you can commission to your requirements.

Also available (see bottom of page) beautifully shaped wooden boards for chopping or simply serving food upon, from same address, made by Jon.

Find out more at: http://www.sytchfarmstudios.co.uk

Pricing e.g. (according to a recent The Sunday Times article) 2 breakfast bowls costs £40.


Meadow Green dinner service


Golden Rain colourway


Made from hardy stoneware, the eating/drinking vessels are dishwasher safe.

Also available from the same address – wonderful wooden boards by Jon – in elm, walnut, oak, plane woods.  (reminiscent of Henry Moore shapes)board-selection-gallery-img-2016-09-26-16-52-09.JPG


Clarice Cliff – ceramics


Having a little fun at my work does not make me any less of an artist, and people who appreciate truly beautiful and original creations in pottery are not frightened by innocent tomfoolery

Clarice Cliff, 1931


(Left) This is the type of funky 1930s ceramics whacky shapes and imaginatively handpainted home plates, bowls, teasets part of the Clarice Cliff output, from the Potteries area in England, in 1920s and 30s.  Clarice began work painting ceramics, aged 13, but unlike many of her contemporaries, she kept studying and learning the whole range of painting and glazing skills – which enabled her to develop her own styles.

You can see more on her official website, here:

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