Tom Kerridge champions ceramics

Our current issue features an article on Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge, who champions the use of original ceramic tableware to showcase his food. Below, we take a closer look at three ceramists whose work has been commissioned for Tom’s tables

Tom Kerridge photograph by Cristian Barnett.

Tom Kerridge with a bowl by Krystyna Sargent, photographed for CR by Cristian Barnett

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Jo Davda, Brickett Davda

Brickett Davda produces a range of handmade tableware, inspired by a ‘very English’ palette. The colours reflect hues of the British coast and countryside. The shapes are conceived and designed from pure, functional objects, cherished and worn by use. Jo Davda studied fine art and started to experiment with clay on the kitchen table. She went on to design a collection of tableware and with this, Brickett Davda was conceived

What do you think artisanal ceramic pieces bring to the dining experience?

‘I think that handmade or artisan ceramics have a deeper connection with the food we eat than, say, a mass produced plate. A chef prepares his food with care, attention to detail and respect to the produce. Likewise, handmade ceramics have the same attention, care and detail that bring a deeper connection to the food that is placed upon it, enhancing the sensory and aesthetic pleasure.’

What is the favoured piece for your table?

‘At the moment I’m really enjoying extreme scale, so eating something small and truly delicious off a tiny coloured plate makes me smile – likewise, a huge platter of food to share, bringing everybody together. As a regular daily appearance at meal times, I favour the pasta plate. I have always been drawn to functional objects that people have cherished and have become worn by their use. I make a range of ceramic tableware that reflects this idea – it’s functional and is intended to be used every day.’

http://www.brickettdavda.com/home.html

Brickett Davda

Work by Jo Davda

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Gill Thompson, Sytch Farm

Gill Thompson creates tableware from Sytch Farm Studios in Dorrington, Shrewsbury. She produces wholesome stoneware pieces that are handcrafted for use in everyday life. Gill grew up in St Agnes, Cornwall, where she still sources her clay, and studied ceramics at Wolverhampton University, before teaching and running a gallery in Shrewsbury. She now works from Sytch Farm, at her own wheel

What has impacted your work lately, when working on commissions?

‘One thing that has been a real recent influence is talking to the chefs, discussing the food and what colours and textures it has, working from their side rather than mine – looking at colour theory, light and dark, texture and scale, as starting points…’

Why do you make tableware?

‘After finishing my first degree I was lucky to spend a summer with my best friend’s family, in their house on Lake Annecy in France. Pretty much everything in that kitchen was handmade and most of it was made by the pottery on the lake. They had pieces going back to their wedding and beyond and I was struck by how different it felt to handle ‘real’ plates and bowls every day, and how precious they were. There was a strong sense of a relationship with the maker, the materials and the purpose of the pieces. I want my work to feel that precious and involved in day to day life.’

http://www.sytchfarmstudios.co.uk/

Sytch

Work by Gill Thompson

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Sue Paraskeva

Sue Paraskeva produces finely thrown porcelain, including a range of tableware, contemporary vessels, sculptural forms and installations. She is based on the Isle of Wight, having lived and worked in London during her early career and studied 3D Design. During a residency at Quay Arts Centre on the Isle of Wight, Sue developed a collection of tableware using reclaimed porcelain with additions. She is currently working on a brand new range

Tell us about your work processes.

‘I have always had two bodies of work running alongside each other, which was not approved of at college. I have been a professional maker for twenty years and this is still very much the way I work. I make three bodies of work, mostly on the wheel: tableware, one-off pieces and installations using multiple pieces. The tableware is a mixture of stoneware and recycled porcelain; the one-off pieces are finely thrown porcelain, dramatically altered with slips.’

Tell us about your influences.

‘I have been aware of the importance of functional pots since I was young. We used designs such as Midwinter at home, and Thomas as best. My mum had a lovely Rosenthal coffee set. We also had some reduction-fired, thrown bowls from a Hastings pottery – these are all undeniable influences.

Lucie Rie and Hans Coper have been important. Form is everything to me. Their work taught me the importance of making the form both interesting and simple. I believe the simplest shapes are the strongest and the quality of making should shine through. I enjoy using work other potters have made; recently the work of Ramp, Svend Bayer, Lisa Hammond, Akiko Hirai and Susanne Lukács-Ringel.’

http://www.sueparaskeva.co.uk/

Sue Paraskeva plates

Work by Sue Paraskeva

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Discover more on these ceramists within our Tom Kerridge feature, ‘Let them have plates’. Ceramic Review issue 275 is available now: www.ceramicreview.com

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A glimpse of our feature: Tom Kerridge holding tableware by Krystyna Sargent. Photo: Cristian Barnett

Images: Tom Kerridge photograph, featuring work by Krystyna Sargent, by Cristian Barnett (crisbarnett.com); work by Brickett Davda, Gill Thompson & Sue Paraskeva, photographs courtesy the ceramists (Sue Paraskeva photo by Steve Thearle & Gill Thompson photo by Sandrine Fauconnet).