M CHAMBERS works at NC for blog

Shape. Space. Rhythm. These are the key factor in some of the world’s most beautiful objects: the Sydney Opera House; the Aztec Calendar Stone; the breathtakingly beautiful Francoise vase. The power of Op artist Bridget Riley’s work lies in her skilful ordering and distortion of simple shapes. Mondrian’s passion for the dynamic rhythm and disrupted beat of American jazz was the inspiration behind much of his work. Barbara Hepworth’s distinctive sculptures are a perfect balance of positive flowing form and negative central space.

These concepts, and these artists have motivated the work of Royal College of Art graduate Matthew Chambers, whose sculptural ceramics are currently on show here at the gallery. Matthew’s works are created out of a real love of the making process. Apart from astonishing onlookers with the complexity of their construction, they have a look and feel that is entirely unique in contemporary ceramics. Simplicity and complexity, solidity and fragmentation, interior and exterior space, rhythm and the pattern of construction are all explored in Matthew’s work.

Fanform 32cmH £2200

“How on earth does he make them?” is a question we are often asked, and truthfully we’ve absolutely no idea. Do we want to know how these unique pieces come to existence? Well – would you want to disseminate the mechanics of cloud-drift? Or watch Grace Kelly set her hair and rouge her cheeks? No neither would we. In cases like this, awe is everything and ignorance is most certainly bliss. We just prefer to absorb the elegance and artistry of Matthew’s work, and if you feel like joining us come on down to NC and experience something you have never seen before.


Weave 33cmH £2200Revolution Blue 46cm H £3000

Matthew Chambers trained at the Bath School of Art and later the Royal College of Art. He was awarded the Ceramic Review Prize at Ceramic Art London in 2006 and is a Professional Member of Contemporary Applied Arts, London and the CPA of Great Britain. He has shown regularly at New Craftsman St Ives since 2010 and is on show now, throughout the St Ives September Festival and until 12 October.

Matt Chambers at NC for blog

Image top: A few of the works now on show at New Craftsman

Image above: Ceramic artist Matthew Chambers at New Craftsman August 2014



Landscape Study 2012 - Green over Gold for WPress

Anyone with an eye on the 21st century crafts scene cannot fail to have noticed the rise and rise of contemporary glass. No longer considered merely the stuff of kitsch, glass has reinvented itself and is leading the way in design led craft, a phenomenon that can be traced back to the installation of Dale Chihuly’s awe inspiring V&A Chandelier in 1999.

Having recently exhibited the work of Peter Layton, the founder of Bermondsey’s London Glassblowing studio and one of the world’s most respected hot-glass artists, this summer we are proud to welcome glass making duo Stephen Gillies & Kate Jones, whose work is also included in the permanent collection of the V&A. Gillies’ considerable ability as a glassmaker is enhanced by the decorative work of his partner Jones, who trained originally as a painter and has adapted this skill to mark making on glass, and from 26 July to 31 August you can see their most recent collection of work right here at New Craftsman.

The history of glassmaking goes back to Mesopotamia in around 3500 BCE and throughout the centuries owning luxurious, artisan glassware has been a mark of status and privilege. Certainly every piece of Gillies Jones glass we’ve unwrapped and displayed for the opening of our summer exhibition has the feel of a rare and precious object and so, soaked in St Ives’ famous clear north light and enhanced by our current run of glorious summer sunshine, Gillies Jones glass will be lighting up the gallery alongside the work of Penwith landscape painter Neil Davies, potter Chris Keenan and artist Jane Reeves.

You can learn more about Stephen Gillies & Kate Jones in the following short film by clicking here

Landscape Study Lavander over Pink for WPress

Image top: Landscape Study – Green Over Gold, Gillies Jones

Image above: Landscape Study – Lavender Over Pink, Gillies Jones


This weekend we open our early summer show ‘A Celebration of the Work of Lucie Bray (1974 – 2014)’ and will be welcoming the great and the good of the St Ives arts community to see her beautiful paintings and read the words of all those who have contributed written pieces to the exhibition. We are also pretty excited to be showing new work by Japanese ceramicist Akiko Hirai, who has been so well received at each of her previous exhibition here.

Champagne and conversation will flow as we celebrate both Lucie’s unique talent and the warmly inclusive art community of St Ives, which nurtured and recognised the importance of her work. Among the many things that makes this town so special are its sense of history, its vibrant art scene and the wonderfully diverse group of artists, and art advocates, which populate it. It’s a thrill to be part of St Ives, and never more so than on those Private View nights when everyone turns out to see the latest show.

‘A Celebration of the Work of Lucie Bray (1974 – 2014) with an exhibition of work by Akiko Hirai’ will be on show until 28th June.

You can also read more about Lucie in the feature article An Artist Of Merit in the June edition of Cornwall Life magazine.

Lucie Bray New Painting 6

Image: Untitled work by Lucie Bray

For more information go to http://www.newcraftsmanstives.com


Journey Jar

This evening sees the opening of our much anticipated Easter exhibition, so we’re busy putting the final touches to our show as St Ives’ long awaited half term visitors grace Fore Street and the town gets back into its busy seasonal swing.

We’re incredibly proud to be showing the work of ceramicist Adam Buick, who has exhibited regularly at NC for the past four years and in 2013 was nominated for the prestigious Jerwood Makers Prize. And as if having this year’s most high profile British maker at NC wasn’t enough, Adam has created an exclusive collection for our show using Cornish materials including China Clay from Tresowen and Doble’s clay pit St.Agnes, granite dust from Castle-an-Dinas Quarry and metal ore from Porthtowan. We think Buick’s Korean inspired Moon Jars – whether two feet tall or small enough to fit in the palm of your hand – are among the most beautiful ceramics on the arts scene today.

Accompanying him is another of the UKs most celebrated craftsmen, whose talent with hot glass has made his London Glassblowing Studio one of the most influential glass studios in the world. Peter Layton’s distinctive, richly coloured works exude real passion and are dazzling here on show in the early spring sunshine. Layton’s spirited pieces are set against a new collection of works by well-loved St Ives artist Emma Jeffryes, whose paintings are filled with all the contrasting splash and serenity of life here on St Ives bay. All three of these outstanding artists will be at our Private View party tonight along with our many friends and clients, and we’ll be launching our 2014 season in style!

We’ve lots to look forward to this year, with forthcoming shows by painters Lucie Bray, Neil Davies and Matthew Lanyon, ceramicists Akiko Hirai, Chris Keenan and Matthew Chambers and craftsmen Guy Royle and Breon O’casey among others. And while we are on the subject of extraordinary talent – take a look at this video of the work of Rebecca McDonald, who thrilled us with the most spectacular exhibition here at NC in December. We dare you not to fall in love with her as much as we have! http://vimeo.com/89178378

Image /  Adam Buick, Moon Jar from the Cornish Series


L STYLES Edgy LR for WDpress

Now that the onset of spring is beginning to splash St Ives with colour we are keeping in time with the seasons with a dazzling show of work by one of Cornwall’s best loved and most recognisable ceramic artists. ‘Down by the Sea’ is a new collection of work by Linda Styles, whose practice relates to the exploration of the instinctive and expressive and our endless immersion in the colourful chaos of real life.

West Cornwall has a long and prestigious history in the field of both ceramics and abstract painting, but rarely do you see the two combined; Styles’ gorgeous, quirkily constructed pots and ceramic objects act as canvas for a delightful display of uplifting, energised colour, dramatic mark-making and irreverent imagery.

Several of us here at NC own a Linda Styles pot and have come to regard them as a sort of ‘must have’ contemporary Cornish art collector’s piece. To own one is to give yourself up to Cornwall’s extravagant, visually thrilling side, with all its glittering sunlight, hot white sand, striped awnings and chaotic summer beach life. In the depths of winter these works mark time until the wind changes and warm air pours over us from the south, and in the summer they urge us to ditch the laptop and rush down to the beach in our brightest sun dress to buy ice cream from a palette of mint green, raspberry red and golden vanilla.

In short, Styles work is life affirming stuff. Her joyful ceramics exude a genuine character and warmth that proves, in support of Alain de Botton’s convincing 2013 essay, that Art Can Be (really really) Good For You! Linda has been especially generous with her happy vibe in this show, by creating a collection of uniquely oversize pieces which are currently filling our gallery window with a riot of colour.

‘Down by The Sea’ includes new pots and ceramic wall pieces, and will be on show throughout March.



We wish to open our 2014 blog with a tribute to outstanding St Ives painter Lucie Bray who, on 2nd January this year, tragically lost her life to the sea she loved to paint.

We had the very great pleasure of hosting Lucie’s first ever solo exhibition at The New Craftsman in 2008, and have held annual, highly acclaimed exhibitions of her work ever since.

Born and raised in our beautiful county, Lucie studied at the Falmouth School of Art and then Wimbledon School of Art, and became one of only a few dedicated, contemporary plein air painters in Cornwall. Her work tent was a regular feature on Porthmeor beach, where she captured the sweeping energy of sea and sky in vibrant, oil on board works.

Lucie’s talent brought her very great success, and in December 2012 she was given a studio at the prestigious Porthmeor Studios, where leading British artists Patrick Heron, Ben Nicholson, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham and Sir Terry Frost all worked before her. Because of this, we take comfort from the fact that her loss, at the age of only 39, cannot now remove her name from the roll call of influential St Ives artists.

We shall miss Lucie’s visits to The New Craftsman, and the thrill of her bringing new works to unwrap, consign and hang. We are proud to have worked with an artist who so greatly enriched the contemporary art scene of St Ives. Lucie was a lovely young woman. Her death is a very great loss to us and to St Ives, and her paintings a very great gift to the history of art in Cornwall.

Headland St Ives by Lucie Bray

Images / Top: Lucie at work in her Bivouac on Porthmeor Beach. Bottom: Headland St Ives, oil on board.



Its Christmas at last! And Christmas in St Ives is a glittery affair so we’re feeling terribly festive. Our winter Private View was a wonderful night, and so Under the Wild Stars, an exhibition of felt sculpture by up and coming artist Rebecca McDonald is now on show.

As visitors to our previous two December’s Barbara Keal and Mid Century/MODERN exhibitions will know, we like to turn heads with our annual Christmas show, and we’ve never shown anything quite like this before. Completely original and fabulously dramatic, Rebecca’s installation of wild bears, mountain lions, winter birds and howling, prowling wolves is proving quite a draw, thrilling children just as much our art loving adult clients. And of course we all have our favourites here at NC. Every gorgeous piece is such a charming character it’s hard to see each one go! This fabulous winter wonderland of work is complemented by a collection of really exquisite drawings by Samuel Winterbourn, of wild foxes, hares and deer, each a breathtaking example of detail and artistic devotion.

Rebecca McDonald will be sharing the very specific skill of hand felting at a special one day workshop on Sunday the 12th of January. Hosted by St Ives School of Painting in the atmospheric Porthmeor Studios, students will be introduced to the possibilities of sculpting with wool to create their own miniature creature.

After what we hope will be an indulgent New Year, we’ll be turning our attention to our 2014 exhibition schedule, but were not going to let you in on its secrets just yet! What we can share however, with some pride, is that March sees an exhibition of work by 2013 Jerwood Makers Open nominee Adam Buick, world renowned glassmaker and founder of London Glassblowing Peter Layton, and popular St Ives painter Emma Jeffryes.

Until then we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

With love from all at NC


03_Taking Tea_35 x 35cmThe year is drawing to an end here in Cornwall. The September Festival is over and as St Ives winds down for a winter of purple skies and rolling green ocean we are settling in and setting up for our fabulous end of year shows. It’s a pretty cathartic time for us here at NC as we take stock of a busy year and make plans for our 2014 season, with the Hot Pod fired up and hot chocolates (courtesy of Fore Street’s Yellow Canary Café) in hand.

On show now until mid November is an outstanding collection of work by acclaimed painter and member of the Royal Society of British Artists Colin Orchard. Orchard’s highly contemporary work is strongly influenced by Impressionist painter Walter Sickert and Jean-Edouard Vuillard, an original member of the Nabis, together with Bonnard and Roussel, and we’re feeling quite continental here on our beautiful gallery space amongst Orchard’s stylish portraits and European landscapes.

The twist in these Impressionist style works is their subtly contemporary content: look past the parasols, posed couples and shady plane trees and you’ll see the hoodie, the traffic light, the military checkpoint. Orchard’s collection of fictitious portraits in imaginary settings and paintings of Venice, Cornwall, London and Suffolk are an inspired combination of 21st Century subject matter and fin-de-siecle painting.  Set against Joanna Wason’s Mycean inspired sculpture, they make a perfect – and perfectly tranquil autumn show.

Next month we’ll be picking up the pace again with the indulgent drama of installation artist Rebecca McDonalds Under The Wild Stars exhibition, which will see the New Craftsman transformed into a winter wonderland of frozen mountains and wild creatures. There will also be a collection of drawings by Samuel Winterbourn. We cant wait for the sparkle and fizz of the December Private View! And we’re delighted at the prospect of spending Christmas in the high romantic mountains, without even leaving NC.

COLIN ORCHARD : IN TIME AND PLACE runs until 16th November.

double image copyUNDER THE WILD STARS will be on show from 5th Dec to 10th Jan.

For more information go to www.newcraftsmanstives.com


ImageWell last Saturdays PV was a great success! It was so incredibly busy we could hardly see the artworks but all of our wonderful clients and contemporary art fans from across the area were there to see the work of sculptor Terence Coventry, painters Jeremy Annear and Judy Buxton, jeweller Guy Royle and ceramicist Elspeth Owen.

Particularly popular were Coventry’s huge goat sculptures in the window of NC, the biggest pieces on show, and we are thrilled to say that four days into the exhibition BOTH have sold to a buyer with a discerning eye for outdoor sculpture.

So, dear art lovers, press your nose against our window and weep! These two fine bronze works have found their home. Many thanks to their new owner who has allowed us to keep them on display for the duration of the show.

Other utterly fabulous works are still available. The exhibition will run until 12th October.

For more information go to http://www.newcraftsmanstives.com


paul n goatsThe world is full of art news this week. A newly discovered painting by Vincent van Gogh has been unveiled in Amsterdam, the nominees for the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize have been announced (we vote Anoush Abrar by the way) but we can beat that here in St Ives this weekend with the launch of the annual September Festival, the first ever Ceramics Trail Cornwall and the opening of the biggest show of the year here at New Craftsman.

TERENCE COVENTRY, JEREMY ANNEAR and JUDY BUXTON with Guy Royle and Elspeth Owen opens tomorrow, Saturday 14th and we are expecting the biggest Private View party we’ve ever held. Our wonderful gallery manager of fortynine years Michael Hunt is putting the finishing touches to our spectacular show (careful up that ladder Michael!), Paul Haase is selecting the champagne and dusting truffles with edible gold dust (we’d expect nothing less – Paul always spoils us), gallery assistant and recent Art History Masters graduate Sussie Moran has detailed and mounted every single label (the model of professional patience), gallery assistant and talented jewellery maker Sarah Watson is polishing and perfecting the displays (with her artists eye for beauty and detail) and Director Ylenia Haase is overseeing every last detail of a show she has worked on night and day for months.

There’s a great sense of anticipation! We are thrilled to confirm that world class sculptor Terence Coventry will be attending the opening of this, his first show within Cornwall for 25 years, as will abstract artist Jeremy Annear and his wife, outstanding landscape and still life painter Judy Buxton, celebrated contemporary jeweller Guy Royle and respected performance, installation and mixed media artist Elspeth Owen.

The show will run throughout the September Festival and until 12th October so, red dots notwithstanding, this fabulous selection of contemporary art show will stand as autumn’s must see exhibition.

Images: Paul Haase taking a moment to position Terence Coventry’s goat sculptures in NCs window!

For more information go to http://www.newcraftsmanstives.com