Archives for posts with tag: Neil Davies

campsite washday lowres

As 2014 draws to a close here at New Craftsman and the New Year is upon us, we have fired up the Hotpod and are taking stock of a year of fantastic exhibitions. It’s been pretty peaceful along Fore Street in December, and now there is a rich purple light from the sweeping Atlantic sky that makes the sand of St Ives Bay glow and the rolling sea turn a vibrant aquamarine. In lots of ways it’s our favourite time of year, when West Cornwall is as dazzlingly colourful as it is in mid-summer, and the beaches and streets are empty and all our own.

This time of year also inspires many of our best New Craftsman artists: in the paintings of NC favourite Neil Davies you can see the awesome energy of winter in Cornwall, with its ominous clouds, blinding shafts of light and wind battered heath land. Painter Emma Jeffryes’ sellout 2014 show was inspired by last winter’s powerful storms, a series of breathtaking weather events that gave a thrilling new feel to her work.

In winter we wait, and watch and enjoy the ice cold beauty of this remote peninsula. Christmas lights sway back and forth above our heads along pretty, cobbled streets and reflect in the harbour at night. Smeaton’s Pier is swallowed by pounding walls of salt water and the higher parts of town take the force of a brutal north wind. To quote Neil Davies on the pleasures of living in Cornwall, ‘there is a sense of timelessness, and of nature being, as it should be, very much in charge.’

It is a time to enjoy the calm, because before long we’ll start looking forward to the warmth and the hustle and bustle that comes with spring and the happy energy of St Ives’ many visitors.

Keeping us company over the next few weeks is a beautiful exhibition of contemporary jewellery by Guy Royle, Breon O’Casey and Paul Preston, and a unique collection of one-off works by the Leach Pottery’s talented studio team. Most fitting for the season are Jenny Ayrton’s icey blocks of contemporary glass, with their precious scenes of homely domesticity, perfect for us as we cosy on down for New Year.

Image: Jenny Ayrton, Campsite Washday (wire and metal in molten glass)



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

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!

Image /  Adam Buick, Moon Jar from the Cornish Series


NDavies Perched on the Edge Above Crashing Waves

Summer has finally arrived here in St Ives! And as our fantastic Lucie Bray exhibition comes to an end its time to rehang for our much anticipated summer exhibition by exceptional west cornwall landscape painter Neil Davies. 2013 marks Neil fourth solo show here at NC and we are extremely proud to include him amongst NCs key artists. This year we’re a little nervous. During the final day of hanging in 2012 we unexpectedly sold almost half of the forty paintings on show, and so the Private View that evening was already awash with red dots. Buyers from Europe and London telephoned to snap up Neil’s fabulous works quicker than we could unpack them, but all were kind enough to allow them to stay at NC for the duration of the show.

The paintings in this year’s show, Braving the Elements, promise to be just as exciting. Having lived and painted in Cornwall full time since 2000, Neil’s has established himself as one of Cornwalls finest landscape artist. His dramatic, often huge, semi abstracted oil works have a vibrant energy borne of Davies powerful brush and knife work, and the skilful use of classic oil techniques. Alongside these are a collection of exquisitely rendered landscape sketches which demonstrate the breadth of davies artistic ability. We’re expecting a full house at next Saturday’s opening night, and are looking forward to the usual bubbly, champagne truffles and great company.

Accompanying the exhibition will be a showcase of contemporary ceramics by Tanya Gomez, whose elegantly sculptural functional pottery is hand thrown from fine porcelain and glazed in palette of glossy rainbow hues. There will also be a showcase of seascapes by fused glass artists Jane Reeves.

Images: Perched on Cliffs above Crashing Waves by Neil Davies

Neil Davies, Tanya Gomez and Jane Reeves will be on show from 13th July. For more information go to