Archives for posts with tag: West Cornwall

ADAM BUICK Cornish Series_edited-1

Landscape has always been an abiding theme in the arts, in painting most obviously, but in today’s art world previously divergent ideas and disciplines now merge with increasing confidence in the making of new works.

This month artist Adam Buick, on show as part of our spring exhibition, brings ceramics and landscape together in a ‘Cornish Series’ of spellbindingly lovely pieces which demonstrate this disconcerting mix of subject and medium. Exploring ideas around the resource heritage of Cornwall’s rich landscape, his works incorporate minerals, rocks and clay from the Cornish countryside using ‘a single pure jar form as a canvas to map my observations’. Reflecting both visual and tactile ideas of ‘place’, Buick’s work is strongly embedded in the subjective study of landscape and for this exhibition each piece draws upon the geological drama of West Cornwall and St.Ives.

In his large scale Moonjars, sheer weight combines with endless spherical surface and dark inner depth to evoke the sure and boundless breadth of the Cornish landscape. They are reassuringly strong and peaceful, like the earth beneath our feet, like a moment alone and at one with the great outdoors. By contrast, his elegant miniature works, held roundly in the palm of your hand, evoke the light solidity of a beach pebble, the playful weight of a skimming stone, in colours and textures that speak of shifting, prettily patterned sand, of grit and ore and the clean cut of industry through solid rock. Each a self-contained experience of landscape on multiple levels, as a collection they tell the story of Cornwall at its very core.

Image: Adam Buick, Cornish Series miniatures



Sunday 8th March is International Women’s Day 2015, when thousands of events occur across the world to mark the social, political and economic achievements of women. This year’s theme is ‘Make It Happen’ and is aimed at encouraging action for advancing women’s opportunities. The idea is that different organisations celebrate within their own specific context, and as such we want to mention some of Cornwall’s leading women artists, whose work is celebrated as amongst the most influential in British art.

It hardly needs saying that when you think of St Ives, you think of Barbara Hepworth, one of the world’s most important Modernists artists. Her sculpture garden is a stone’s throw from NCs door, and you can see castings of her sculptures Dual Form outside the Guildhall and Epidauros II up at the spectacular viewing area of The Malakoff. The studio of pioneering abstract painter Sandra Blow is also right here in St Ives, and West Cornwall can lay claim to being the inspiration and the home of so many more great women artists including landscape painter Margo Mackelburg, printmaker Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, colourist Margaret Mellis (who mentored the young Damien Hirst), sculptor Barbara Tribe and Newlyn School painters Dod Procter and Dame Laura Knight.

Here at NC we are proud to show the work of St Ives Modernism’s leading women artists, and represent some of Cornwall and the UKs leading contemporary women painters, sculptors and craftspeople. Art-critical discourse rages on about the contribution of women artist, the ‘feminine’ in art and the ways in which history has written out the role of women artists in favour of their male counterparts, but whatever the debates, St Ives continues to cultivate a steady stream of powerfully important women artists. So – how can New Craftsman celebrate the artistic achievements of women? Watch this space for news of our 2016 exhibition of World Class Women artists past and present.

Image: Celebration at 90, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham

lowres Workshop Fireplace 1946 PHOTO CREDIT LEACH ARCHIVE

Think craft. Think pottery. It’s a no brainer of course, but craft has come such a long way over the last hundred years. A quick glance at finger-on-the-pulse publications like Crafts Magazine demonstrates that the contemporary incarnation of craft now stretches to knitted clocks, automata, and elaborate polyamide vessels. And our culture is all the richer for it.

But always, throughout the pages of every cutting edge magazine and on show at the world’s leading craft shows, ceramics – and pottery in particular – exudes an integrity that other crafts can only dream of.

Here in St Ives we are lucky enough to have one of the most respected and influential studio potteries in the world. Over the last hundred years the Leach Pottery has forged the shape of studio pottery production in the UK and beyond, and today their newly restored studio, museum and gallery are continuing the development of Bernard Leach’s historic legacy, to the very great benefit of 21st Century British ceramics. The Leach Pottery has also played a key role in the history of our own gallery: New Craftsman was originally established by Janet Leach, wife of Bernard Leach, here at 24 Fore Street in 1962, and today these two historically important venues maintain a close working relationship. We are incredibly proud to remain the only St Ives centre stockists of the gorgeous new Leach Tableware, which continues to draw in the pottery faithful from across the world and is the catalyst for so many wonderful conversations with visitors to New Craftsman.

We are also proud to be the main contributor to the Leach Pottery’s recent campaign to bring their historic fireplace back into use, alongside everyone who has pledged funds to relight the Leach fire and put the heart back into the old pottery workshop. The fireplace, which appears in many old photographs, was where Bernard Leach would traditionally sit with his potters, students and apprentices each morning to share ‘crib’ and discuss the finer points of pottery making. As such, it is truly a place of historic importance to the development of 20th Century studio pottery. Who knows where future discussions around that same fireplace will lead us…..

The Leach Pottery fire will finally be relit as part of a celebratory gathering on Friday 24th October, and we will be there to show our support. Watch this space for news and photos from the event.

Image: Bernard Leach (second from left) at the Leach Pottery workshop fireplace 1946, photo courtesy of the Leach Archive


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


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.


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


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


tree headIt is always wonderful when the long, damp days of our Cornish winter show the first signs of turning to spring. The turquoise and grey landscape gives way to a stream of warm air from the south, and the sudden blossoming of sea-pinks and painted camelias.

And as we at NC busy ourselves with new artworks and rehangs, our first show of the season holds a special excitement and a restored appreciation for the jewel like beauty of the West Cornwall landscape. Spring is here, pouring colour back into St Ives, and this year the works in our Easter exhibition, which brings together three of the South West’s finest painters and craftspeople, are united in their vibrant use of colour.

Ceramicist Jane Muir’s warmly amusing and beautifully crafted figures are brought to life by a palette of rainbow colours, detailed across each surface with precision and a lightness of touch. Blue birds, green butterflies, yellow flowers and a dash of wry humour reflect the season’s optimism. Emma Jeffryes’ multicoloured paintings of St Ives town and harbour not only define the gulf stream explosion of flowers, ocean colours and glowing light that Easter brings, but also the onset of our bustling Cornwall season and some longed for summer sunshine. And artist and craftsman Paul Anderson’s powerful, sculptural furniture is lifted here and there by incongruous strips of vivid colour. They mimic, in a way,  the odd mix of industrial might and seaside prettiness in St Ives harbour, and the striped primary colours of its heavy, working boats.

John Ruskin wrote that “The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most” …….. well we are pure of mind and bright of mood here at NC, ready for a lively season of exhibitions, private views, breezy lunch-runs and sun-hot strolls home after a hard days encounter with colour.

Other colours in store for our 2013 season are: the energetic blues and greens of painter Lucie Bray, the earthy ochres and indigos of ceramicist Sarah Purvey, the ominously beautiful purples and golds of painter Neil Davies, the glossy rainbows of potter Tanya Gomez and the light defeating metal hues of sculptor Terence Coventry.

Image: Garden With Birds by Jane Muir

Jane Muir, Emma Jeffryes & Paul Anderson will be on show from 30th March to 11th May. For more information go to