Last autumn I was lucky enough to be invited to exhibit at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair. It was a fantastic weekend and whilst it didn’t lead directly to me making my fortune it did open up other opportunities for me, one of which was my recent invitation to become a member of the Design Factory as an emerging maker. This, in turn is leading on to other things. But this blog is not about me.
One of the people who was exhibiting close to me was a lovely young lady called Hannah Tounsend. It was not the first time that I had met her, she had been at the New Designers exhibition in the summer and I had also seen her work in the British Ceramics Biennial at Stoke on Trent on my way to Manchester. Both times her work had struck me as different and exciting. We stood side by side over the weekend in Manchester and I mused on the possibility, if I sold a lot of my work, of owning one of hers. This is so often the temptation – to spend my hard won cash on other ceramics rather than food! Sadly, this time, I resisted the temptation and came away empty handed. This might have been a mistake!
Unsurprisingly, Hannah went on to win Fresh. Then yesterday my new copy of Ceramic Review landed with a thump on the door mat. At the first opportunity I curled up in a chair with it and a coffee to indulge in my favourite activity of flicking through to prioritise the order of my in depth reading later in the month; it always makes me think of opening a box of chocolates and lining them up with the fudge at the front of the line and the strawberry creams at the other end. This time I was stopped in my tracks by one article: There she is again, smiling out from the pages of an article on Ones to Watch, cradling one of her large, atmospheric pieces and definitely going places!
Hannah’s work combines throwing and hand building to create large porcelain pieces which have a fabulous printed surface inspired by the cliffs and coastline of Britain. Her pieces are strikingly beautiful.
This girl is making such a splash with her wonderfully fresh vessels that she actually appears twice in this edition of Ceramic Review; there is a short article on her in the CPA news section of the magazine as well. I think I missed a trick in Manchester and my advice to collectors is to grab a piece of this girl’s work before she is too expensive. After all, another article which I need to read properly this month talks of a Lucie Rie piece which was bought in 1975 for £36.00 and has just made £32,000.00 at auction!