New Makers Alumni

We are delighted to share the ongoing successes of our previous New Makers from the last 5 years.

Hiroko Aono-Billson, Ceramicist, New Maker 2023

Brighton-based ceramicist Hiroko Aono-Billson’s work is inspired by her mother’s collection of functional Japanese ceramics and the Mingei movement. Meaning “art of the people”, the movement was developed in 1920s Japan and focuses on the overlooked beauty of practical craft objects used in daily life. Her ceramics are made from terracotta clay and she uses the sgraffito technique – where a slip or glaze is applied, then scratched off to reveal the layer beneath – to create unique patterns.

Read our interview with Hiroko Aono-Billson on the TOAST Magazine.

Visit Hiroko Aono-Billson’s instagram..

Estelle Bourdet, Textile Designer, New Maker 2023

Originally from the Swiss Alps and now living in Jostedal, Norway, Estelle Bourdet creates handwoven textiles by using hand-dyed yarns and repurposing fabrics. Her woven wall hangings, rugs and bags incorporate unconventional materials such as climbing rope for a heightened sense of tactility. Her work brings traditional rag rug making techniques, tracing back to 18th-century Sweden, into new contexts.

Read our interview with Estelle Bourdet on the TOAST Magazine.

Visit Estelle Bourdet’s website.

Ewan Craig, Woodworker, New Maker 2023

Having recently studied historical carving at the City and Guilds of London Art School, woodworker Ewan Craig creates hand-carved spoons, bowls and juicers. Designed to bring a resonance to everyday rituals, the sculptural and functional pieces are crafted from green wood he sources locally in Hertfordshire. He considers the setting in which the piece will be used to inform the design, finding beauty in the subtleties of form.

Read our interview with Ewan Craig on the TOAST Magazine.

Visit Ewan Craig’s website.

Poppy Fuller Abbott, Textile Designer, New Maker 2023

Brighton-based weaver Poppy Fuller Abbott creates textile works such as wall hangings and placemats using natural yarns and dyes. Locally grown plants from her mother’s allotment are made into nuanced dyes, each creating natural variations when applied to fibres. She dyes her hemp paper yarns using resist and dip-dyeing techniques, before weaving them in intricate patterned fabrics.

Read our interview with Poppy Fuller Abbott on the TOAST Magazine.

Visit Poppy Fuller Abbott’s website.

Jynsym Ong, Ceramicist, New Maker 2023

Jynsym Ong set up her own independent pottery studio in Oxford after returning from a ceramics apprenticeship in Japan. With an interest in textures and patterns found in nature, she creates a range of useful pieces from teapots, cups and vases to pestle and mortar sets. She focuses on taking the time to hand-process her own materials, an imperfect process allowing unique textures and patterns to shine through.

Read our interview with Jynsym Ong on the TOAST Magazine.

Visit Jynsym Ong’s website.

Samuel Alexander, Woodworker, New Maker 2022 

Originally from north Devon and now based in east London, Samuel Alexander is a woodworker who began making spoons and vessels as a cathartic form of therapy. Inspired by organic shapes, his pieces are made from different kinds of wood, depending on what has been felled as part of local tree management. He works at London Greenwood, a cooperative and community based at Hackney City Farm, where tools are shared and maintained by members.

Read our interview with Samuel Alexander on the TOAST Magazine.

Visit Samuel Alexander’s website.

Rosa Harradine, Brushmaker, New Maker 2022

Wales-based maker Rosa Harradine creates brushes from natural fibres; the bristles are made from tampico and arenga, which are wrapped with hemp cord and finished with a cotton strap, making them completely biodegradable. Rosa makes the brushes in her garden workshop in Carmarthen, with the long-term goal of growing plants on her land for the bristles.

Read our interview with Rosa Harradine on the TOAST Magazine.

Visit Rosa Harradine’s website.

Dalia James, Textile Designer, New Maker 2022

Weaver Dalia James creates wall hangings, placemats and rugs on three looms in her east London studio. Inspired by the Bauhaus movement and a broad range of architectural styles, she uses geometric forms and vibrant colours in her unique weavings. Dalia dyes the yarns herself and often dip-dyes them to create a hazy effect similar to ikat fabrics.

Read our interview with Dalia James on the TOAST Magazine.

Visit Dalia James’ instagram.

Rose Pearlman, Textile Designer, New Maker 2022

Based in Brooklyn, Rose Pearlman creates natural raffia and cotton bags using the punch-needle technique. She began rug hooking to stay creative when she was looking after her young son, finding it an expressive medium and enjoying how the method can be used to create functional objects and be easily returned to throughout the day.

Read our interview with Rose Pearlman on the TOAST Magazine.

Visit Rose Pearlman’s website.

Reesha Zubair, Ceramicist, New Maker 2022

Potter Reesha Zubair creates serene vessels in her Bristol studio, which she set up closeby to her house after interning at a pottery studio in Jericho, Oxford. Tying her to memories of home in the Maldives, Reesha’s Shareefa and Hawwa series of pots are named after her grandmothers, reflecting their close relationships.

Read our interview with Reesha Zubair on the TOAST Magazine.

Visit Reesha Zubair’s website.

Aude Arago, Sculptor, New Maker 2021

After a 30-year career in dancing, Paris-based sculptor Aude Arago brings rhythmical elements of improvisation and movement into her sculptural practice. Each gestural piece is hand-created from layers of a paste made from lime powder and hemp, then left to dry naturally. The gently mottled, matte finish is inspired by the traditional Moroccan tadelakt technique.

Read our interview with Aude Arago on the TOAST Magazine.

Visit Aude Arago’s instagram.

Kelsey Rose Dawson, Ceramicist, New Maker 2021

Ontario-based ceramicist Kelsey Rose Dawson creates hand moulded pots that reference site, location and history. For her university research at the Waterloo School of Architecture she began working with wild clay as a way to understand place; the earthy vessels have grid-like patterns linking to the geographical coordinates of her wild clay findings.

Read our interview with Kelsey Rose Dawson on the TOAST Magazine.

Visit Kelsey Rose Dawson's website.

Julie Gurr, Willow Weaver, New Maker 2021

Based in a former oast house just a stone’s throw away from her Hastings home, Julie Gurr weaves sculptural yet practical baskets using several different varieties of willow. From the planting of the willow cuttings to the harvesting and soaking, Julie’s process requires year-round organisation. She uses traditional techniques such as a Japanese open weave and takes inspiration from her coastal surroundings.

Read our interview with Julie Gurr on the TOAST Magazine.

Visit Julie Gurr's website.

Jodie Metcalfe, Jeweller, New Maker 2021

Jodie Metcalfe creates sculptural pieces of jewellery from recycled gold and silver in her workshop in Durness, Scotland. Jodie is captivated by ancient jewellery, excavated from layers of earth on archaeological digs. She incorporates reclaimed precious stones and uses simple tools to make her delicate pieces, which nod to the cragged rock formations on her doorstep.

Read our interview with Jodie Metcalfe on the TOAST Magazine.

Visit Jodie Metcalfe's website.

Corrie Williamson, Designer, New Maker 2021


Multidisciplinary designer Corrie Williamson’s studio is tucked away in her garden in Hackney, east London. Her hanging mobiles are composed of a careful balance of materials and constructed using traditional metal and woodwork techniques. Created from offcuts of ash from retired musical instruments along with pieces of salvaged, blackened oak, the finished forms are contemporary and kinetic.

Read our interview with Corrie Williamson on the TOAST Magazine.

Visit Corrie Williamson's website.

John Hollington, Designer, New Maker 2020

The works of York-based designer John Hollington are informed by both nature and art, and guided by a deep-rooted understanding of longevity. His sculptural nest boxes for New Makers 2020 were made using traditional sculpture materials such as blackened oak and steel, whilst referencing Modernist art and architecture. His explorative projects for the year ahead draw on Japanese carpentry and open source furniture-making manuals, allowing him to further develop and refine his woodworking skills and scale.

Read our interview with  John Hollington on the TOAST Magazine.

Visit John Hollington's website.

Pop & Jez, Pottery Duo, New Maker 2020

Pottery duo Pop & Jez use as many local materials as they can to create their distinctive tea pots and tea bowls. Their collaboratively designed, wheel-thrown pots are made from their agricultural shed-turned-studio in North Devon, often finished in a rich glaze reminiscent of cast iron. Following the New Maker 2020 programme, Pop & Jez have since been developing new teapot shapes, ash glazes and natural slips. Their recent ongoing research into wood firing with added soda is resulting in a new body of work with accentuated forms and rich textures. 

Read our interview with Popalini and Jezando on the TOAST Magazine.

Visit Popalini and Jezando's website.

Viv Lee, Ceramicist, New Maker 2020

Based in a former cigarette factory in East Glasgow, ceramicist Viv Lee creates smooth-edged stoneware vessels that subtly reference the human body. Her hand-coiled works embrace imperfections in both form and finish, sitting perfectly in line with the Wabi-Sabi philosophy. Following the New Makers 2020 programme, Viv has been able to develop new skills for efficient production, with her audience reaching Austria, Japan, Denmark and beyond. Her recent range of ceramic lamps and hand-built vessels have recently formed part of the collection at The New Craftsmen, London.

Read our interview with Viv Lee on the TOAST Magazine.

Visit Viv Lee’s website.

Ambrose Vevers, Wood Worker, New Maker 2020

Ambrose Vevers creates practical yet elegant pieces for the kitchen and home, employing age-old hand carpentry skills and traditional furniture making techniques. Predominantly using ash, cherry, oak and walnut, Ambrose’s timber is sourced locally from the woods that lie just beyond his home in Ashburton, Devon. Following the New Maker’s programme in 2020, Ambrose spends his time on commissions and teaching workshops, offering contemporary stool-making courses and weekend bench-making courses.

Read our interview with Ambrose Vevers on the TOAST Magazine.

Visit Ambrose Vevers' website.

Polly Yates, Ceramicist, New Maker 2020

Ceramicist Polly Yates combines coiling and pinching to build curvaceous vessels from her Chicago-based studio, just a stone's throw away from Lake Michigan. Selected as one of TOAST’s New Makers in 2020, she creates sculptural vases from stoneware, each with a textured surface and a soft asymmetry unique to hand-building. A recent move into a new studio space has given Polly the space and facilities to develop new forms and ways of working, allowing her to experiment with scale, quantity and material alike.

Read our interview with Polly Yates on the TOAST Magazine.

Visit Polly Yates’ website.

Blue Firth, Ceramicist, New Maker 2019

Nottingham-based Blue Firth creates hand-thrown homewares in a subtle and natural colour palette. Her collection for New Makers 2019 used horsehair in the raku firing process, yielding feathery smoke marks onto the surface of the clay. Since then, Blue has been spending her time lecturing at Nottingham Trent University, alongside quietly working on collaborative projects and creative retreats. Her small batches of bespoke ceramics are made today from her Nottingham studio, still retaining the same sense of ease and timelessness.

Read our interview with Blue Firth on the TOAST Magazine.

Visit Blue Firth's website.

Ali Hewson, Ceramicist, New Maker 2019

Ali Hewson produces hand-built ceramics from her Norwich studio, with a focus on gestural slip and natural oxides. Her formal background in illustration can be seen in the fluidity of the drawn line that is seen upon the surfaces of her bowls, plates and pots for the home. Her work is now stocked in galleries and independent shops in the UK, Amsterdam and New York.

Read our interview with Ali Hewson on the TOAST Magazine.

Visit Ali Hewson’s instagram.

Takahashi McGil, Wood Carving Duo, New Maker 2019

Based in Torquay, Devon, the husband and wife team behind Takahashi McGil create functional bowls and spoons made from local hardwoods, combining time-honoured Japanese traditions honed in Tokyo with western techniques. Following the New Makers programme in 2019, Mark and Kaori’s hand chiselled and lacquered spoons formed an ongoing part of the TOAST House&Home Collection.

Read our interview with  Takahashi McGil on the TOAST Magazine.

Visit Takahashi McGil's website.

House of Quinn, Textile Artist, New Maker 2019

House of Quinn blends traditional quilting techniques with a thoroughly modern approach to textile compositions. Founded and designed by Julius Arthur, House of Quinn launched in 2016, debuting quilts, cushions and soft furnishings. Each one-of-a-kind design is created by hand out of Julius’ Brighton studio using sustainable fabrics. Since embarking on the New Makers programme in 2019, Julius has been creating batches of limited-edition prints and hosting advanced quilting and repair workshops. His upcoming book Modern Quilting, launching this May, is an exploration of 20 contemporary quilting projects for the home.

Read our interview with  House of Quinn on the TOAST Magazine.

Visit House of Quinn’s website.

Nicholas Shurey, Sculptor, New Maker 2019

British architect turned sculptor Nicholas Shurey resides in Copenhagen. Selected as one of the TOAST’s New Makers in 2019, he creates beautifully carved wooden bowls made from timber sourced directly from forests and parks near and around his studio. His latest series of sculptures and commissions are rich in texture and varied in scale, sitting somewhere between furniture and stand-alone objects – each with a playful functionality.

Read our interview with  Nicholas Shurey on the TOAST Magazine.

Visit Nicholas Shurey's website.