New Makers Alumni
We are delighted to share the ongoing successes of our previous New Makers from our 2021, 2020 and 2019 programmes.
Corrie Williamson, New Maker 2021
The studio of multidisciplinary designer Corrie Williamson is tucked away in her garden in Hackney, East London. Her hanging mobiles for the home are composed of a careful balance of materials and influenced by simple and bold shapes – all constructed using traditional metal and woodwork techniques.
It was Corrie’s degree in Textile Design at Brighton School of Art that first sparked her love of colour and materiality. With further studies in jewellery design, Corrie began to explore sculptural forms, eventually scaling up her jewellery designs into mobiles that constantly change in the air when hanging.
Using off-cuts of ash from retired musical instruments along with pieces of salvaged, blackened oak, each piece is entirely unique. The finished forms are minimal and contemporary, referencing the hand of the maker in the soft natural woods and carefully soldered joints.
Jodie Metcalfe, New Maker 2021
Jodie Metcalfe’s sculptural pieces of jewellery are made from recycled gold and silver from her workshop in Durness, Scotland. Her stud and hoop earrings along with gently-hammered pendants have a strong focus on sustainability, with Jodie committing to use reclaimed gemstones and salvaged metals in their natural form.
After enrolling onto a course in 3D Design at Bournemouth & Poole College, Jodie was introduced to an array of traditional and practical skills - from casting and stone setting to experimenting with precious and base metals. With a love for material texture, Jodie was dawn to creating jewellery inspired by native gold and silver deposits, leading her to specialise in silversmithing.
Sculpting directly with the metal, Jodie uses a handful of simple tools to make her delicate yet bold pieces that nod to the cragged rock formations on her doorstep. She has recently started fossicking for gemstones around Scotland, with the long-term goal of creating entirely circular jewellery designs.
Julie Gurr, New Maker 2021
A calm expanse of the Romney Marshes surrounds the workshop of basketmaker Julie Gurr. Based in a former oast house, just a stone’s throw away from her Hastings home, Julie weaves sculptural yet practical baskets using several different varieties of willow.
It was through working on nature conservation projects in Scotland over 20 years ago that Julie came across willow weaving. Drawn to the versatility, her intrigue led her to learn the craft from master weavers in Glasgow and Galway, before eventually setting up her own basketry business.
From the planting of the willow cuttings to the harvesting and soaking, Julie’s process requires year-round organisation and planning to ensure the final crop is ready to weave with. She takes her inspiration from her coastal surroundings and uses traditional techniques from different cultures such as a Japanese open weave, most commonly used with vines. Each final basket by Julie is favoured for its sustainable properties, whilst utilising the warm, natural colours of willow.
Kelsey Rose Dawson, New Maker 2021
Ontario-based ceramicist Kelsey Rose Dawson creates hand moulded pots that reference site, location and history. A student of Waterloo School of Architecture, Kelsey’s practice is research-led and material specific, with her studio based in an old silk mill on the banks of the Grand River.
Kelsey takes much of her inspiration from the evolving landscapes to make her vessels. She sources and digs her own clay from the lakeside, using the geographical coordinates of her clay findings to inspire grid-like glaze patterns.
From the digging and sieving of the wild clay, to the wedging and month-long ageing, Kelsey’s process requires time and several rounds of sampling before it is ready to work with. Once perfected, she shapes the clay in moulds to create consistency. Her recent experiments with pit firing give her final vessels a pigmented, smoked finish, whilst the natural colours of the wild clay serve as a map of the local landscape from where it was dug.
Aude Arago, New Maker 2021
The works of Paris-based sculptor Aude Arago are informed by a perfect balance of material experimentation and contemporary dance. After a 30-year career in dancing, Aude naturally fell into her craft, taking rhythmical elements of improvisation and movement into her sculptural practice.
As a result, Aude’s hand-built forms are organic, gestural and fluid. Each piece is created from layers of a paste made from lime powder and hemp. Once sculpted, they are left to dry naturally without the use of a kiln. The gently mottled, matte finish is inspired by the traditional Morrocan Tadelakt technique, giving each weighty vessel a softness and warmth.
Based in the artistic suburb of Aubervilliers on the outskirts of the city, Aude works into each form slowly, often turning to drawing and photography as an expression and supporting medium.
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.
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.
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 chiseled and lacquered spoons now form an ongoing part of the TOAST House & Home Collection. Their collaborative work is also exhibited artiscally, with upcoming shows at Maud & Mabel in London and Gallery 57 in Arundel this year.
Their Urushi Lacquer Spoons form part of our current House&Home collection.
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, her collection of sculptural vases were built 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.
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.
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.
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, his beautifully carved wooden bowls were each made from timbre 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.
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.
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.
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.