Darren Ellis demonstrates making a rectangular baking dish on the wheel.

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Maze Hill Pottery Christmas Sale

Kiln Opening

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Busy week end at Maze Hill with Svend Bayer masterclass

This week end was very busy at Maze Hill. For the third year running, Svend Bayer came to the pottery to demonstrate his tableware to eight students.

More can be read about last year’s workshop on this link: Last Year’s workshop

A small selection of Svend's work.

On the demonstration menu were jugs and mixing bowls of various sizes, one type of storage jar and large mishima-style decorated dishes.

The particular type of storage jar made this week end has korean style handles that Svend learnt to pull when he went to Korea in the seventies. korean type jar with side handles

Once the jar was leather-hard, it was dipped in a slip and finger-wiped for decoration.

Korean pottery has had a huge influence on Svend’s work; it was during this trip that he realized that he wanted to work on a large scale. He was blown away by the big “kimchi” jars that were made there by the hundreds. These jars were used for storing pickled cabbage.

After the storage jar, Svend made a 16lb dish which he then decorated in the mishima style with tools made by himself. A bit of platted rope was presssed on the inside of the dish whilst the centre got a roulette design treatment.

large mishima decorated dishIt was not possible to show the whole mishima process due to time constraints but in normal circumstances the dish would be slipped when leather-hard and then the slip would be carefully scraped off once dry  to reveal the carving underneath. The rope consists of four bits of strings platted together and the roulette is a bit of dowel which has been carved with diagonal patterns.

Students mainly made jugs and bowls,  tried different weights of clay and learnt shaping, handle pulling and how to add a spout to their jugs.

Students deairing clay                                        Students jugs drying.  Svend demonstrating                                        Students practicing

Svend finishing a 12lb jug                                        Svend adding a spout to a jug

Lisa’s fabulous lunch spread. 

The atmosphere was very relaxed and punctuated by fabulous lunches prepared by Lisa and afternoon tea with delicious cakes made by Lisa and Ellie.

Maze Hill Salad                                           Bread and cheese

While all the action was taking place, Ellie, Lisa’s assistant worked hard at reclaiming all the clay used by the students and Lisa worked on some of her plates.

Ellie reclaiming clay                                            Lisa carving some plates                                                                                                                  

Brigitte also took photos of Maze Hill memorabilia that is sitting in the back yard and which include early pots of former assistants Yo Thom, Adam Frew and Lukas Moravec.

Yo Thom          Adam Frew

Lukas Moravec and Lisa Hammond pots                                  Yo Thom and Lisa Hammond pot

Lisa Hammond              Lisa Hammond

We were not so lucky with the videos as Lisa, Ellie and Brigitte either got low battery or no memory left in device …!

And finally, ooohhh aaaahhhhh……!


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Darren’s Saturday workshop

Darren’s workshop

Last Saturday Darren was running a workshop for Maze Hill students who had expressed a desire to practice or improve on areas in which they are having difficulties.

When I (Brigitte) arrived at the pottery, everybody was already hard at work.  There was a jolly atmosphere, which is expected when Darren is around, combined with concentration.

Darren and Student Karen

Everybody was doing their own thing: making teapots or mugs, pulling handles or simply practising making perfect cylinders.


Lesley and TamasAnna drying her tea pot lid









Sarah making cylinders

Darren spent time with each student individually and gave them really clear explanations as to why and where they were going wrong.

At the end of the class, while everybody was packing up and cleaning up, he finished one of his teapots.

Darren pulling handle on teapot.


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A few photos of Lisa’s stand at Rufford

All the pictures in this post have been kindly donated by Jon Cullum. Thank you Jon for your beautiful photos. 

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Darren wins “best stand” at Rufford

We are very proud to announce that Darren has won “BEST STAND” at Rufford this year. Here is a picture of it. It looks impressive indeed and was put together on a very low budget.

Well done Darren !

Darren's stand at Rufford

Darren’s stand at Rufford

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Adopt a Potter film kindly produced by the Goldmark Gallery

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