New Makers Alumni
We are delighted to share the ongoing successes of our previous New Makers from our 2019 and 2020 programmes.
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.
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. His scorched ash spatulas and serving boards will form part of the new TOAST Made to Order Collection.
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.
View our current 2021 New Makers.