Meet BBC pottery judge at Olympia
BBC pottery judge, Keith Brymer Jones, to give live pottery demonstrations at Top Drawer
Now you have chance to meet Keith Brymer Jones, judge of BBC2's Great Pottery Throw Down at Top Drawer spring 2016.
Keith will throw his potter's wheel live every day and you can join him afterwards at the Academy Live, where he will talk about his experience on the BBC show and the programme's effect on pottery sales.
When he's not featuring on TV Keith is spending his time as Head of Design at Make International, which has a stand at Top Drawer (Stand C29).
At Make he collaborates with every designer to create unique products that represent the style and story behind each brand. Keith's experience stretches back over 20 years, having started as an apprentice at Harefield Pottery aged 18 before hand-making ceramics from his London studio for retailers like Conran, Heals and Habitat.
Keith in his own words:
"The first thing I ever made was a pottery owl, when I was 11 years old. The process of pottery gave me a sort of sense of escapism. It was then that I knew I wanted to be a potter and, after a brief stint as the lead singer of a punk band (!), that’s just what I did, becoming an apprentice for Harefield Pottery in London at 18. This is where I really learnt how to use traditional hard graft to make modern ceramics.
"After my apprenticeship I started out at my first studio in Highgate hand-making all of my ceramics for lots of retailers including Conran, Habitat, Barneys NY, Monsoon, Laura Ashley, and Heals. It was then, about twenty years ago, I began to develop the Word Range for the first time. I was originally attracted to words because of their shapes; the bucket mug ‘hot’ is my favourite because of how symmetrical the word shape is. The range has now grown to include over 80 different words that I hope will bring smiles to people’s faces!
"My working life now revolves around my studio in Whitstable, Kent, which is housed inside an old bakery. Here I hand design every Keith Brymer Jones item (oh yes, it’s all very hands on!). I also throw shapes on my pottery wheel here for other designers in my job as Head of Design at MAKE International. It is in this role I have been lucky enough to collaborate with amazing designers and brands like Jane Foster, Scion, Hokolo and Designer's Guild.
"Once I am happy with each shape I have thrown on the wheel, I then travel to China with the finished prototype, where I work with our great team on the factory floor to ensure the products we mass produce maintain the same standards as the ones in my studio back home. All of the pieces in the Keith Brymer Jones ranges are then finished by hand.
My design philosophy is a simple one; I like to create stylish yet simple products that are pleasing to the eye and, above all, are practical in the modern home and make people happy! For me, less is more!"