Pip Wilcox Ceramics is based in Hastings, England. I'm the designer-maker and each piece from this ever-changing collection of decorative and functional ceramics is made by me. Previously all of my work was thrown on the potter's wheel but more recently I have enjoyed expanding my practice to also include hand building.
I first sat at a potter’s wheel in 2008 - and was smitten. But then life got in the way, and it wasn’t until a move to the seaside in my forties brought with it an opportunity to fully exhale for the very first time and to really consider what I wanted my life to look like. I feel grateful every day for the belated realisation that it is not just other people who get to be things like potters!
Tactile, honest, organic, contemporary and timeless - these are some of the words used to describe my ceramics.
I use high fire stoneware clay, so the pieces I make are durable enough for everyday use. Offering quality, function and pleasure via my ceramics is of the utmost importance to me. Everything you see here I use and enjoy in my own home.
My inspiration and influences are varied. Mid-century ceramics; Scandinavian simplicity; fond childhood memories of the comforting solidity of the Poole Pottery dinnerware I grew up with; many happy trips to Cornwall in recent years during which a visit to the Leach Pottery has always been a highlight; our garden through the seasons; living a 5-minute walk away from where the sea meets the sky - and the list goes on.
I've been lucky enough to be the subject of several magazine, blog and podcast interviews and if you're curious to know a bit more about me then you might like to have a listen or a read:
Makers Broadcast (Series 1, Episode 1, 50-minute podcast) - audio documentary series created by EJ Osborne of Hatchet + Bear about crafts people, creatives and makers.
Ceramic Review (Issue no. 286, July/August 2017, 5-page feature) - international magazine for ceramic art, available in print and digital format.
UK Handmade (Autumn 2016, 18-page feature) - quarterly digital magazine celebrating designers and makers across the UK.
91 Magazine (Sept 2016, blog feature) - independent interiors and lifestyle magazine, available in print and digital format.
Buying my Work
I give myself a high degree of freedom in the making process and don't tend to make custom or pre-orders. I hope the joy I feel in working in this fluid and creative way is present in every finished item.
I enjoy making small batches of pottery and taking my time over each piece. Many of my pieces are one of a kind - so if you see something in particular that you like it's worth knowing it may not be available again.
I am a slower maker than I would like to be - this is particularly so because of current health challenges. But I am greatly encouraged by the feedback I receive which tells me that the small number of pieces I release each year adds to their specialness. I list new work here whenever I have half a dozen or so finished pieces. I notify people of this via my newsletter, my Facebook page and on Instagram - giving at least a day or two's notice of the exact date and time at which the new work will become available to buy here. As I'm only able to make a limited number of pieces they can sell out quickly. I appreciate it can be disappointing to miss out, but I hope it helps to know there's always another opportunity coming up again with the release of new batches of work.
Wabi-Sabi | Perfectly Imperfect
I'm interested in making individual pieces that each have their own unique character and warmth. The handmade nature of my work is evident in my chosen organic and tactile style. The pieces I make may not be perfectly symmetrical; they may include curves, lumps and bumps; and the glazing may not be applied with a perfectly uniform finish (there may even be the odd drip). My bud vases are a good example... I rarely plan or make drawings for these - rather I make the design and carving decisions for each individual piece in the moment. Although the bodies of these are usually thrown on the wheel, from that point onwards I take a very stripped-back approach, often trimming them by hand (rather than taking the more orthodox approach of turning them on the wheel). I really enjoy this slower, gentler, quieter approach and for me it provides a welcome departure from smooth, flawless symmetry. If you like straight perfect things then my work may not be for you!
I'm generally pretty resistant to the restraint that comes with using equipment such as measuring gauges (although of course there are exceptions to this such as when I'm making lidded pots). So, when it comes to making small batches of work such as a particular style of mug what does this mean for you if you buy more than one of these pieces? Well, you'll end up with a 'family' of mugs that very clearly belong together and which broadly all have the same design and hold very similar amounts of your chosen beverage. But each one will have its own quirks and characteristics - and it's likely that you and each of the people you buy these for will end up relating to one mug in particular as their mug!
Hopefully this photograph of a pair of my mugs will better illustrate with a picture what I'm trying to say with words!
The thought of my ceramic pieces making their journeys from my studio to homes far and wide - and becoming part of the daily rituals and enjoyment of others - is a source of endless delight to me.
Your interest in my work means the world.
Images © Conrad Lee, Dean Hearne & Pip Wilcox Ceramics