50 for 50 — Part Three

A love of ceramics led me into the business I now run up in North Yorkshire. At school we had a great ceramics department set-up by now renowned potter, Phil Rogers. His aunt taught me art and whilst I left it behind to follow my dreams of being a fighter pilot, art remained with me through the years. I never made it into the cockpit but did end up travelling the world and visiting many of the top museums. Ceramics are such a key part of any worthy collection. They root us in the now, whether it be 100 years or 4000 years before. Todays ceramics are tomorrow’s history and a safer bet than the archives of facebook for telling the future generations how we really lived.

11. Dame Lucie Rie

Dame Lucie Rie

There are many key influences in modern British Studio pottery and certainly Leach is key amongst them. For me, Lucie Rie, was the biggest modern influence over how ceramics have developed. I love that her work had hints of usability, probably now no longer achievable with the sharp rise in value in recent years. She perfected form, colour combinations, with enough European influence to balance the Oriental roots of her work. I’ve picked this bowl, purely because it’s the colour of my eyes, how shallow I am!

12. Hans Coper

Hans Coper

Arguably Rie’s finest work came from her collaboration with Hans Coper. I rate him higher than Rie in terms of his artistic development of the ceramic form. You can instantly recognise his work, despite the world being flooded with poor replicas and attempts to emulate the master. Rie wins for her rich palette yet I love the muted nature of Coper’s work.

13. Thomas Bohle

Thomas Bohle — Celadon Bowl

Another Austrian potter creeps into my list with Thomas Bohle. His work comprises of twin walled porcelain bowls with a variety stunning glazes. Hare’s Fur is a term I learnt from Thomas when I first met him several years ago. He has mastered that and much more. We have X-Ray images of his work in the gallery which reveals how much attention he affords each piece. I am lucky to own one of his rich Oxblood glazed bowls, a rather extravagant birthday present from myself a couple of years ago! I think it’s rather lonely and needs more company…

14. Chiu-i Wu

Chiu-i Wu — Figurative Ceramics

There is not much more enjoyable in this life than meeting Chiu-i Wu. She’s a bundle of energy so full of inspiration, creativity and smiles that even five minutes in her company you leave feeling renewed and invigorated for the future! Possibly her work comes a close second. Such thoughtful, peaceful pieces that sit beautifully alongside her darker more brooding works that remind me of Where The Wild Things Are. Join the extensive queue for a piece of her work which occasionally features in our gallery.

15. Symy Ong

Symy Ong — Rising Talent

Here at Bils & Rye, we are big users of social media with Instagram our favourite platform. We discovered Symy whilst trawling through the wonderful images. A meeting at Turning Earth in London led to us taking away a bath of wonderful Moon Jars which have sold well to a set of very discerning clients, including award winning ceramicists! Symy is now enrolled onto the course at The Clay College, a specialist school set-up by a band of potters who disagreed with the continuing closure of ceramic departments across the nations colleges and universities. Bravo to them, we hope to visit the school soon and will write up all about it once we have.


So another 35 to go — I’ll be concentrating on paintings for the next blog I think. Some of the above pots are available in the gallery and we will be having more in shortly in time for our Slice of Yorkshire Creativity show which kicks off at the end of April 2018.

Hope to see you here!