cambridge contemporary crafts

Katharina Klug

Sea Exhibition 2nd – 27th July 2016

Ceramics, Prints, ExhibitionCambridge Contemporary CraftsComment

Katharina Klug

Deep Sea Vessel

A brand new exhibition will be on view at cambridge contemporary crafts from 2nd until 27th July 2016, exploring the grand theme of the sea. Immerse yourself into our watery world and find out how this theme has inspired contemporary UK artists and craftspeople working in a wide range of media including ceramics, print-making, textiles and jewellery. We are zooming in on a few highlights below.


Cambridge-based ceramicist Katharina Klug has created a beautiful collection of ‘Deep Sea’ vessels for us, sparked by the idea of sunken ships and their lost treasures left at the bottom of the ocean. The vessels are round and smooth on the outside, as if shaped by water over long periods of time. Their colours are evocative of ancient cargo found on the sea bed, encrusted with sea-life, sand, debris and barnacle.


Fellow ceramicist Penny Withers, who is new to the gallery, has brought to us a lovely selection of her Ocean and Coast vases. In shades of teal and turquoise, they reflect the colour of seascapes. Some of them have a glossy light-reflecting finish, suggestive of the atmospheric shimmer of seawater. Penny’s vessels do not only capture the colours of water, but also its shapes, with surfaces that ripple and undulate like waves.

Fuelled by her love of nature, Sarah Dennis creates wonderfully intricate paper-cuts. She has produced some absolutely breathtaking work depicting the deep blue sea and all the creatures that live in it, from the largest marine mammals to the tiniest deep sea creatures. Each piece is individually hand-cut to reveal exquisite, delicate detail within the illustration.


Penny Withers

Ocean Vase

Sarah Dennis

Whale Spirit


Alison Hullyer


We are thrilled to also have a lovely range of sea-side inspired prints by local print artist Allison Hullyer in our exhibition. We love her latest drypoint, which depicts fish facing in opposite directions coloured in different shades of blue.

Local illustrator Jo Clark designs hand drawn illustrations inspired by the fauna and flora of the British countryside. For our sea-themed exhibition, she has explored some more aquatic regions, resulting in striking mixed media illustrations of clown fish, sea turtles and great white sharks.

Also on display will be new work by printmaker Ed Boxall. Ed has recently made a series of sea-themed linocuts inspired by sketches he has made at the rock pools in Hastings, where he is based.

Textile artist Lillian Bixler makes soft sculpture animals out of felt. She is inspired by a desire to capture a realistic representation of each animal she crafts. Each piece is designed, hand cut and stitched by Lillian herself. For this exhibition, Lillian has created some original one of a kind sea animals.



Jo Clark

Clown Fish

Ed Boxall

At the Sea

Lillian Bixler



This free exhibition runs from 2nd – 27th July 2016. We are open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm and Sunday from 11am to 5pm. Come and have a look!

Katharina Klug Workshop

Ceramics, WorkshopsCambridge Contemporary CraftsComment

Tea Set

Katharina Klug is a Cambridge-based ceramicist who creates elegant contemporary porcelain pieces. Her work is about simplicity of design and form. This is beautifully complemented with distinctive pops of colour, as in this stunning tea set she recently made. Katharina mixes all the glazes herself using her own recipes which she has developed and refined over many years. She is inspired by the elemental colour and shape of ancient Korean pottery.


At the start of the workshop

Last week we were fortunate enough to attend a workshop with Katharina and get some hands-on experience ourselves. We are extremely grateful that she invited us to her lovely studio; it was a very interesting, informative experience and we had a lot of fun too! Here is an image of some of our staff members at the start of the workshop, before we got our hands dirty.


Wheel throwing

The workshop focused on two different clay building techniques: slab building and wheel throwing. Most of us were new to wheel throwing, so it was a bit daunting at first, but luckily we had an experienced and very patient master-ceramicist guiding us through the basics. Wheel throwing was a lot more difficult than we had expected and we will need another few workshops before we are able to throw an acceptable pot, but we very much enjoyed it! Starting out with a lump of clay and being able to shape it any way you want is very liberating. Even if our pots didn't always turn out the way we had hoped, we loved the process of creating them. As the morning passed our respect and admiration for the ceramicists whose work we have in stock at our galleries grew even more than before, so much skill, time and effort goes into the making of even the simplest of bowls.


Slab building

While we focused on round smooth shapes with the pottery wheel, we used the slab building technique to try our hand at straight shapes with textured surfaces. We started by rolling out the clay into an even layer and we had a wide range of tools and objects at our disposal to create relief on our slabs; from stamps and rollers to everyday objects like lace. The possibilities were endless and Katharina inspired us constantly with new ideas. We then constructed vessels by joining the different slabs together with a slip made of clay, water and vinegar.


Creating pottery is a very physical activity, so we had a well deserved mid-morning break in Katharina's lovely garden, with excellent coffee and tea, fresh fruits and delicious cakes. During this time, Katharina talked to us about different kinds of materials and their properties, including earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. She enthusiastically answered all of our questions and convinced us that anyone can become a great potter, given enough practice and dedication.


At the end of the workshop


Throughout the workshop, it became apparent how driven and committed Katharina is herself. She works very hard to get the results she wants, spends a lot of time reading up on the latest developments in ceramics and forever continues to improve her technique. Katharina is so passionate and knowledgeable about her craft that it didn't come as a surprise to us that she was recently selected as a member of the prestigious Crafts Potters Association, official recognition that she is really at the top of her field. We want to thank Katharina for spending so much time with us and we look forward to passing on some of the knowledge and enthusiasm to our customers!

Sea Exhibition 13th June – 8th July

Cambridge Contemporary CraftsComment

Sea Exhibition 13th June – 8th July

Cambridge contemporary crafts has kicked off the summer with a sea-themed exhibition, featuring works of artists who are all inspired by the colours, movements and transformative effects of the water that covers the majority of our planet.

Katharina Klug’s new ‘Deep Sea’ range sprung from thoughts of sunken ships and their lost treasures. Her ‘Deep Sea’ vases are round and smooth on the outside, like the surface of stones that have been shaped by water over long periods of time. Their colours are evocative of ancient cargo found on the sea bed, encrusted with sea-life, sand, debris and barnacle. The glazes on the outside of the pots are different shades of greens reminiscent of algae. The inside of the vessels are dark as if still filled with earth and sand. Klug has chosen an unusual combination of two different types of glaze which react through the wall of the vessel with each other. Depending on the wall thickness there is a weaker or stronger reaction, which makes each pot unique.

Carys Davies’s pots similarly look like cargoes of vessels discovered at the bottom of the sea, or sitting on flotsam, worked on by the water and the sand. They are smooth on the inside and rough on the outside. Davies uses volcanic glazes, which are often rubbed down to show the bubbles inside, giving the pots the appearance of being washed up on a beach. The pots reflect the greys and blues of the sea and sky as well as the textures of sand, stone and granite. Recently Carys has been writing on her pots, using words as both marks on the pot and as a way to invoke feelings.

Using a variety of stitching techniques, Jen Hills creates delicate hand-embroidered designs on button-sized pieces. Each of her designs are hand stitched onto cotton or felt, then constructed into either brooches or magnets. For our sea-themed exhibition, she has come up with some brand new nautical designs of chain stitched anchors in shades of blue and gold, delicately sewn sailing boats in a combination of different colours.

Also on display will be Helen Entwisle’s 'Nautical Novelty' prints. Drawing inspiration from novelty print fabric designs from the 1950s, Helen has created a number of coloured limited edition sea-themed prints.