Tag Archives: garden pots

Warwickshire Open Studios – a sneak peak into the county’s makers spaces.

13 Jul

A wonderful thing happens in Warwickshire every summer – all over the county painters, sculptors, potters, stitchers and photographers open up their homes and studios to the general public, as part of the Warwickshire Open Studios programme.  We are encouraged to visit, meet the artists and enjoy their spaces. There are over 120 venues exhibiting work by 239 artists and makers. In fact you’d have to visit 4 a day to see them all !

I sadly only had one day to squeeze a few in. Having studied the catalogue, I highlighted 3 or 4 venues that were all quite close together – all a short drive from the centre of Leamington.

One of the added bonuses of visiting Open Studios is that you get to have a sneak peak of other peoples houses and gardens and being of an artistic bent, they are very often quite special !

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This secluded spot is home to Nicky Richards – talented ceramicist. After many years working in the garage,  she has relocated to a beautiful studio in the garden where she has space and light and access to all her tools and inspiration to produce many beautiful ceramic pieces.

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Her studio is located at the end of the garden alongside a sheltered terrace with dining table and chiminea. The ‘off the shelf’ wood cabin has been customised with a coat of dark grey paint and tucked in amongst the planting. It is hardly visible from the house and blends in perfectly.

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Nicky specialises in coiled or slabbed pots ( for those of us who know little about pots – this means she doesn’t throw them on a wheel) and after an initial kiln firing she smoke fires them in a garden incinerator before plunging them into a bucket of sawdust – plenty of heat and flame involved ! This gives her pots their trademark smoke colours. much polishing and buffing follows, resulting in smooth perfect curves.

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This year Nicky has branched out into garden pots and they are fabulous ! They still have her distinctive curves and polish but are stoneware suitable for outdoor use in earthy and verdant tones.

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They are like smooth beach pebbles and with small openings lend them selves to small succulents.

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There are also hanging versions which look fabulous on this piece of driftwood.

Nicky has a real artists eye for detail and her garden and studio are full of amazing little touches

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A shelf of inspirational pieces!

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A thriving sedum.

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A shelf of glazes.

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Its the same in the garden, where Nicky has placed the perfect plant in the perfect pot against the grey of the studio.

Pieces of drift wood and rusted, twisted metal add interest to every corner.

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On a hot afternoon, this little spot is a real haven and has clearly inspired Nicky to branch out into garden friendly pots.

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