James Hake is a quality Potter. It was inevitable he would be invited to join Online Ceramics. He first came to our attention very early on in the life of Online Ceramics. In fact, before our website even went live. One damp September evening we set off to Ceramics in the City, an annual studio pottery show that took place in the Geffrye Museum in East London, with the aim of finding potters for Online Ceramics. Emmanuel Cooper, Richard Godfrey, Chris Keenan, Walter Keeler, John Pollex and David Whiting had already agreed to be founding artists of Online Ceramics, but our mission on that evening was to find more.
At the show the quality of James Hake’s pottery stood out. James’ Anglo-Oriental pots, rooted in the Leach tradition, showed such maturity. He decorated is work in bold abstract motifs using nuka and tenmoku glazes. Here was a young man with great talent. The only thing stopping us from inviting him – there and then – was the tough criteria to joining Online Ceramics; all ceramicists must be members of the Craft Potters Association of Great Britain and they must have 10 years professional experience. Sadly despite the maturity shown in his pots, James Hake, at that time had only been working professionally for six years. However, we knew one day, James would join our stable of quality potters – it was just a matter of time!
That evening spent at Ceramics in the City was fruitful. We successfully approached Tina Vlassopulos who produces unique burnished sculptural forms and Ruth King a specialist in slab-built salt-glazed pots. Also at that show was earthenware throwing expert Richard Phethean who joined Online Ceramics a few years later.
We now represent 33 of the UK’s best potters/ceramicists/ceramic artists. It doesn’t really matter how they prefer to be called – what does matter is the sheer quality of their work.