Popalini & Jezando make collaboratively designed, wheel-thrown pots: wood-fired stoneware and slipped earthenware from their studio pottery at Koa Tree Studios, Welcombe, on the North Devon/Cornwall border. They are influenced by both the traditional pots of North Devon and the subtle understated forms they admired whilst working in Japan.
Pop Wilkinson and Jez Anderson both grew up on the Hartland Peninsular in rural North Devon surrounded by clay-laden fields and wild seas. Since Pop attended Philip Leach’s pottery youth project over a decade ago, both she and subsequently Jez benefited from his mentoring in the early stages but are largely self taught. Early in 2018 they went Japan to make work in the studios of Setsurou Shibata in Tajimi and Peter Seabridge in Tokoname, with whom they did their first wood-firing. During their time there, they gained new insights into throwing and firing and expanded their aesthetic appreciation and tastes in tea. It was not just the pottery, but also the ancient forms of the cast iron kettles that hang above fireplaces in traditional Japanese homes, which inspired them and informs their teaware. Late in 2019, Pop and Jez had the chance to go back to Japan supported by Arts Council England to further their knowledge of wood-firing and teaware.
Pop and Jez are ever pairing down the materials they use favoring simple non-toxic glaze recipes and local materials where possible. Their stoneware clay is sourced from a small independent clay-pit in Cornwall and some of their earthenware is dug from the land that surrounds them. A portion of their pots are left unglazed to reveal the natural qualities of the clay.
"The angular forms of our thrown teaware are contrasted with soft tactile elements that together celebrate the materiality of clay and pair technical complexity with visual simplicity and function. Wood-firing is becoming an ever-increasing part of our process as is an exploration of ash glazes and wild clays."
Breaking with Tradition: British Ceramics Biennial - The Burton, Bideford January 14 – March 20, 2022
Chado - The Way of Tea - Maud and Mabel, London, Oct 22nd - 31st 2021
Colours of the Earth - Exeter Tea Merchants, Teaware exhibition, Sept 27th - 20th Nov 2021
Fresh 2021 - British Ceramics Biennial, Sept 11 - Oct 17th 2021
Pots and Food - Warlow and Mires, Sept 11-12 2021
TOAST Shoreditch - The Makers Space, Joint exhibition with makers Takahashi Mcgil July 5th - Aug 2nd 2021
Past, Present and Future, The Plough Arts Center, Thu 05 Nov 2020 to
TOAST New Makers 2020, Pots on show in TOAST flagship stores: Bath, Edinburgh, Oxford and Notting Hill
TOAST Virtual Creative Residency, Live Studio Tour 11.30AM - 12PM Saturday 17th October 2020
Clay - A Festival of Ceramics, online show, 25th-26th September 2020
Window into Whitegold, Virtual craft fair September 2020
Popalini & Jezando: Woodfired in Japan, Solo exhibition at The Burton Art Gallery, July - September 2020
Ones To Watch, Group Exhibition, Clay College, Stoke-on-trent, July - September 2020