28 April - 9 June 2018



18th APRIL 2018


A selling show of contemporary ceramic chawans and yunomis in the Asian tea bowl tradition by six acclaimed potters: Tim Andrews, Sun Kim, Tim Lake, John Pollex, Matthew Tyas, and Maggie Zerafa.

at PORTHMINSTER GALLERY, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 2DY

Exhibitions: ‘COASTAL RHYTHMS’ and ‘HIGH TEA’

Location: Porthminster Gallery, Westcott's Quay, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 2DY

Exhibition Dates: Saturday 28th April – Saturday 9th June 2018

Opening Times: Mon – Sat, 10 am – 5 pm.

Opening Reception: Saturday 28th April, 2 – 4 pm.

Free admission.



This show explores the theme and tradition of the Asian tea bowl, in the hands of six contemporary potters: Tim Andrews, Sun Kim, Tim Lake, John Pollex, Matthew Tyas, and Maggie Zerafa.

“The tea bowl could be a ‘perfect form’ – occupying a space between utility and sculpture – to be used and revered”. Matthew Tyas


Tim Andrews has gained an International reputation for his distinctive smoke-fired and raku ceramics. He makes individual Raku work – black and white with linear decoration or burnished muted coloured slips. The pieces are usually thrown, although new work is hand-built. Bisque-firing is in a conventional gas kiln to 1060˚C. Many pieces have a 'resist' slip and glaze applied and are then fired in a 'top hat' fibre glass kiln to around 1000˚C, before removal when red-hot to a smoking chamber. When cold the resist glaze is chipped off and the pot cleaned up and waxed.

Tim Andrews is a Fellow of the C.P.A and a full member of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen (Chairman of the selection Committee 1996–98) and a Member of the West Country Potters Association. His pieces have been acquired for both public and private collections including: Stoke on Trent and Liverpool Museums; Ashmolean Museum; St. John's College Oxford; Donna Karan, New York; Lord Chancellor Lord Irving; Imerys; The Royal Bank of Scotland; Tim Andrews lives in Devon.


Sun Kim’s work focuses on making functional objects which explore the relationship between the traditional and the contemporary. The inspiration comes from her surroundings: objects and their historical context, architecture, texture, colour, design and nature. They all continually feed my visual language and open new paths of investigation. Making is not only a personal journey but also my interest in generating interaction and a narrative within the environment.

Born in Saudi Arabia and brought up in Brazil, Sun Kim is a Korean ceramicist who moved to the UK in 2004 to undertake a studio assistantship with Edmund de Waal – one of the world's leading artists working in ceramics today. Having studied ceramics and received her first BA in Fine Arts in Sao Paulo, Brazil, she continued her studies in ceramics, graduating with a second BA from Alfred University, New York in 2003.

Since 2004 she has exhibited throughout the UK and internationally. Exhibitions include Cheongju International Crafts Biennale (Korea); Officine Saffi (Italy); British Ceramics Bienniale; Ceramic Ireland International; European Ceramic Context (Denmark), and The Clay Art Centre (USA).
She has work in permanent collections including the Museum of Northern Ireland and Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art, Japan. In 2007 she set up her own studio practice in London where she is currently based.


Tim Lake’s wheel-thrown ceramics are an alchemic odyssey into taking a base material and transforming it into an object of use and beauty. In collecting various materials from the coastline and countryside near to where he lives in Cornwall – river silts, clays and sands – Tim imparts the work with a strong sense of connection to the landscape he inhabits.

One of the main ingredients in Tim’s work is a material which he calls ‘Red River silt’ which he collects from a river that empties out into St Ives Bay at Godrevy. He use this material as a slip, a glaze ingredient, an ‘on-glaze’ pigment and a glaze in its own right. Tim processes the silt – and other local clays – into liquid clay slips, which he then applies by dipping or brushing onto the leather-hard pots, using his fingers to draw through to reveal the clay body below. This gives the pieces an immediacy and vitality.

Tim’s ceramic practice, is informed by his study of pottery from Eastern to Western traditions and all his work is thrown and turned on a slow turning kick wheel and fired to between 1220 – 1250°C with sea shells in a neutral atmosphere.

Originally from Surrey, Tim started his career with a foundation course at the West Surrey College of Art and Design (now the University for the Creative Arts) and went on to graduate with a Studio Ceramics degree at Falmouth University, in 1998. Tim Lake is based in Penryn, Cornwall.


John Pollex has carved out a unique niche in the world of studio pottery. During the 70s and early 80s he established himself as a respected maker of traditional Slipware, before his work took a dramatic turn. In 1981 he was invited to take part in a lecture tour of New Zealand with the contemporary American ceramist Don Reitz. The bold use of colour in the work of Reitz was exciting compared to the muted tones of celadons, tenmokus and honey glazes back in Britain; consequently, he became more interested in the colourful work being produced by potters in the USA.

In 1984 Pollex decided to change direction. Referring to the work of painters such as Sir Howard Hodgkin, Robert Natkin, Patrick Heron and Ben Nicholson, Pollex used his knowledge and understanding of the application of slips (liquid clay) to develop a completely different style of working. He dispensed with slip trailers in favour of paintbrushes and sponges and more recently plastic spatulas, intensely coloured earthenware slips are applied in a free and painterly abstract manner. The change seems to have been clean and dramatic and appears to owe nothing to the slipware of before. Apart from his regard for the aforementioned painters, Pollex’s work often includes references to his interest in Zen Buddhism, in particular the immediacy of brush strokes in Zen calligraphy.

John Pollex studied at Sir John Cass in Whitechapel from 1966-68; he then went on to become Technician at Harrow College of Art during 1968-70. After Harrow he became assistant to Colin Pearson until 1971, when he moved to Plymouth, where he still lives.


Matthew Tyas’ career as a studio potter allbegan with a visit he made to St Ives as a holidaymaker, many years ago. He became drawn to the old Bernard Leach Standard Ware and William (Bill) Marshall’s work, and began collecting studio pots and attending evening pottery classes. He opened a studio in his native Yorkshire before graduating from Cardiff, in 2008, with an MA in Ceramics. On returning to Yorkshire he opened another studio, before moving to Cornwall to start a research degree in 2010.

After achieving a Doctorate relating to Leach Standard Ware from Falmouth University in 2015, Matthew went on to coordinate and curate exhibitions at the Leach Pottery in St Ives, where he also works on related research and interpretation projects, as well as teaching on the throwing courses. His current research interests include the life and work of Leach potter William Marshall, and the design and production of Leach Standard Ware from the 1940s onwards.

Matthew’s studio practice is based at Bosence Farm – a pottery workshop located in a drug and alcohol treatment centre, near Hayle, where he gives classes to residents.

His ceramics have been exhibited throughout the UK since 2009, most recently in group show, ‘Teachers’ Pots: Celebrating The Work Of Our Education Team’, at the Leach Pottery, St Ives, 4 November 2017 – 27 January 2018.

He is being represented for the first time at the Porthminster Gallery.


Maggie Zerafa’s ceramics are influenced by both Japanese and European traditions of making. In recent years her work has been exploring the potential of crystalline glazes ­– examples of which feature in this show.

After completing a BA in Ceramic Design at Monash University, Melbourne in 1992 Maggie moved to Japan to embark on a three-year apprenticeship in the Mingei tradition studying under the eminent Mashiko artist Ryo Suzuki. In the following years she went on to work with established potters in France and the UK, eventually opening her own studio and Gallery in 2000 on the Isle of Skye Scotland. In 2012 Maggie spent a year in France developing her practice, building a wood fired kiln and experimenting with the ancient Japanese technique of Raku.

Maggie Zerafa is being represented for the first time at the Porthminster Gallery, and exclusively in Cornwall and the southwest.


Prices of the ceramics on sale in ‘High Tea’ show range from £30 to £200.

The Own Art interest-free purchase plan is available on all works.


Also showing will be ‘Patrick Heron: Prints from the 70s’ celebrating the rich abstraction of Patrick Heron’s art with a selling exhibition of ten vibrant rare signed silkscreen prints by this great British modern master of abstract expressionism. The exhibition complements Patrick Heron’s major retrospective show at the TATE St Ives.


Notes to editors

In 2017 the award-winning Porthminster Gallery celebrated its tenth year in St Ives, Cornwall with a diverse programme of expertly curated exhibitions and events.

Established by art patrons and gallery directors Dee Bray and David Durham in York in 1999, the business was relocated to St Ives in 2007 to concentrate its focus on the art of St Ives and Cornwall. Since then the gallery has championed the work of more than 80 living British artists through its progressive and expertly curated shows, and has showcased and introduced many young up-and-coming artists to an appreciative local and global collectorship.  The gallery has also gained a strong reputation during the ten years for its impressive shows and changing stock of Post War St Ives and British Art.

Porthminster Gallery won the Cornwall Today readers’ award for ‘Best Art Gallery in Cornwall’ 2014/15, and has been featured in BBC2’s Coast series and most recently in Sky Art’s Tate Walks series.

The gallery offers buyers and collectors the easy and affordable incentive to buy original art up to £25,000 at 0% APR over 10 equal 0% APR monthly instalments with the Own Art and Own Art Plus purchase schemes.

For further information, please contact gallery manager Hélène Chaussavoine at the gallery on 01736 795888, or by email info@porthminstergallery.co.uk 
Website: www.porthminstergallery.co.uk

Porthminster Gallery, Westcott's Quay, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 2DY, UK

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