Thursday, 19 February 2015

Beth Mander / Handmade Palace

Immortality, whether actual or merely figurative, has long been craved by mankind. To achieve it, it seems to me,  you could do worse than become a potter or ceramicist. After all, what is the first thing that comes to mind at the mention of archaeology? All those ancient Greek and Roman vases surely? For a medium so soft and pliable, clay, in the hands of an artist, has the potential to transform into one of civilisation's most enduring art forms. Ceramic artist, Beth Mander probably doesn't dream of immortality, but she has become a well known face on the Triangle, as a result of her running the Handmade Palace stall at the market every saturday.
Things have happened remarkably quickly for Beth, who not so long ago did a City & Guilds course in ceramics, followed by a teaching course (to teach ceramics to adults), as a way of pursuing a new path after a career break spent bringing up her kids. Although living in Croydon, where she was brought up, Beth always gravitated towards the creativity of SE19. Then eighteen months ago, while on the hunt for studio space, she was lucky enough to find a ready-made potter's studio, complete with kilns, at the Gipsy Hill Studios. And once settled in the space, she got straight on experimenting with different techniques and glazes. Her work, such as the ceramic bunting, is light-hearted, colourful and fun. Her first sales outlet was via the Secret Garden, and it was then that her work was spotted by the organisers of the Alma market. About the same time, she got involved with Makerhood, a Lambeth based organisation that supports artists and makers. Being part of the events team, gave her the confidence to take on the running of the Handmade stall, which has since gone from being  monthly, to weekly, showcasing the talents of many and varied local creatives. While Beth's own work has developed, circumstances have channelled her increasingly into organising events. After the successful Christmas market, at the Sparrowhawk, other events are in the pipeline.

Bowls with a molten glass glaze

Enamel badges

Beth at work

Left over clay all gets recycled.

Oxide glaze test sheet

On the right is a whimsical model of a certain local landmark made from clay dug from an SE19 garden.

The Handmade Palace stall

A pair of Sinead Taylor's prints

Make a Statement jewellery made from tropical nuts!

Beth's bunting

Crochet Craft by Libby Holloway

Locally themed mugs by Dom Richards

Homewares by Anne Fortin

Mya and Joe jewellery

Dreamcatchers by Ismay Frazier

Make a Statement

Saturday, 7 February 2015


Two of my favourite Triangle institutions recently asked me back to take new pics for their new websites. Here are some of the results.


Do South

New websites: Joanna's 
                           Do South