Maker Stories

Number 29a is an iconic Victorian shop, ornate, bijou and featuring an elegant spiral staircase.  Situated in a prominent residential area of the town it had lain empty for some years and Bridport was buzzing once word got out that it had been let, so we had to rise to the challenge and get our little makers shop off the ground quickly. We called on friends to contribute so that we could open up in time for Christmas. Four weeks later and our books sit alongside beautiful pots, cushions, prints, glass, woodwork and handlettering. We’ve asked three of our makers to introduce themselves and tell us something about their work.

Sophie Sharp: artist and printmaker

Most of my designs start out as lino cuts, combining the hand carved and crafted effect of lino prints with the crisp clean effect of the screen print. I’m Inspired by Indian textiles and artists and pattern makers such as Bawden, Ravilious, Marthe Armitage and William Morris. Most of my design ideas come from my garden and the wider natural world.

Katkin Tremayne: potter

Katkin Tremayne bowlI’ve been making wheel thrown pottery for 40 years and love the directness of the process. My fascination with storytelling, myths and symbols is reflected in my designs depicting mythic animals. In recent years I’ve become more interested in the different possibilities of glaze and more abstract decoration. I’m currently modifying the shape of thrown pieces, throwing in a looser way and experimenting with decorating using poured or brushed slips. I’m also playing with the thickness of the glaze and firing to slightly higher temperatures, this results in a runnier, increasingly melted glaze, with beautiful, unpredictable results. With the animal pieces, the design can become obscured and misty, an effect which adds to the mystery of the work.

Jemma Thompson: traditional sign-painter, artist and gilder

jemma thompson signwritingCompelled by a need for creative expression and the joyful absorption of drawing a line ~ I trained at John Moore’s University in Liverpool and later South Devon College Sign school in Torquay. My studio is in the centre of Bridport and I have completed work for many small businesses in town, including: signage for The Bull Hotel, Fruits of the Earth, gilding The Town Hall weather vane and I also designed the front entrance door of tourist information, as well as the shop signage for the wonderful ink & page.

Miranda Berrow: Ceramic Artist

I had a very nomadic start. We were born in Canada, schooled in French in Quebec and Madrid, family holidays were in Europe and the Outer Hebrides. As soon as I could I was off travelling. Eclectically gathering colours, smells, patterns and ideas. Stopping to live in Northern Italy for a good few years. I applied to Bristol to study ceramics but instead I ended up at St Martins in London where I trained as a Fashion Designer in the 1980s, Punk and New Romantics, Vivienne Westwood and Heaven.

London was wild and unleashed after Italy. We travelled with our young family and finally settled in West Dorset in the mid 1990s. I had done a dozen or so throwing classes when I woke very early one morning and browsing the “for Sale” pages of the Blackmore Vale Magazine I found a very special 30 year old kiln, a kick wheel and many pots of oxides and under glazes for an irresistible sum. I still use the kiln to this day and have since added a big brother version to fire larger quantities I have taught myself most of what I know by making some sizeable mistakes from which I have learned a great deal, not to mention the ever flowing generosity of other potters who have freely offered me their insight and knowledge.

At the moment I work out of a charming old tack room in Symondsbury Manor Yard. I have my table top wheel on which I coil, I am surrounded by bisque fired work from slip casting in Stoke and shelves of work that I make in Sri Lanka.