TRADER PROFILE-Elisabeth Barry
We are big fans of Somerset maker Elisabeth Barry’s delicate and contemporary ceramics. Specialising in porcelain homewares and jewellery, Elisabeth can be found in our Designer Maker section on market days.
Elisabeth’s simple, sculptural works involve several stages and each takes days to make. Her design process preferences the direct use of the wheel rather than drawing with a pencil and paper. Her signature pieces are the churns – little vases in the shape of milk churns, milk bottles and ink wells – which are diamond polished on the outside giving them an exceptionally smooth feel and glazed blue, green, grey or black on the inside for contrast with their white exterior. Elisabeth told us “I love seeing each one emerge from the spinning lump of clay and end up with its own personality – tall and elegant, short and squat, textured or smooth. I purposefully don’t make two the same.”
Elisabeth has also developed an exciting range of necklaces that feature one or more ceramic circles, which begin life as a pot. When the pot has hardened Elisabeth slices off a ring as it spins on the wheel. Once fired, each circle is diamond-polished and part glazed. The circles are then hung on silver chain, coloured silk cord or leather.
The Frome Independent is proud to attract makers of Elisabeth’s quality and to have become a showcase for contemporary craft in the south west. Elisabeth told us “I heard about The Frome Independent through my brilliant friend Helen ‘The Bakemonger’ who trades at the market and said it had a lovely relaxed atmosphere and she was absolutely right! It’s great to meet people and see how they engage with my work. It’s lovely when people appreciate and understand something that I like in my work, but it’s also nice when they see something new or different in it. People love a bargain but just as often they prefer provenance, integrity and authenticity. When I sell directly and have a chance to explain the process behind the work, people can fully understand the care and many hours that go into each piece.”
Elisabeth also loves meeting and catching up with other makers at The Frome Independent – her favourites are Speckled Wood – “not just because they are great friends and my studio neighbours but because they always have such a beautiful and thoughtfully curated display” and also Denman & Gould who debuted at last month’s market with their individual pieces of homeware, art and jewellery. “I particularly love their quiet, Scandinavian aesthetic.”
Read more about Elisabeth in this Bath Life article.