Maud & Mabel are very excited to be hosting the work of Barry Stedman – a British ceramicist and artist who combines his love of mark making and drawing from nature to create expressive vessels and works on paper that are full of energy and life.
Barry Stedman, Thrown Vessel White and Black, £240
Mark making, detail of a hand thrown vessel by Barry Steadman
Using red earthenware clay, his pieces are either thrown on the wheel or built up using slabs and worked into subtle irregular shapes. These strong, simple forms are the canvas where Barry works his painterly magic. Confident stripes and washes of glaze dance across the surface, together with expressive hand drawn lines and marks.
Barry Stedman, Thrown Vessel with White with Black, £390
In the same way that an artist builds up layers of paint, subtle layers of washes and oxides are lightly applied, wiped away and reworked and it’s during this process that the beauty of Barry’s handcrafted pieces come to light. Playful relationships are formed between lights and darks, rough and smooth finishes and where edges meet, overlap and merge.
Barry Stedman, Thrown Vessel White with Black, detail, £160
There is a wonderful spontaneity and freshness to his ceramics. They are like expressive charcoal sketches created in flash of inspiration. Yet there is depth too, every time you turn one of his pieces in your hand, you notice something different, whether it be a change in finish from matt to gloss, a contrast of texture, or a change of tempo in mark-making. They are pieces that rarely fail to excite.
Barry Stedman, Framed painting in pencil, pastel and gouache on paper, £450
Painting and ceramics by Barry Stedman available at Maud & Mabel
Shibui is a Japanese word which refers to a particular set of zen design principles, favoring subtle and unobtrusive beauty. Originating in the Muromachi period (1336–1392), the term originally referred to a sour or astringent taste, such as that of an unripe persimmon. Shibui objects often include tiny and surprising details--such as asymmetry or juxtaposing textures--which balance simplicity with complexity. They can be static yet dynamic, spontaneous yet restrained, or modest yet elegant.
We do not tire of a shibui object. Instead, we treasure it for generations to come, spotting new elements of interest each and every day. Sometimes, we may even have a sneaking suspicion that the object has a life of its own, so rich is the story of its creation.
Akiko Hirai's Tsbuo Pot has a thousand stories to tell. Available exclusively at our Hampstead store. £1350.
One of the main shibui concepts is Fukinsei, or Imperfection. We can see this most beautifully in the ancient Japanese art of Kintsukuroi, which translates as Golden Repair. This the practice of fixing broken pottery using a lacquer dusted with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. Beautiful seams of gold glint in the cracks of ceramic, emphasizing fractures and breaks instead of hiding or disguising them. Though the technique is largely visual, it actually diverts attention away from the sheer appearance of the object, and instead draws attention to the life it has lived.
Abigail Schama migrated from painting to pottery, and now hand-throws beautiful bowls speckled with subtle splashes of gold. These pieces, she says, are about imprinting the imperfect, the unexpected and the unrepeatable marks of a human hand on the most primal and unchanging material.
Abigail Schama's creations are paved with gold. Available online and instore. £320.
Maud & Mabel are thrilled to be hosting the work of Valeria Valigi - an exquisite Italian maker whose timeless textile pieces are handcrafted in the Umbria region, where she was born and raised beneath the cypress trees.
Available online and at our Hampstead store, each piece is a tribute to her heritage -- a homecoming celebration after years of international travel, and a thank you note addressed to the generations of weavers who went before her. Valigi's supply chain is transparent, feeding directly back into the community where she grew up, and each piece is cut from the finest recycled materials by experienced hands. "It is a bit like returning to the ways of our grandparents", she explains, "when each object became a cherished companion throughout many experiences of life and living."
There are stories stitched in the seams. Read on to find your favourite piece.
This easy-to-wear dress is beautifully simple in form. It is available in both fine wool (in shades of charcoal or navy), or in the mustard alternative pictured above, which is instead crafted from Italian linen.
*Valigi Navy fine wool dress, £370, available here.*
*Valigi Charcoal Fine Wool Dress, £370, available here.*
If you're looking for something soft and versatile, Valigi's Collarless cotton shirt can be worn with a gentle fold. It is exquisitely crafted, featuring sophisticated cuff detail and button fastenings.
To find out more about our curation process, keep your eyes peeled for new content on the blog, or follow us on social media.
Maud and Mabel are pleased to be adding to our selection of ceramicist Nobue Ibaraki’s wonderful work with her new range of jugs and bottles in an ecru glaze.
The soft ecru glaze reacts gently with the minerals in the clay, sourced locally to Nobue Ibaraki in Tajimi, Japan, evoking a sense of burried treasure.
A wonderful blend of modern and traditional, the ecru glaze compliments the bold forms, simple shapes accentuated by subtle marks in the texture and finish.
Japan based, Kenta Anzai handcrafts a beautiful selection of objects ranging from vases, pourers and containers to plates, tea bowls and sake cups. Kentas work is thrown in porcelain and his glaze is infused with a small amount of urushi - a natural Japanese lacquer, giving each piece a uniquely detailed surface pattern to contrast with the simple forms.
The thoughtfully aged surface of Kenta’s work takes months to create with endless polishing and refining. The result is a perfect example of the Wabi Sabi aesthetic so sought after in Japanese pottery.
Kenta Anzai is a highly sought after ceramic artist. Kenta was apprentice to renowned potter Taizo Kuda. Kuda in turn was apprentice to Tatsuzo Shimaoka (national treasure) who also studied under Shoji Hamada. So a truly impressive lineage.
Each piece is polished up to 8 times using the finest grade sandpaper. Thus producing a soft caressible surface which shows subtle reflections of light similar to eggshell.