New Makers 2023
Celebrating and supporting creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship
For the fifth year running, five makers demonstrating excellence in skill, originality and craftsmanship have been chosen by a TOAST panel. We offer business and marketing advice, as well as a platform to sell their pieces until the end of this year, with full profits being returned to them.
From ceramic vessels, wooden bowls and woven placemats to tactile bags and wall hangings, all of the pieces created by the makers are crafted by hand and will be made to order.
“In Japanese, ‘teineini’ means ‘everything considered’. I approach my work with this in mind – it takes time to make every piece with care and attention.”
Norwich-based ceramicist Hiroko Aono-Billson’s work is inspired by her mother’s collection of functional Japanese ceramics and the Mingei movement. Meaning “art of the people”, the movement was developed in 1920s Japan and focuses on the overlooked beauty of practical craft objects used in daily life.
Hiroko first discovered her love for pottery on a short course before she studied textiles, and has concentrated on the medium since 2019. Her ceramics are made from terracotta clay and she uses the sgraffito technique – where a slip or glaze is applied, then scratched off to reveal the layer beneath – to create unique patterns.
“By following the rhythms of the different stages of weaving and having respect for the materials I use, I allow myself to discover and learn more about them.”
Originally from the Swiss Alps and now living in Kalmar, Sweden, Estelle Bourdet creates handwoven textiles by using hand-dyed yarns and repurposing fabrics. Her woven wall hangings, rugs and bags incorporate unconventional materials such as climbing rope for a heightened sense of tactility.
Estelle experimented with techniques, colours and compositions during her studies at the Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne, The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts and the Swedish school for craft and design, Capellagården. Her work brings traditional rag rug making techniques, tracing back to 18th-century Sweden, into new contexts.
“The process of making is just one aspect of creating. I see art as a way of making beauty out of the values we wish to protect and visualise.”
Having recently studied historical carving at the City and Guilds of London Art School, woodworker Ewan Craig creates hand-carved spoons, bowls and juicers. Designed to bring a resonance to everyday rituals, the sculptural and functional pieces are crafted from green wood he sources locally in Hertfordshire.
He considers the setting in which the piece will be used to inform the design, finding beauty in subtleties of form. The mastery of carving Ewan developed from creating large public sculptures during his studies has been translated to a much smaller scale, enabling him to create serene domestic objects.
Unfortunately we are unable to deliver items from Ewan Craig outside of the UK.
Poppy Fuller Abbott
“Working with nature is very humbling as you have to be patient. This makes processes like natural dyeing feel very ancient and important to preserve.”
Brighton-based weaver Poppy Fuller Abbott creates textile works such as wall hangings and placemats using natural yarns and dyes. Locally grown plants from her mother’s allotment are made into nuanced dyes, each creating natural variations when applied to fibres.
She dyes her hemp paper yarns using resist and dip-dyeing techniques, before weaving them in intricate patterned fabrics. The dipped, coloured ends of the thread highlight the weave structure, while negative space is explored by the undyed sections, building on the work she developed while studying Textile Design at Central Saint Martins.
“Nothing about pottery can be hasty; it is a potter’s maxim that to rush something is to ruin it.”
Jynsym Ong set up her own independent pottery studio in Oxford after returning from a ceramics apprenticeship in Japan. With an interest in textures and patterns found in nature, she creates a range of useful pieces from teapots, cups and vases to pestle and mortar sets.
After studying English at King's College London, she took evening pottery classes before enrolling at Clay College in Stoke-on-Trent. Since, she has focused on taking the time to hand-process her own materials, an imperfect process allowing unique textures and patterns to shine through.
We are keenly aware of our impact on people and the planet. By looking at our impact areas, we have set out a roadmap to enrich and educate, contribute through collaboration, cherish our materials and minimise our waste.
Our New Makers programme is one of the ways we are encouraging and supporting rising talent in the fields of craft and design.