Balls Pond Studio : Kate Malone, Open Studio

Kate Malones' Christmas open Studio. Don't miss it if you can get there!

Kate Malone Judge of the BBC 2 Great Pottery Throw Down will open her London studio doors for her annual open studio weekend on the 2nd and 3rd December 2017, between 11am and 7pm. at 8B Culford Mews, London, N1 4DX

Built by her husband Balls Pond Studio has been their home and Malone's studio for 31 years.

Malone is one of the UK's foremost ceramic artists, with a career spanning over 30 years. The essence of her work is conveying an optimistic essence, the main inspiration being nature and the ‘life-force'. Malone works in three areas: Decorative Arts: Public Art; Glaze Research. Malone makes ceramics from eggcups to huge building facades (24 Savile Row) and has a huge Crystalline glaze research archive that feeds all aspects of her work. Her work is part of numerous public collections around the world, including the V&A London, The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Manchester Art Gallery, Bristol City Museum, LACMA Los Angeles, and the Musee des Arts Decoratifs Montreal.

To maintain a treasured connection with the local community, and a wider educational audience, Malone opens the splendid sculpted metal gates of her studios once a year to all who are interested. Malone shares her technical knowledge, her enthusiasm for the field, and has made open day work especially for sale at an affordable price. This is the only time that Malone's work is for sale other than through exhibitions with her art dealer Adrian Sasson.

Traditionally Kate invites selected apprentices and colleagues to show their work beside hers at the open weekends. This year it is Anna Barlow, Miray Mehmet, Erika Albercht and also her Great Pottery Throw Down colleague Rich Miller of Froyle Tiles.

Malone and her guest exhibitors will each put a piece as prizes for the charity raffle to assist Clay College in Stoke-on Trent for which Malone is a patron.

Guest Exhibitors at the open weekend
Anna Barlow
Barlow constructs luscious sculptures using realistic ceramic representations of ice cream, cakes and other sweet foods as a basis to tell a story or to build a fantasy around food. It is the juxtaposition of temporary ice cream and permanent ceramic that inspire the solidification of a fleeting, melting moment. The work aims to not only provoke a visual impression but also a physical reaction and hopes to play with "visual edibility" www.annabarlowceramics.com 
Miray Mehmet
Miray Mehmet makes strong simple wheel thrown forms. Complemented with a tonal palate of hand mixed glazes, accentuating surface and texture. She creates small editions, which bridge the line between functional and decorative, useful and spiritual. www.mm-ceramics.com 

Erika Albrecht
Albrecht was traditionally trained in Hungary as a specialist in ceramic enamel fine painting.  Her work combines the ancient tradition of hand painted porcelain exploring an intense relationship between shapes, vivid colours, and the ancient obsession with fine detail. Her work draws inspiration from the beauty of nature. Her pieces are hand made from bone china and porcelain, however unlike traditional hand crafted porcelain, she embraces the imperfection of hand made to celebrate the movement of the material, as with the individuality of nature. www.erikaalbrecht.net

Rich Miller
Miller will be familiar to many viewers of The Pottery Throw Down as the on-screen technician. His work is predominantly wheel thrown stoneware and makes reference to historical design patterns. Heavily influenced by research carried out for his tile company, Froyle Tiles. It draws on themes of British colonialism and the way in which the UK has become an eclectic mix of cultural styles, as immigration has brought with it a rich source of influence. Miller has a particular interest in things that have stylistically become adopted by the British mainstream. www.richmiller.co.uk

Clay College
A new independent college in Stoke-on-Trent teaching ceramics on a traditional intensive course .The aim is for master potters of England to pass on their skills to create a new generation of makers. www.claycollegestoke.co.uk

History of Balls Pond Studio
Balls Pond Studio was built by Kate's husband Graham Inglefield, it houses one of the largest studio kilns in London from which thousands of pots have passed out from the sculpted metal gates to new homes around the world.  It is currently for sale on the Modern House website www.themodernhouse.com

In 1986, having searched for many months on their bicycles in the age of no mobile phones, Kate and Graham found and purchased 157 Balls Pond Road.  An almost derelict Georgian terrace built in 1812, with a long corrugated iron covered yard to the rear backing onto Culford Mews. No one had lived in the house since 1925 it had been used for a ladder hire company and North London Plant Hire. 
Over 15 years Inglefield restored the house and built the Balls Pond Studios to the back of the house Whilst Malone potted away and ran communal studios. They couple dreamt of creating a studio that would serve both Kate in her ambition to "Pot as well as equip other makers. Balls Pond Studio was thus born.

157 Balls Pond Rd was featured on international television and articles in major magazines and newspapers.

A Communal Studio
For many years the studio was a communal ceramics studio, run on a not for profit basis, with one of the largest kilns in London it housed 14 ceramists ranging in age from 19 to 70, of up to 7 different nationalities at any one time, all squeezed in and sharing the equipment and space. With occasional artists in residence and a small gallery it was fully rewarding to see so many artists enjoying this small space just 4.4 meters wide and 20 meters long.

In 2001, the Balls Pond Rd era ended and they moved behind onto Culford Mews, they converted the top floor to become their home, and use the ground floor as Malone's studio. Members of the Balls Pond Studios went onto to set-up ‘like -minded' studios in Kent, Dalston and Islington. So the philosophy of sharing studios was carried forward. At the time the studios were started there were not many shared spaces in London. Sharing and serving communities are the essence of Malone's practice.

Makers at this event include (Members in Bold)