The Magazine of Ceramic Art and Craft Subscribe now

Nick ReesImage Gallery

Contact Details

Studio: Muchelney Pottery, Muchelney, near Langport, Somerset, England, TA10 0DW. View in Google Maps
Telephone: +44 (0)1458 250324
Email:
Web-site: www.nickreespotter.co.uk
Availability: The pottery shop is open all year, Monday to Saturday 9.00am to 1.00pm and 2.00pm to 5.00pm. Visitors wishing to view the workshops are asked to telephone in advance.

Directions: The pottery is 2 miles south of Langport on the southern fringe of ancient Muchelney village in the heart of the unique Somerset Levels. It is 2.5 hours west of London and one hour south of Bath. There is easy parking outside the pottery.

Other Information: The map, shown below, in addition to showing the pottery location indicates 1).10th Century Muchelney Abbey, 2). the 14th Century Priest's House and, 3). the Almonry Stable Tea room.


Last Updated: 2012-07-19

Profile

Profile

Nick Rees has successfully established an individual style to his work during a career that has spanned more than 35 years. The Leach tradition has given a clear foundation with technique, form and process learned through working at Muchelney Pottery.

Nick’s personal pieces also showcase a subtle and refined approach to shape and design, accentuated through carving, fluting and experimentation with slips and glazes. This surface detail combined with the uniqueness afforded by the wood firing process, allows Nick to produce a range of work that is both distinctive and organic.


Current work

Current work

  In the event that is wood-firing, the flames are the decorator. A process where clay and wood, pot and fire fuse together. This style of firing demands control rather than chance, requiring great skill and concentration. An intimacy in the stoking is produced with experience and a skilful eye, the result being a firing which is as much "hands on" as the making of the pot.

A river of flames flows over the surface of the pots, individually marking each pot with the curl of the flames's touch. Each pot is a unique piece capturing the moments of trial by fire.

Even the glazed surfaces are enriched through the firing process. The heat that is produced from the flames touch and a deposit of fine ash from the consumed wood, tend to catch just one side of the pot, which in turn adds vibrance to the glaze finish.

Nick Rees has worked with John Leach at Muchelney Pottery near Langport, Somerset since 1972. The continuing success of the Mulchelney classic range owes much to Nick's deft hand, critical eye and skills in managing the firing of the three-chambered, wood-fired kiln.

Muchelney Pottery makes well thrown pots that are functional for daily use, aesthetically pleasing, with an individuality and freedom within a very disciplined way of making. Hopefully going beyond technique and freed by the process of learning through continued repetition. What is primarily learned at Muchelney is a "seeing eye". This is an understanding and control of shape, the fine tuning that comes from a mastering of the process: craftsmanship. It is knowing intimately the material, in all aspects of making and firing, so that hopefully its true spirit - the "truth to materials" - can be produced.

It is a journey of exploration that continues now with Nick Rees' own signed pieces. The Leach tradition is still there, reinterpreted and personally explored. Many of these individual pots have subtle alteration, are segmented faceted or fluted to accentuate the form. Often gently spiralling around the pot, these alterations produce added movement and dimension to the pot's form. Nick uses both stoneware and porcelain, the inspiration is obvious but the touch is soft and refined.

Nick is a fellow of the Craft Potters Association. 

Work generally available from:
Church House Designs, Congresbury, Nr. Bristol
St. Ives Ceramics, St. Ives, Cornwall
Salt Gallery, Burford, Oxfordshire
The Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Bovey Tracey, Devon

Technical Information

Technical Information

Nick primarily uses clay which has come from pits in Devon, Dorset and Cornwall and mixed to Muchelney Pottery's own unique recipe. This clay is suitable for the high temperatures achieved during the firing process and produces stoneware pots.

Muchelney Pottery uses a 350cu.ft three-chambered climbing kiln - holding approximately 2,000 pots. It is wood-fired using off-cuts of Larch and Douglas Fir to a temperature of 1320°C over a period of 36 hours. This process gives the unique 'toasted' finish which is synonymous with Muchelney pots. Nick has also begun firing using an electric kiln at his home studio.

Nick's personal glazes include blue/black tenmoku, tessha, celadon, blue/green and often a porcelain slip decoration.

History

History

1949 - Born on 25 May, Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset.
1967-70 - Creative Design Teaching course at Loughborough College of Education.
1970-72 - Teaching, woodwork and technical drawing, at Cardinal Wiseman R.C. Boys' Comprehensive School, Coventry.
1972 - Started apprenticeship with John Leach. 
1976 - Three months as pottery assistant with Brian and Julia Newman, Aller Pottery, Somerset.
1976 - Returned to Muchelney Pottery as assistant to John Leach
1982 - Elected full Member of Somerset Guild of Craftsmen.
1984 - Study tour of Nigeria with John Leach
1990 - October, first one man exhibition, Bettles Gallery.
1993 - September, 'Key man celebration' - Exhibition and open weekend to commemorate 21 Years at Muchelney Pottery.
1995 - Elected Professional Member of the Craft Potters Association.
1998 - Elected Fellow of Craft Potters Association.
1998 - First firing of new 3-chambered wood-fired kiln at Muchelney.
2002 - Feature article in Ceramic Review, Issue 198, ‘The Potters of Muchelney’
2005 - Elected Full Member of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen
2008 - Purchase of electric kiln to explore the challenge of oxidised firing and new glaze developments.

Selected Exhibitions

Selected Exhibitions

1990 - Bettles Gallery, Ringwood, Hampshire - First solo exhibition.

1991 - Yeovil Arts Centre - Joint exhibition with John Leach.
1992 - Alpha House Gallery, Sherbourne, Dorset - One-man show
1994 - Alpha House Gallery, International Fine Ceramics, joint exhibition
1995 - Church House Designs, Congresbury, Bristol - One-man show
1996 - Pyramid Gallery, York - Joint exhibition
1996 - Rufford Craft Centre, Nottinghamshire - 'Ash Glazes', joint exhibition.
1996 - Bettles Gallery - One-man show
1997 - Church House Designs - One-man show
2000 - (March) Walker Galleries, Honiton, Devon - Ceramics 2000 - joint exhibition
2000 - "Ceramics 2000", joint exhibition, Walker Galleries, Honiton, Devon.
2000 - "Use It", joint exhibition, Rufford Craft Centre, Nottinghamshire.
2001 - "The Potters of Muchelney" joint exhibition, Wellbeloved Gallery, Portland, Dorset.
2001 - "Clay No.8", joint exhibition, Woodbury Studio Gallery, Exeter.
2002 - "Wood Fired Ceramics", joint exhibition, Tegelen, Holland.
2002 - One-man show, Church House, Designs, Congresbury, Bristol.
2003 - Joint Exhibition, Wayne Centre for the Arts, Wooster, Ohio, U.S.A.
2003 - One-man show, The Oakwood Gallery, Edwinstone, Nottinghamshire.
2004 - One-man show, The Bettles Gallery, Ringwood.
2004 - "Bloomers" joint exhibition, Contemporary Ceramics, Craft Potters Gallery, London.
2004 - Christmas exhibition, Alpha House Gallery, Sherborne, Dorset
2004 - Christmas exhibition, The Gallery Upstairs, Henley-in-Arden
2006 - Joint exhibition, Zimmer Stewart Gallery, Arundel, West Sussex
2007 - Joint exhibition, Alpha House Gallery, Sherborne, Dorset
2007 - Joint exhibition, Craft in the Bay, Cardiff
2009 - ‘Flower Show’, Joint exhibition, Leach Pottery, St. Ives
2010 - ‘Potters of Muchelney’, Joint exhibition, John Leach Gallery, Muchelney

Work Styles

Work Styles

Stoneware
Thrown
Vases & Bowls
Teabowls
Kitchen & Tableware
Wood