Chris BarnesImage Gallery

Contact Details

Studio: The Knott, Ainstable, Carlisle, Cumbria, England, CA4 9RW. View in Google Maps
Telephone: +44 (0)7969779227
Joined on: 2014-08-10
Last Updated: 2014-12-05

About the artist

About the artist

Chris Barnes (born September 1959) studied Sculpture at Goldsmiths College and St. Martins School of Art, London from 1978 to '82. His degree show featured large brightly painted steel sculpture incorporating sound and a few small clay works which quietly pointed a way forward.

In 1989, having pursued his interest in clay at Islington Adult Education Institute, Chris rented workshop space from potter Keith Ashley who was working in a studio off the Archway Road in Highgate. Here he benefited from Keith's long experience of throwing and craft pottery.

The early 1990's was a fruitful time for the development of making skills and understanding of firing and glaze technology. At first, slip decorated earthenware pots were made, but Chris was soon exploring the possibilities of Keith's gas fired kiln. Using gas enabled reduction firing and exciting glaze effects not possible in an electric kiln. Many of his distinctive stoneware glazes were developed at this time.

In 1994-5 Chris helped Keith set up the Chocolate Factory artists studios in Stoke Newington, Hackney – moving into his first studio at the site in 1995. Several years of pottery making and teaching followed, and Chris's work found its way into galleries up and down the UK and to Germany where he has exhibited in Munich.

In 2006 he moved to Rhemore in Morvern, Argyll where his brother Tim has a croft. Morvern Pottery houses the first large gas fired kiln that Chris built for himself. Previous self built kilns being simple affairs made by lining a dustbin with ceramic fibre for Raku pottery. The brick built gas kiln at Morvern Pottery was first fired in May 2007 and produced good results from the start. In the years since then pots have rapidly spun from the wheel, partly from the necessity of earning a living without teaching, but also with a new playfulness and freedom born of having more time and energy.

In 2010 Chris moved to Cumbria where he has set up a pottery near Ainstable in the Eden Valley. This studio is a converted cow shed and his most recent work has been made here.

"My work reflects a love of clay as a material and an exploration of the magical transformation of firing. The reason that I make pots rather than sculpture is because function gives my work a simple meaning which lets people get closer. It is in the interaction between the user and the pots that the art takes place."

Availability of work

Availability of work

There is an online Gallery showcasing and selling Chris' work at:
This online gallery features work made available directly to you from the studio. The pieces displayed here are individual pots photographed as they come from the kiln. After each glaze firing a small selection of work is reserved for this gallery. When work is sold it will not be replaced immediately but after the next kiln opening when new pots will be photographed and presented for sale.

As well as buying direct from the maker at the pottery, Chris Barnes work can be seen and purchased at the following stockists.

- Contemporary Ceramics Centre , 63 Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3BF. Open Mon – Sat 10:30 – 6.00. Tel: 020 7242 9644
- Sarah Wiseman Gallery , 40/41 South Parade, Summertown, Oxford, OX2 7JL, Telephone:  +44 (0)1865 515123
- The Flint Gallery , 5 Westgate Street,, Blakeney, Norfolk, NR25 7NQ. Tel: +44 (0)1263 741791
- The New Ashgate Gallery, Wagon Yard, Farnham, Surrey, GU9 7PS UK, Telephone: +44 (0)1252 713208
- The Yew Tree Gallery, Keigwin Farmhouse, Nr. Morvah, Pendeen, Penzance, TR19 7TS, Telephone: +44 (0)1736 786425
- Out of the Blue Gallery, The Square, Marazion, Cornwall, TR17 0AP. Tel :01736719019  Website
- The Carthouse Gallery, The Calgary Hotel, by Dervaig, Isle of Mull, PA75 6QW. Telephone: +44 (0)1688 400256
- The Whitehouse Restaurant The Whitehouse, Lochaline, Morvern, By Oban, Argyll, PA35 5UZ Telephone: +44 (0)1967 421777 www. thewhitehouserestaurant
- White Space Art 72 Fore Street, Totnes, Devon TQ9 5RU t: +44 (0)1803 864088
- The New Brewery Arts Brewery Court, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 1JH t: +44 (0)1285 657181
- Waterside Gallery 2, Marine Parade, Instow, Bideford, North Devon EX39 4HZ t: +44 (0)1271 860 786
- The Arts Gallery 7, Red Lion Yard, Okehampton, Devon EX20 1AW t: +44 (0)1837 55807
- Frivoli 7a Devonshire Road Chiswick London W4 2EU UK 00442087423255 frivoli.html#849

Technical Information

Technical Information

The Stoneware comprising a range of bowls, plates, mugs, jugs, vases etc. is thrown using a kickwheel and completed with various high fired glazes.

I formulate my own glazes using a variety of minerals to produce a rich colour response combined with a very durable surface. 

Each of the pots is unique as a result of the entire making process. First the clay is hand thrown on the wheel or slabbed to produce the forms. After the first firing the glaze is applied by hand. Finally careful control of the kiln atmosphere during the second firing brings out the character of the ware, its colours and durable finish.

The Raku Pots are hand built using a coarser clay which is able to stand up to the Raku firing process. This involves removing the hot pots from the kiln at about 1000°c with tongs and placing them in a bin filled with hay, or other burnable stuff. The burning that takes place as the pots cool results in charing and smoking which gives the Raku ware its distinctive quality.

Technical specifications:
Stoneware fired to 1280°c in a reducing atmosphere.
All the Stoneware pottery is microwave and dishwasher safe.

Raku pots are fired to 1000°c.
Raku pottery is not for food use..

Shows and Exhibitions

Shows and Exhibitions

CHRIS BARNES - STONEWARE" At The Charles Rennie Mackintosh House & Galleries, 78 Derngate, Northampton NN1 1UH Telephone: +44 (0)160 460 3407
: Contemporary Craft Fair - Bovey Tracey. June
: Art in Action - Waterperry House, Oxfordshire. July
: Art in Clay - Hatfield House. July
: "New Work" - Gallery in the Wood, Calgary, Isle of Mull. August
: Hereford Contemporary Craft Fair - Hereford. November

: Contemporary Craft Fair - Bovey Tracey. June
: Art in Clay - Hatfield House. July
: "Three Men in the Woods" - Gallery in the Wood, Calgary, Isle of Mull. September
: Hereford Contemporary Craft Fair - Hereford. November

: “Culture of Drinking” - Galerie Handwerk, Max-Joseph-Strasse 4, 80333 Munchen. 6 September - 8 October 2011.
: Origin – Spitalfields, London. September
: "Patterned" - Beetroot Tree Gallery, South Street, Draycott, Derbyshire DE72 3PP
: "Rarefind" - New Ashgate Gallery, Wagon Yard, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7PS
: Contemporary Craft Fair - Bovey Tracey. June

: "Rarefind" - New Ashgate Gallery, Wagon Yard, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7PS
: Spring Exhibition - Resipole Studios, Loch Sunart, Acharacle, Argyll PH36 4HX
: Contemporary Craft Fair - Bovey Tracey. June
: "Sculpture" - Gallery in the Wood, Calgary, Isle of Mull. August
: Set up pottery at The Knott, Cumbria.

: "Fired Mud, Chiseled Wood" - Gallery in the Wood, Calgary, Isle of Mull. September
: Contemporary Craft Fair - Bovey Tracey. June
: "Hot Pots" - Belvoir Castle, Rutland. May

: "Rarefind" - New Ashgate Gallery, Wagon Yard, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7PS
: Contemporary Craft Fair - Bovey Tracey. June

Work Styles

Work Styles

Vases & Bowls
Kitchen & Tableware