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Maree and Paul Allitt

Maree and Paul Allitt have been artistic collaborators since their time together at art school in Portsmouth during the 1970s. Their shared interest in surface, colour and pattern is central to there thinking. For many years they worked at Kettle’s Yard house and gallery in Cambridge, with its close association with British Modernism and the St Ives School. And too, they have always been aware of other artistic approaches, such as John Clappison’s work at Hornsea Pottery.

“We think of our ceramics as ‘approximately pots’, not significantly functional in the traditional sense, nor sculptural – works of art in their own right. There’s a tradition of pottery there that runs through Staffordshire flat backs and the like, something of the fairground, a glimpse of wonder.”

Handmade in their Cambridge studio their slab-built porcelain ceramics are decorated using stencils and slip colours. In the final vitrification firing some areas are glazed, making a contrast of matt and gloss surface, giving each piece a rich tactile quality.

While they work in series or sets, they are conscious that they’re usually only seen en masse in a gallery or an online photograph, they hope that each one carries echoes of its fellows. They would like that when people take one home and put it on their mantelpiece it will give a little joy in passing.