Another great find on my trail of visiting new studios, was the work of the ceramicist and painter Sandy Brown. Sandy lives in Appledore a fishing village nestled on north Devon coastline. Her house stands out as that of an artist, in a Georgian terrace, it is the only one painted bright blue, with pink, yellow and green windows. Further along the harbour front, housed in a huge old sail making warehouse, and also painted in the same bright blue, is Sandy’s studio. The ceilings are constructed of heavy limed beams, with a stone floor, and a strong sense of the past maritime history. Here are Sandy’s kilns and the space in which she teaches. Her classes are listed amongst the best in the world. Upstairs is her vast white exhibition space, full of her ceramic totem poles, urns, and large bright abstract canvases. Walking into this space was like chancing upon a treasure trove, full of the most stunning pieces of all scales. She is the most wonderful warm person, and we had to tear ourselves away, having loved our time with her and her work.

 

What had originally caught my eye was an article on the ‘Beyond Limits Landscape of British Sculpture Show’ at Chatsworth, curated by Sotheby’s in 2015. One of Sandy’s monumental pieces was a part of this major exhibition, a huge domed folly, capable of housing 30 people, with walls painted with giant abstract patterns, and totem poles dotted around it. Almost like a house made of sweets, on a ridiculous scale, a very striking and original piece. I then started to research her work, and realised that her smaller pieces were equally original.

 

Sandy Brown was born in 1946 in Tichborne, Hampshire. From 1969-73 she studied pottery at the Dasei Pottery, Mashiko, Japan. On her return to England she moved to Appledore, and  since 1985 she has exhibited all around the world. Sandy is represented by dealers in Germany and the US. Her work is in many collections, but to name a few, The British Arts Council, The Victoria and Albert Museum, Ulster Museum, The Crafts Council of Great Britain, The British Embassy Tokyo, and the World Ceramic Centre Korea. This is the first time she has shown at the gallery.