New to Collett and Holder this month is a beautiful new range of tableware designed by well known ceramicist Sue Ure. We wanted to share with you the story behind Sue Ure ceramics, and how for so many years she has been handcrafting her unique pottery from her studio in France.
Sue Ure fell in love with creating pottery whilst studying for her A levels, she enjoyed the art of throwing and making functional objects that could be used on a daily basis. The craft of creating a functional object from nothing that would also be ever lasting was a big inspiration for her.
Shape and form has always been Sue's biggest fascination, inspired by the Finnish brand Arabia tableware which she grew up with to the Minoan pottery her archaeologist grandmother first introduced to her. She moved to France in 1994 continuing to develop her work and evolving her range of porcelain tableware.
Once Sue has an idea for a design or shape, she mixes different clays together by hand to create the perfect consistency to create a piece. She throws a piece on the potters wheel, then once formed she uses a selection of tools including sponges, chamois leather, wooden and bamboo tools for smoothing and removing excess clay. Then she uses small metal tools whilst turning the pot, turning is a process used after throwing when the pot has dried off a bit, and allows Sue to refine the shape and remove excess clay. After this process the piece is ready to be biscuit-fired, where the piece is fired to 1000 Degrees Celsius for up to 8 hours, it then takes up to 20 hours to cool down.
Once cooled the glazing of the piece begins, this is where each piece is coloured - glazes are basically a combination of silica and alumina plus fluxing materials. All of Sue's glaze colours are achieved through using oxides, copper, cobalt, iron and nickel, and testing different combinations of these ingredients. Once ready the powdered glaze ingredients are mixed with water and stirred repeatedly to ensure the powders do not sink before dipping each piece. As the pottery is very porous the water content of the mix is absorbed, leaving the surface with a fine layer of powder. Once glazed the piece is placed into the kiln for a further 8-9 hours at 1260 Degrees Celsius, then left to cool until ready for use.
The Sue Ure Maison® collection is a new diffusion line designed by Sue. It is a handcrafted range of porcelain tableware featuring a large mug, milk jug and teapot in black, dove grey and white. For this collection she has worked alongside a small family owned pottery to help create this beautiful range, ensuring that each piece is perfect and of the highest quality. The collection features simple elegantly shaped tableware, which all have a shiny transparent glaze inside and a matt chalky glaze on the exterior, they are dishwasher and microwave safe too, so are ideal for everyday use.
We believe these are timeless classics that you'll love to use again and again, perfect for an afternoon tea or morning coffee with friends and family! We'd love to hear what you think of this new collection, so please do send us your thoughts.