Barometer: design for comfort

Cold cuts

Mustafa-Chaplin Mug with Sugar Bowl-er Hat, from £35;

Kaymet Ribbed Tray with Mellow Green base, £79;,

Roll Hook by Thelermont Hupton,£30-£150;

Mammoth Wing Chair in Mongolian sheepskin, £3,675;

Companion Rack by Gavin Coyle, £55, 07903 025 788;

Jessica Swallow

The line-up: British Ceramics Biennial

The British Ceramics Biennial opens this weekend in Josiah Spode’s original Stoke-on-Trent factory. This year a new exhibition, Fresh, is devoted to the next generation of ceramicists. Jessica Swallow, recently graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University, works in various media but her bone china lighting is especially striking. The lampshades, titled “Anyone for Seconds”, are as cheerful as a string of balloons.

Top: Thomas Watson, Bottom: Katy West

Also in the Fresh strand is Thomas Watson, who studied at Manchester School of Art. With “simple and pure forms” in mind, he designed this table (right) to have a removable slip-cast ceramic top, set on oak legs.

Twenty-two established ceramicists are shortlisted for the BCB’s Award for Excellence, among them Katy West, who lectures at Glasgow School of Art. Her Beauties of Stowe jars were commissioned by the National Trust, to celebrate the landscaped gardens at Stowe. Each design plays on the form of rotunda, temples and other buildings found in Stowe’s grounds. In honour of Lord Cobham’s greyhound Fido, who is buried in the gardens, there is an outline of the dog inside each pot.

For the first time, the BCB will also have its own on-site (and online) china shop; participating artists at the biennial will be featured, together with the BCB’s own line of tableware.

The British Ceramics Biennial, Stoke-on-Trent, September 28-November 10;

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