Isabella Smith is senior editor of Apollo.

The artist who worships stained glass, but detests the modern Church

Brian Clarke hopes his favourite medium has a bright future, but that’s no thanks to museums or the Church of England

9 Jun 2023
Shoji Hamada at work in 2008

How Shoji Hamada reinvented British ceramic traditions

The Japanese ceramicist infused his approach to pottery with British traditions from his travels in the 1920s, before bringing this new style back to his native country

24 Oct 2022
Still from Story of Yanxi Palace (2018), with the empress wearing a replica of a fengguan (phoenix crown) now in the Palace Museum, Beijing.

An audience with the Qianlong Emperor, via the small screen

The meticulous attention to Chinese decorative arts is as great a draw as the court intrigue in ‘Story of Yanxi Palace’

19 May 2021
Ryoji Koie photographed outside his studio in Japan in 2017.

In praise of Ryoji Koie, the enfant terrible of Japanese ceramics

The ceramic artist, who has died at the age of 82, took a playful and provocative approach to pottery

24 Sep 2020
Bernard Leach working at the wheel (detail; 1963).

Wheel of fortune – the life and achievements of Bernard Leach

A century after the founding of the Leach Pottery in St Ives, the ‘father of British studio pottery’ remains an influential, if contested, figure

18 Jul 2020
Aizuhongo ware covered container (20th century), Japan. Japan Folk Crafts Museum, Tokyo

The East Asian and Nordic artists who found common ground

The West’s borrowings from Japanese modernism are well known – but an exhibition in Helsinki shows that the traffic moved both ways

25 Sep 2019
Sculpture of a large anthropomorphic crab by the Martin Brothers, 1880, salt-glazed stoneware.

Who’s going to shell out for this monumental crab?

‘Truly grotesque’ it may be, but the export bar placed on this characterful Victorian ceramic reflects its importance as a work of art

27 Jun 2019
Left: Vase (1884), decorated by Laura A. Fry, Rookwood Pottery. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Right: Vase (c. 1885–89), Hugh C. Robertson, Chelsea Keramic Art Works. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The art and craft of American pottery

American art ceramics haven’t received as much attention as they deserve, but a major gift to the Met is changing this

11 Feb 2019
Installation view of ‘A Master’s Hand’ exhibition at Driscoll Babcock Galleries, New York, 2017.

Warren MacKenzie’s commitment to craft

The renowned American potter believed simplicity, beauty, and affordability were of paramount importance

14 Jan 2019
Installation view of ‘Wetwang Slack’, Barbican Centre, London, 2018.

The colourful craft of Francis Upritchard

An inventive installation fills the Barbican’s Curve with a parade of handmade pots and hippyish characters

8 Oct 2018
A selection of glazed ceramic buttons (1944–45), Lucie Rie.

The great modern potter who made an art form of buttons

A comprehensive look at the career of Lucie Rie places the spotlight on her handcrafted buttons

6 Jul 2018