Elissa Palser

Elissa Palser is Wales-based ceramicist who creates a range of ceramic little birds. Alice Palser, Elissa’s Mother, first made a bluetit as a present for her Grandmother in the early seventies. Over the years, as she pursued a career as an artist, she found these little birds to be extremely popular.  Since 2002 Elissa Palser has concentrated on making birds for galleries. Each bird is individually made and decorated by hand.

Blue Tit, ceramic bird by Elissa Palser (front view)

Art, Ceramics & Contemporary Art

Shirley Vauvelle

Shirley has always made things since childhood, sewing dolls clothes or making things from found natural forms such as sea shells. She has been a designer, educator, craft maker, gallery owner and for almost fifteen years maker/artist showing work in galleries around the UK. She feels painting and ceramics overlap in the way she treats the surfaces, with a search for depth and a sense of herself. Her practise has tended to produce playful component pieces combined with found materials, assemblages inspired by creatures, birds and plants. It is now developing into larger scale semi abstract hand built sculptural ceramic forms and paintings.

Shirley’s art education background and initial design career was in textile/surface decoration, studying at Chester college for a foundation course and Leicester Polytechnic for a BA Hon’s, graduating in 1987. Self taught in ceramics, she works from a light filled studio in her home, which has been featured in publications including the The Observer Magazine and is situated near the east coast english seaside town of Filey. She also has a separate smaller painting studio which does not stop her producing larger scale works. An important part of her surroundings is the coast and her garden which is continuously being developed and evolving, full of many interesting plants selected for form, texture rather than prettiness, many of which are used within her work.

The work has evolved over a long period of time, in the background of her more commercial work. After the experience of lockdown, with more time to experiment and freedom to think about ideas, this has led to hand built sculptures and assemblages in stoneware and porcelain clay, with found materials. With the luxury of more time to appreciate peace and nature, allowing thinking space to the stages of development, it is very much reflected in how the pieces have evolved.

The work is now moving forward with more personal expression, still taking inspiration from her surroundings focusing on balance of shapes, pushing materials further and her own emotion reactions to them. Exploring  surfaces, playing with found materials, different clays and paint all with the emphasis on looking at the different relationships of form, texture and colour. Also thinking about the wider context of nature on our planet, the strength and fragility of nature.

Shirley Vauvelle Artist Portrait


Lucy Bromilow

Lucy Bromilow is a Cambridge based potter who is inspired by sea and surrounding landscapes. Lucy’s journey began when she taught herself how to use a pottery wheel at University. She then dedicated the next year into growing her ceramics business ‘Wolimorb Ceramics’. Lucy throws all her pots on a wheel using a stoneware clay. Once dry, Lucy decorates with slip and then completes the pots first firing. After their first firing, she dips them in a glaze and fires the pots for a second time.


Lucy Bromilow artist portrait


Kirsty Adams

Kirsty was brought up in a village near Selby, North Yorkshire and lived in York from the age of 15. She went to Art Foundation in York and then went on to take a degree in Ceramics (BA Hons Wood, Metal, Ceramics and Plastics) at Brighton Art College.

With a delicate style of throwing, poured and dipped glazing techniques, Kirsty has created an award-winning, unique collection of tableware and studio ceramics. Each piece contains an element of individuality and spontaneity, with refined throwing lines, combined with the incidental marks and story of the glazing technique.

Her main inspiration and methods of working were developed whilst living and working in Japan. She became particularly inspired by the Oribe style of glazing and this has influenced all her subsequent work. She is listed in the collector’s handbook of ‘British Studio Potters Marks’ and now works from her studio in Newcastle upon Tyne.

In 2017 she was selected by the Crafts Council to produce a bespoke collection for the National Trust, inspired by Nostell Priory in South Yorkshire. In 2019, she launched her Icelandic collection of moon jars, vessels and bowls inspired by the otherworldliness of Iceland’s landscapes. In 2022, she introduced her Rockpool collection inspired by the Northumberland coastline near to where she lives.

Kirsty is a selected member of Design Nation UK and of the Crafts Council Directory. She was recently selected by the Europewide Michelangelo Foundation for representation in their ‘Homo Faber Guide’ for excellence in craftsmanship.

Read more about Kirsty Adams here.

Ceramicist Kirsty Adams at her wheel by photographer Michael Lawler


Yvette Glaze

Yvette Glaze is a professional ceramicist based in East Sussex. She began her career as a scenic artist in theatre. and later went on to teach art and ceramics in therapeutic settings, including working with people with mental health problems and physical and learning difficulties.

Yvette describes her work with ceramics as follows:

“The inspiration for my ceramic art comes from landscapes or objects that retain a strong emotional imprint. This can be seen through layers of colour and texture or paint, rust and pattern.

I begin my process by sketching, painting and printing. These are an important part of developing my ideas. i work instinctively to capture how I feel about an image which often leads to an abstract representation. These explorations progress to my work on the clay surface. I use a multi-layered technique using slips, coloured clay, print texture and mark making. The clay becomes a canvas in which to develop my work.

My ceramics are slab built forms and all are one -off pieces that are completely unique.”

Yvette Glaze artist portrait.


Selborne Pottery

Selborne Pottery is run by well known ceramicist and maker Robert Goldsmith who set up his business over 35 years ago. The pottery takes it’s name from the picturesque village of Selborne in Hampshire, where Robert gains much of his inspiration for the designs and rich hues of colour seen throughout his work.

Watermark Gallery is pleased to stock a comprehensive range of tableware all of which is hand-thrown and individually decorated in Robert’s distinctive style. From small espresso mugs and jugs to olive bowls, serving dishes and platters, Selborne Pottery is both stylish as well as immensely practical. Take the the thumb-hold on the larger mugs (and jugs) – a simple design which makes holding a hot mug of tea just a whole lot easier!

Please do ask us if you are looking for an item in a particular colour or design. If we don’t have it in stock here, we may have it in our Harrogate gallery or we can order direct from Robert himself. This range of ceramics does make the perfect wedding gift set and we can certainly help make up a selection.

Robert Goldsmith from Selborne Pottery


Illyria Pottery

Katie Coston opened the first form of Illyria Pottery in Greenville, South Carolina in 2008. Between 2009 and 2010 Katie was the artist-in-residence at The Gallery Upstairs and Torquil in Henley-in-Arden, UK.

In 2012 Katie and her husband moved to Oxford. There she opened her own ceramics gallery in Jericho, Oxford. After seven years Illyria Pottery has now moved online and in galleries across the country.

Katie Coston (Illyria Pottery) now works from her studio in her home near Oxford.

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Illyria Pottery Artist Image


4 March - 2 April 2022

Pascale Rentsch & Michele Bianco

Off The Beaten Track

The theme of this exhibition celebrates new work created by two artists: Yorkshire ceramicist Michele Bianco and Scottish-based Swiss painter, Pascale Rentsch. Both are inspired by getting out into hidden areas of the countryside and observing the landscape around them.

From time spent on long-distance walks and the coastal paths of North Yorkshire and Northumberland to the Western Isles and Scottish Lochs, both artists draw on the effect of the elements on those environments to seek out compositions and shapes to inform their work.

Bianco’s hand carved, ripple vessels in their distinctive cobalt-blue glazes reflect the result of centuries of erosion by water and wind on rock. Rentsch, whose works are created en plein air, capture the immediacy of changing weather and light through the seasons, often working in challenging conditions.

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This exhibition runs from 4th March – 2nd April inclusive. Artworks can be seen on this website or in our Harrogate gallery.


Joanna Oliver

Joanna Oliver:

‘I started my life as a potter at Standpoint Studios in Hoxton under the guidance of Nicola Tassie, later setting up my own studio in South Oxfordshire.

My workday starts with blowing the inevitable layer of dust off the ipod, putting on overalls and wedging the clay. It never ceases to amaze me the magic of being able to create something beautiful (hopefully) from a ball of mud. Perhaps this is only beaten by the moment you open the kiln after a glaze firing to see all the glistening hot bowls inside. Just like opening a treasure chest.

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There’s real alchemy involved with glazing, the unfired glaze bearing no comparison to the fired one. Glaze recipes are generously shared between potters – many that I use are oriental and have been used for hundreds of years. I particularly like ash glazes and that involved gathering certain wood types from the countryside around us and then reducing them to ash in our stove. Washed and sieved they become an all important ingredient.

I work in various stonewares and porcelain and the results, I hope, are practical, lovely to use and pleasing to look at. My stoneware is fired to1250 degrees making it safe to use in a domestic oven or microwave. It’s fine in the dishwasher too.’

Read more about Joanna Oliver here

Joanna Oliver

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