Sculptor Alison Coaten graduated in Fine Art Sculpture at Loughborough University. Upon leaving, she began working with clay, enjoying the flexibility of the medium. Her work is based on animals and the human form, often depicting the relationship between man and animals, sometimes using mythological iconography. She is inspired by the work of writer/illustrators, from the quirkiness of Quentin Blake (Roald Dahl books) and the subtle colours of children’s book illustrator, Lizbeth Zwerger, to the dark humour of Edward Gorey who illustrated Bram Stoker’s Dracula and H.G.Wells’ War of the Worlds. Alison hand builds her pieces in stoneware and uses a palette of matt white crackle glaze sometimes highlighted with gold lustre. She exhibits throughout the UK  and currently has examples of her work displayed in Osprey’s flagship lifestyle store on London’s Regent Street. Her work is made in small editions and one-off pieces. Commissions are also available. Alison lives in rural Lincolnshire.


Eve - Sculpture by Alison Coaten

Eve by Alison Coaten (Things Less Ordinary Collection)



Osprey, London - Alison Coaten Sculptures

Osprey, London – Alison Coaten Sculptures



December 4th saw the start of a new exhibition featuring the paintings of the C19th poet and artist William Blake. Staged at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology in Oxford, the exhibition runs until1st  March 2015. Continue reading →

Potter Robin Welch is one of the most highly respected contemporary British potters. The full range of his work includes large vessels with related paintings, fine drawings, and distinctive bowls and vases which explore colour, surface texture, form, detail of edge, and line.

Born in 1936, Welch studied at the Penzance School of Art and the Central School of Art in London. He worked part-time at the Leach Pottery (founded in 1920 in St Ives, Cornwall by Bernard Leach and Hamada Shoji) between 1953 and 1959 before opening his own pottery in London’s West End, which ran from 1960 to 1962. After a couple of years of world travel, he returned to England and in 1965 set up Stadbroke Pottery in Eye, Suffolk where he still lives and works today.

Spanning over three decades, Welch has had many exhibitions and forms of recognition including important awards and commissions. He served as a member of the 3D design Board for the Council for National Academic Awards and has been a visiting lecturer at many of the UK’s leading Art Colleges. 
Inspired by many visits to Australia and the landscape of the outback, Welch’s current work is committed to making one-off pots which are thrown with further thrown or hand built sections added on. A white slip is applied prior to the biscuit firing, followed by multiple firings for stoneware glazes, earthenware glazes, raku, enamels and lustres. He is still a regular exhibitor at ceramics fairs including the prestigious Hatfield House Art in Clay annual event in Hertfordshire.

Robin Welch Pr Nude PaintingsRobin Welch Pr Nude Paintings

Also a talented artist, this pair of nude acrylic paintings by Robin Welch can be found in the Art section of Things Less Ordinary

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Art in Clay, Hatfield House. The 4th – 6th July 2014 saw the 20th Art in Clay event to be staged at historic Hatfield House in Hertfordshire.  For the second year running, the sun alone was almost hot enough to have fired a pot  but a glass of Pimms or a speciality cider was on tap to keep everyone cool. One of our most eagerly awaited events of the year,  we couldn’t refrain from adding to our personal collection and came away with sculptures by two of our favourite ceramicists,, Alison Coaten and Sally Macdonnel. We’ll be featuring both Sally and Alison’s work in more detail over the coming months.

Ceramic sculptures by Sally Macdonnel

Ceramic sculptures by Sally Macdonnel


Ceramic sculptures by Alison Coaten

Ceramic sculptures by Alison Coaten

Images: © Alison Coaten, Sally Macdonnel, Art in Clay

Young Designers 2018 . On the look out for new design talent we visited the first day of the New Designers 2018 at the Design Centre in Islington. With ceramics and jewellery sections on the upper floor and balcony, the ground level was devoted  to textile and surface pattern designers. It was here, amongst the hub of the opening day that we came across Rebecca Brown, a young Scottish surface pattern designer and graduate from Grays School of Art. Her graduate show was entitled ‘Old Wives Tales’. “My graduate collection is inspired by old wives tales and superstitions – I used the narrative nature of these sayings as a starting point for a collection of illustrations that could then be further developed into surface patterns on a variety of surfaces including ceramics, various textiles and papers”.  We fell in love with rebeccas ceramics and couldn’t leave without buying some. You can see an example of her work for sale on the decorative Ceramics section of Things Less Ordinary.

Rebecca Brown Ceramics

Ceramics by Rebecca Brown