2 September 2017

Northern Ireland part 1: collecting a hot pot by Adam Frew

gorgeous blue swish surface decorations

Hello September.  I can already feel autumn in the air. But before I anticipate my love of autumn, I’d like to share a bit of our summer holiday in Northern Ireland. As it is my travel post routine (is there such a thing?), I would like to share in two parts. Today, part 1 is about our journey to collect a gorgeous pottery!

If you work with clay, it’s natural to fall in love with many ceramic work by other potters and artists all over the world. I have so many that I admire even just in UK, but with my hands down, my top favourite has always been Adam Frew.

Adam and shelf-full of his wonderful work 

I’ve blogged about his pot before (click here) but my actual first sight to his pot was almost decade ago. His massive thrown pot with his celadon glaze and his quirky surface decoration instantly caught my eyes as I was passing by a gallery in York. I remember I was feeling too timid to go inside, so I walked back and forth by that window to try to see more of his pot.

I’ve admired his wonderful work ever since. What I love about his work most is the beautiful surface decoration. Unique, spontaneous and lively. His decoration has changed and evolved over years, for which I thoroughly enjoy viewing, more so with Instagram today. I have slowly collected some of his tableware with old and new designs, and we absolutely love them and enjoy using them. I adore the recent cobalt painterly decorations so much and I guess his inspiration comes from the seaside, which I can tell why after visiting beautiful beaches in the area. (I will write about this in next post) 

we had lunch on Adam's handmade plate at babushka cafe

Luckily I had several opportunities to meet Adam and his wife Catherine (glass artist but currently on maternity leave with a gorgeous baby girl) who both used to exhibit at BCTF, where I was taking part as my degree course at local college. He also came to the college to demonstrate, so I was lucky enough to see his skills and insight much closer. 

So, what is about our trip to Northern Ireland and Adam’s pots?

Well, it was before last Christmas that we started to thinking about this. Although celebration is not really our thing, as this year is our ten years anniversary, we were thinking about having something special to us, more precisely to our loving home. A bit personal choice of mine but I suggested Adam’s moon jar. I’ve been watching how he make them, they are totally blowing my mind, but also easily blow your budget too, so I’ve never thought I could have one. Then my kind husband actually loved the idea! He thought it would go so well on our new dining cabinet, where we can see everyday.

Adam’s studio view

I contacted him to see if he would do a commission for us. The answer was yes! What’s next? A trip to Northern Ireland, to collect the commissioned moon jar AND to view his studio. My absolute dream plan has begun. Together with my parents fiftieth anniversary and they are coming from Japan this summer, it was perfect reason that we all go to Northern Ireland for a holiday. 

sneak peek of his drawings

Actual visit was lovely. We met their baby daughter, who also welcomed us at the studio entrance. Adam was shying out about his studio being messy, but I always love looking artists work place so it was truly enjoyable. Adam kindly prepared several moon jars for us to choose from. Everything looks gorgeous, but my husband and I loved the same one, (thank god!) so we’ve brought the piece back home happily. 

As we had a little Sabrina, Catherine kindly suggested to go a children’s play gym all together after our studio visit. Sabrina had a wonderful time, as well as we chat about work and family life, which was also lovely. 

the moon jar happily sits in our dining room today

Thank you so much Adam and Catherine for having us and giving us such a precious time.

Go check his website and his Instagram for more beautiful work.


  1. Oh that is just stunning! It will have a good home with you. And a happy anniversary, although belated.

    1. Thank you so much Mary! Yes his work is just stunning !

    2. I love his work as well-lucky girl you are!

    3. Hi Virginia! I know! I am very lucky :)