A ceramic love affair: The magic of handcrafted pottery @ Illyria Pottery, Oxford
In the depths of Oxford, on the middle of Walton Street, lies Illyria Pottery, an exquisite ceramic shop owned by artist Katie Coston. Every corner of the gallery is beautifully curated; intricate clay jewellery hangs from rusty chains, earthy mugs and dishes sit on shabby chic furniture and eccentric decorative pieces line the walls.
It's all about celebrating everyday rituals. According to Illyria Pottery, 'using beautiful objects somehow turns the regular into something a bit more special' and I couldn't agree more. One particularly grey Saturday afternoon, after word got out that Illyria Pottery were throwing a little party to celebrate their three year anniversary, my boyfriend and I cycled the cobbled streets of Oxford to explore the shop.
Katie was sat in the window throwing clay on a pottery wheel, Jericho Coffee Traders were serving delicious coffee and a wonderful local singer/songwriter was gently singing amidst the steady flow of visitors. The gallery has to be one of the most photogenic indoor spaces this side of Oxford.
I noticed that the free brownies (winning combination) were being served on the most beautiful, handmade little dishes. All were uneven, speckled in blue, green and clay as the glaze had treated each dish differently. It was love at first sight. My boyfriend and I had to refrain from buying the whole lot. Eventually we came away with a small, delicate dish which now sits proudly on my bedside table.
Our Illyria Pottery experience made us appreciate the magic of handmade pottery. The mass produced cactus-shaped dishes at Oliver Bonas and the inauthentic, extortionately priced bowls at Anthropologie buckle in comparison to the love, vision and craftsmanship that goes into every piece here.
Happy three year anniversary Illyria Pottery and thanks for inspiring me this weekend!