Water Vessels

Bowls, basins, beakers, jugs, jars, fonts and fountains.

Throwing a bowl

These large vessels are hand thrown and decorated by brush with lettered text.

Here I’m decorating the smallest of the three Idyll bowls with dark blue underglaze (which looks a pale lilac grey before it’s fired). The pencil guide-marks will burn out in the firing.


The dark blue underglaze brushed onto the outside of the bowls makes a beautiful pewter effect when fired. The text is a poem by Valentine Ackland, written on 7th February 1937 about a deeply happy, serene moment in the mayhem of the Spanish Civil War.  It ends:

We keep so still, all Spain might be asleep –

So happy I, no thoughts are in my head.

Idyll is for sale: £400 for the three bowls. Signed one-off. Now Sold.


The shining dark blue glazed inside contrasts with the matt stoney clay of the unglazed outside.  The text is from a poem called The Meteor by Giovanni Pascoli translated by EJ Scovell:

A flash,   a burst…   Oh there upon the night   burst   shone   fell   fell   had fallen   through the light   of stars, from the unimaginable height

The sky shone   and through its darkness shed   the light of its great stars was round my head   so that I knew   I was of earth indeed    and earth of the sky

Meteor is for sale: £300  20cm high by 26cm at the rim. Stoneware. Signed one-off.


The Sheaf jar has a companion reclaimed block of driftwood:

The text starts on the driftwood, lettered along the grain of the wood, and continues up and into the jar:

It’s from A betrothal by EJ Scovell:

Put your hand on my heart / say that you love me as / the woods upon the hills cleave to the hills’ contours

I will uphold you, trunk and shoot and flowering sheaf/ And I will hold you, root and fruit and fallen leaf.

This work is not for sale.

River within

A tall jar: 35cm high by 27cm at the rim.  It’s thrown in white stoneware, and lettered with a text by TS Eliot from Four Quartets:

The river is within us

The sea is all about us

Inside, the text spirals down to the still centre at the heart of the vessel.

River within is for sale £400. Signed one-off. Now sold.

Paradise & Earth

The Paradise & Earth bowl was a commission to celebrate the birth of a baby; it’s about 12cm high x 30cm across the rim, lettered with a scattered brushwork text from a poem by the Greek poet Julius Typaldos:

The moon appears, bringing secret consolation/ And the two of them, in a foreign land/ looked at it together/ and they held in their arms/ paradise and earth.

And the bowl is filled inside with a starry night sky cradling a crescent moon.

Blest bowl

This bowl was made to commission to celebrate an anniversary; I’m always happy to suggest inscriptions from my very extensive collection of texts.

Voice of the river (stoneware bowl) text by Frances Bingham

Voice of the river is a large open bowl with text and brushwork in a clear watery azure:

I am the voice of the river singing in your dreams

A lullaby of waters, a litany of streams

The text is by Frances Bingham. Signed one-off, 35cm diam x 20cm high. £400. Now sold.

Work available for purchase changes constantly – please click on contact details for information about similar work for sale now.

All photos copyright Liz Mathews.  

Permission is needed for any use of these images.

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