• QEST Scholars Selected for British Ceramics Biennial Exhibitions


    Stoke-on-Trent is the home of British ceramics and the perfect location for the British Ceramics Biennial (BCB) which embraces this heritage and celebrates the area as an international centre for excellence in contemporary ceramics.  With a packed programme of exhibitions, site-specific installations, events and activities over five weeks, it highlights the work of international, emerging and established ceramic artists.  QEST is proud to announce that two of its scholars are featured; Hannah Tounsend in AWARD and Alice Walton in Fresh.

    Hannah has been selected as a finalist and exhibitor in AWARD, the BCB’s headline exhibition for professional artists leading the field of contemporary ceramics.  According to Alun Graves, Senior Curator of 20th Century & Contemporary Ceramics at the V&A, AWARD is a “showcase for ground-breaking and progressive practice, capturing the breadth and dynamism of artists engaging with clay today.  It is an opportunity for ambition and for new ideas to be explored and presented in a truly remarkable and historic location.”   Titled ‘Finding New Ground’, Hannah’s composite installation of three artworks will celebrate the ceramic practice of extensive material testing and document an exploration of clay surface possibilities.  

    The BCB Fresh Exhibition sits alongside AWARD at the centre of the festival programme. Fresh presents the best of recent, talented graduates from UK Higher Education ceramic courses and related programmes and showcases a diverse cross-section of current ideas and trends in clay and ceramics.  QEST Scholar Alice Walton has been shortlisted for Fresh and will be showing three large sculptures in the Spode China Hall. 

    British Ceramics Biennial:  7 Sept – 13 Oct 2019  and 

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  • The Prince’s Foundation and QEST Launch Building Arts Programme


    In partnership with The Prince’s Foundation, QEST are pleased to announce the launch of The Building Arts Programme, focused on the core belief that our built environmental is a collaboration between a vast array of different disciplines which are all fundamentally linked.  Intended for students of architecture, building crafts and decorative and applied arts, this interdisciplinary programme will provide a space for rediscovering shared learning and practice, enabling students to explore the multifaceted nature of the built environment.  Where current practice, both educationally and vocationally, is to teach these disciplines separately, we are firm believers in a more holistic approach and will look to demonstrate the significant role they all play in creating places and spaces of value to society.  Graduates will be well positioned to approach their practice in a manner which is both better informed and multidisciplinary, working with others to create a built environment which is more than just the sum of its parts.

    Teaching will take place at Dumfries House, Ayrshire, but the course will also include a 12 week individual industry placement, giving students the opportunity to hone their skills within their own trade.

    Applications are now open for the course which will begin in February 2020. 

    For more details download the course overview and application form, and if you have any further questions please contact Michael Goodger: / +44(0)1290 425 230

    Photo credit: Thom Atkinson

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  • Tom Nicholls to Create Limestone Sculpture of Swami Vivekananda


    QEST Scholar Tom Nicholls is currently working on a large sculpture of the Hindu philosopher Swami Vivekananda (1862-1902) for the grounds of Harrow Arts Centre in London.  The project began when the local community approached the ex-Mayor of Harrow, Mrinal Choudhury, with the idea of a sculpture for the high number of Hindus in the area.  Choudhury subsequently commissioned the work of Vivekananda (1863 – 1902), a Hindu monk and one of the most celebrated spiritual leaders of India.  Vivekananda attempted to combine Indian spirituality with Western material progress, and was a key figure in the introduction of yoga to the Western World.  He leapt to fame at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893 where he represented Hinduism.  With his deep spiritual insight, eloquence and role as India’s spiritual ambassador to the Western world, Vivekananda is regarded as a highly important and influential figure of modern India.

    This picture shows Tom with the clay model he is using as a guide for the stone sculpture.  When the finished work is unveiled later this year it will be the only large scale stone sculpture of Vivekananda in Europe.

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  • Decorative Artist Melissa White Announces New Collaboration with Larkspur & Hawk

    New York jewellery Emily Satloff of Larkspur & Hawk first saw the work of QEST Scholar Melissa White at The Soho Hotel in London, where her room was decorated with the artist’s Peacock Garden wallpaper. Emily approached Melissa to design a bespoke new wallpaper, and the resulting imaginary landscape was to be developed into a capsule collection by Emily, titled Illustrated. 

    Melissa’s original drawing of a fantastical land was inspired by the Arts & Crafts movement, the Wiener Werkstätte, Indian wall paintings, Tudor embroidery and more. Creatures appear to have taken over abandoned gardens and citadels, lost jewellery has been purloined by birds and once domesticated cats and dogs have returned to the wild.

    This became a wallpaper design, which has subsequently been interpreted by Emily into a fine jewellery and home collection, Illustrated.  This includes a range of stationery with 19th century New York stationer Dempsey & Carroll, charming ceramics in the Staffordshire revival style, hand-embroidered linen napkins and a series of unique jewellery boxes painted by Melissa.

    All of the objects are available to purchase via Larkspur & Hawk, and the wallpaper will be available from Melissa in September 2019, along with Emily’s Garden as a fabric with coordinating designs.

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  • ‘A Shop In Time’ at The Novium Museum, Chichester Features QEST Scholar & Apprentice


    A watch and clockmaker’s shop through time is the subject of a new exhibition at The Novium Museum, Chichester, which features QEST Scholar Tim Hughes and QEST Apprentice Patrick Woodward, who is training with Geoff Allnutt.

    The display explores the history of a shop in Midhurst, West Sussex, which has been a watchmaker’s since the 1700s.  It highlights some of the personal stories of the watchmakers who lived and worked there, while commenting on a business still successful in times of change.  Clocks, watches and ephemera relating to the premises are on display along with some traditional tools and the work of current apprentices, who are training to be the watchmakers of the future. 

    The watch and clockmakers, who worked in the building over time from the 1700s to today, range from determined women to the tragic son of a German immigrant and dynamic young horologists carving out a future today. Meet 18th Century William Roe, Mary Wrapson and Mary Anne Lawrence in the 19th Century, Joseph Ketterer, The Bannister Family and John Allnutt in the 20th Century, all with a story to tell. 2019 is represented by Geoff Allnutt, Tim Hughes, former apprentice Jacob Russell and current apprentice Patrick Woodward. The display showcases their fine work, treading in the footsteps of those past horologists to keep the skills alive for the future.

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  • The Cambridge Satchel Company Launch New Collection for QEST

    The Cambridge Satchel Company (CSC) have launched a new five-piece collection featuring some of their best-selling styles in rich oxblood and navy, each one proudly bearing the QEST logo in gold foil.

    The Founder and CEO of CSC, Julie Deane, and Head of Product, Scott Simpson, are both QEST Ambassadors and long-standing supporters of the charity, sharing our passion for British craft.  This is the second collection they have produced for QEST, this time working with some of their newer styles and introducing a grain finish.  The 100% leather bags are limited edition and each crafted in the UK.

    For more details or to buy one of these beautiful bags please visit

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