For our first Maker Journal we’re in conversation with Jo Davda of Brickett Davda. We discuss with Jo her journey and inspiration. At Objects and Finds we’re passionate about unique, handcrafted goods with integrity and Jo’s pieces are timeless designs to last a lifetime. The signature of Brickett Davda ceramics are the hand moulded forms and painterly colours inspired by nature.
Jo Davda launched her studio, Brickett Davda, in 1992 after studying fine art painting and employs her artistic approach to her range of beautifully simple handmade tableware. The colours reflect the grey skies and the sea of the British coast and countryside. The shapes are conceived and designed from pure, simple objects and reflect the handmade process – no two hand moulded bowls are the same. All the colours are hand painted onto each individual piece, Jo’s passion for colour and her painterly approach are intrinsic to her style. Jo has an emotional connection to her pieces that motivates her. “I consider them as one-offs because each piece is touched by hand, painted by hand, and finished by hand.” Jo’s ceramics are pieces to collect and cherish.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER YOUR LOVE FOR CERAMICS?
I got into ceramics 25 years ago by accident, my brother had returned from Italy after working in a traditional pottery in Sienna, we were both fine artists looking for a new way of working. We started working with clay which became incredibly seductive. Clay is such an elemental material that is so adaptable, it was hard to resist.
YOUR CERAMICS ARE FUNCTIONAL YET BEAUTIFUL AND UNIQUE. WHAT LEAD YOU TO YOUR STYLE?
The considerations I made when designing the first shapes was that they were to be functional, so that meant food was the starting point. Once a range of shapes had been established surface decoration could be developed. It wasn’t a straight forward process at all, and took a few years to hone down what I actually wanted, adding more shapes as the needs arose. So after many many trials I managed to get to the subtle essence of the design - colour!
YOU STUDIED AT WIMBLEDON COLLEGE OF ARTS, HOW DOES YOUR TRAINING IN FINE ART PAINTING INFORM YOUR PRACTICE?
The physical application of the colour on the ceramics was definitely informed by my style of painting a canvas, which was about broad layered strokes of colour on colour creating a depth that I hope comes across in the work.
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR USE OF COLOUR IN YOUR PIECES?
Colour is, I think, very much to do with mood...Inspired as much from people around me as from the city, country and seascapes. I have a basic love of the muted soft earth colours, they are like the comforting, stable, kind friend you can turn to anytime, but then when you bring in a strong bright spark of colour it changes everything and you have your partying, loud, funny friend in the room!
WHAT’S A TYPICAL DAY IN THE STUDIO AT BRICKETT DAVDA?
A typical day ranges from bringing in 2 tonnes of clay to fine tuning a new shape that is about to be cast for the first time and all the bits in-between. Aided by an amazing team of 4 who make, finish, glaze and pack each unique order that we get to know quite personally by the time they are boxed up and sent.
WITH EVERYONE SPENDING MORE TIME AT HOME, DO YOU SEE A TREND FOR PEOPLE SEEKING UNIQUE CERAMICS TO DRESS THEIR TABLE?
Definitely during this last year of the pandemic I have had a heightened demand for individual tableware sets and single pieces from serving bowls to just one cup. This I think is a direct result of peoples need for something handmade and considered to enhance their eating at home
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
At the moment I am working on adding to a newly launched set of plant pots, it grew from a need of my son who had moved to Toronto just before the first lockdown. I think one of his coping mechanisms was to bring into his first home of his own a huge amount of pot plants! So I did what any ceramicist mum missing her son would do, I designed and made him a crate load of planters.
View the complete Brickett Davda collection here