Ceramicist Adam Ross – a tall, warm Geordie, with a gentle sense of humour – is a little overwhelmed by the attention he’s been getting lately. Until two years ago, he was teaching in Newcastle, leaving his potting for evenings and weekends. Now, his asymmetric plates and teetering mugs, jugs, goblets and beakers are all on sale at the swish Mayfair craft shop, The New Craftsmen. And, in April, Selfridges is featuring 75 of his pieces in an interactive display. Someone, it seems, has arrived. Fittingly for an Englishman, drinking tea ‘largely informs’ what he does as a potter. ‘I really enjoy making mugs, beakers and milk jugs for people to use,’ says Adam. ‘Hopefully each piece has its own individual quirks and personality which bring something extra to the act of drinking tea.’
Tea has further burrowed its way into Ross’s life in the form of Rare Teas by Jo Malone London. ‘If I had to choose one it would be Silver Needle,’ he says. ‘It’s so refreshing.’ The same could be said for the lively glazes on his stoneware vessels and his creations’ eccentric shapes, which are, in part, a subtle homage to Richard Batterham, Britain’s foremost living traditional studio potter. To achieve his strikingly staggered tableware, Adam first turns each vessel on a wheel, then carves the edges, before slicing the cylinders in several places horizontally. As the vessel slumps into itself or topples out, Ross catches it at a point of balance and then makes it watertight. These animated and sculptural pieces, with their tactile surfaces, are sure to transform any teatime.