Cumbria Crack

Cumbrian artists take residence at Brathay Trust charity

Siobhan and Martin Miles-Moore

Award-winning ceramicists Martin and Siobhan Miles-Moore have been named official Artists in Residence at Cumbrian-based charity, Brathay.

Recently applauded as ‘Best Designer Makers’ in Cumbria Life’s 2019 Culture Awards, the husband and wife team are now working from a dedicated studio space in the grounds of Brathay Hall, the charity’s headquarters in Ambleside.

The couple have made their name as the creators of ‘posh plates for posh chefs’ featuring one-off handmade glazes made from natural materials foraged by themselves.

“It’s an absolute honour to be at Brathay,” said Siobhan. “We are thrilled with our new studio space set in such beautiful surroundings and we intend to do everything we can to support the charity and what it stands for.”

Both artists were drawn to Brathay because of its work with young people and families, in particular the programmes it delivers to improve mental health and resilience and the interactive work it does beyond the Lake District inspiring young people to better their life chances by engaging positively with their local communities.

Martin Miles-Moore in the Brathay studio

“We know from our own lives that creativity plays a key role in improving well-being and confidence through self-expression,” said Martin, who admits to having had a challenging childhood himself and, as a former physiotherapist working in palliative care, first took up pottery classes in search of fulfilment and emotional stability.

Both artists believe strongly in the transformative impact that making art can have on people’s lives and, as well as continuing making their own work, they plan to offer creative activities to young people and families staying at Brathay on residential programmes. They also hope to act as a creative catalyst attracting visitors from the art community and helping to further raise the profile of Brathay among their own clients and contacts.

Brathay’s Chief Executive Godfrey Owen said: “We are very excited to have Martin and Siobhan with us here at Brathay and look forward to working with them to help art and creativity become an integral part of the Brathay experience.”

The couple have marked their arrival with the creation of a new Brathay glaze, using slate and wood ash gathered from the grounds of the estate. This will be officially launched at Bowls of Resilience, a public supper event at Brathay in July.

The studio is open to the public Friday – Monday between 10am-4pm. Meanwhile, Martin’s original Japanese tea bowls will be on display at Brantwood, Coniston, as part of the Ruskin 200 year celebrations: ‘Common Case: John Ruskin, Japan and the Craft Tradition’ running until Aug 5th

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