Cragg Jones Clay

Cragg Jones Clay is a contemporary ceramics studio and shop where Nicky Jones and Sue Cragg make and sell handcrafted ceramics. The light-filled upstairs studio is a calm and welcoming place to visit.

Sue and Nicky’s work shows a distance from mass production – as handcrafted vessels, no two objects are the same. It is important for them to create objects that are timeless and sustainable and that will give pleasure in daily use. Both makers are influenced by Scandinavian design and their work has a contemporary and rustic feel.

Sue Cragg

Sue throws her pots on the wheel and uses white, black and toasted stoneware and porcelain clays. She makes a range of modern/rustic tableware with pared-back simplicity. Each piece has a unique form and finish and has been created to handle well in use. Sue mostly uses simple matt glazes in neutral tones to enhance the shape and balance of each piece.

 

Nicky Jones

Nicky hand builds each piece enjoying the process of pinching, coiling and press moulding. It is important for her forms to reveal the process of making and the unexpected outcomes presented by the materials involved. She has a background in fine art and uses these skills on the surfaces of her pots by drawing with glaze and creating exciting colour pops. Her Kindface series hopes to reference the best chance for bending curves in directions that are good for people and the planet.

She has exhibited at international craft fairs and galleries in the UK. Her ceramics can also be found in the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair Online (GNCCFonline).

There aren’t many moments in our day-to-day lives when we use something handmade. Using a handmade vessel reminds us of the care and thought the artist has put into it; they are lovely to hold and look at and will lift your spirits.

“You can watch us at work in the studio attached to the shop, where we have a wheel, hand build area and kiln. We delight in sharing what and how we make.”

Cragg Jones Clay are happy to take commissions and orders for bespoke ceramics.

They also run 1:1 beginners wheel throwing classes in the studio and small group hand-building classes in the Centre’s Space 2 workshop area.

 

A ‘spot-lit’ maker will exhibit their current work in the shop each quarter. This provides a showcase for local ceramicists and an opportunity for customers to meet them and ask about their process at the launch event.

For details of classes, events and commissions, please contact [email protected].

INVITED MAKERS

Nicky and Sue have invited fellow Manchester ceramicists to sell a curated selection of their work in Cragg Jones Clay. All 6 invited makers were members of Clay Studio in Hulme at the same time as Nicky and Sue. Most moved on to form Manchester Clay Collective and Danny went on to study ceramics in Ireland and has now set up his own studio in Manchester.

DANIEL SMYTH @daniel_smyth_studio

Danny studied fine art, before taking a ceramics course in Kilkenny Ireland, learning production techniques and glaze chemistry. In 2021 he set up his own studio in Manchester where he makes functional tableware and teaches hand-built and thrown pottery classes. He also creates ceramic sculptural vessels and art pieces inspired by natural forms. He describes his work as “simple, peaceful and comforting – Complicating things is easy, keeping things simple, has taken a while to learn.”

We have a selection of Danny’s finely crafted tableware for sale, thrown stoneware pasta and noodle bowls, small bowls and bud vases in celadon and ochre glazes. Beautiful ceramics to use every day.

SARAH FRASER @_sarah_fraser

Sarah is a founding member of Manchester Ceramics Collective. She is a ceramics teacher and practitioner, and an associate artist with the British Ceramics Biennial based in Stoke on Trent. We have a small selection of her beautiful wheel thrown ceramics. Salt pots and vases thrown in stoneware and decorated with painterly marks made with coloured slip and glaze, then finally fired a third time with accents of gold lustre.

SARAH CROSBY @sarahcrosby.ceramics

Sarah also moved from Clay Studio to set up Manchester Ceramics Collective. She works at Venture Arts Hulme, and several days a week at the Collective.

“My practice is all about people. Working with, observing and celebrating people. My personal work revolves around celebrating the every day and drawing attention to the mundane moments that make up our days. The passive bits of our day-to-day that often get overlooked.”

We have a series of plates available at Cragg Jones Clay which are part of Sarah’s 14th September ’61 project. This looks at an old found photograph of what appears to be a family gathering.

“To remember the day and event, that seemed so important at the time, I have made plates looking at each person who attended. By drawing and painting them, we are remembering them and telling their story.”

The plates are press moulded in stoneware clay and the images on them are painted with underglaze. The plates are unglazed and therefore not suitable for domestic use. They come with wall hooks attached for display.

 

FRAN SAVAGE @frances.savage.pots

Fran is a member of the Manchester Ceramics Collective and is just completing an intensive practical pottery course at Clay College, Stoke on Trent. Her interest lies in making wheel-thrown pots to be used in the kitchen. We have a small selection of these beautiful pots for sale, bottles, mugs and pouring bowls. These pieces were made in Cornish stoneware, wheel-thrown and then fired in a gas reduction kiln with wood ash and speckled cream glazes.

MATT CRONSHAW @littletorchceramics

Matt was a professional cyclist before becoming a ceramicist, now based at Manchester Ceramics Collective. He works mainly in porcelain. “My work is minimal with the driving force behind each shape and form being a search for perfection in each step of the process.”

We have a wheel-thrown and hand-carved porcelain lamp, and a selection of delicate Christmas baubles, wheel-thrown “off the hump” in porcelain.

BECKY MORRIS @rebeccamorrisceramics

Becky is a TV producer turned potter, working on a potter’s wheel to make functional ceramics and tableware. She is a member of the Manchester Ceramics Collective.

Becky has made crockery for some of Manchester’s top chefs including Mary Ellen McTague, Aiden Byrne and James Hulme. Her work is also available at independent retailers including Object Style, Detaljer and Sacred Elephant Incense.

She has made bespoke work that has appeared in magazines such as Considered magazine, Observer Food Monthly and The Sunday Times Magazine, on TV shows like BBC’s MasterChef The Professionals, and in cookbooks by award-winning Chef Eddie Shepherd and Pippa Middlehurst.

We will be selling some of Becky’s clay incense gift sets and oil and wax melt burners in the shop at Cragg Jones Clay.