Annadale Brickworks is a Belfast ceramics studio established by Clive Fiddis. The name derives from an old brickworks near to Clive's studio in the centre of Belfast. Having loved, made and taught ceramics in Ireland and Finland for 30 years, Clive is a master in his chosen craft. Simplicity of function and a passion for skillful making and craftsmanship are essential elements in all the work. Clive was kind enough to let us ask him a few questions about his making process.
Tell us a bit about what you make.
I make thrown functional pots. I'm very focused on the skillful making and material and firing process, simple form and function.
Could you describe your studio to us? What is your favourite thing about the space?
The studio is only a few years old, its very much an urban space in Belfast, it has two floors, a kiln room and is a very open plan flexible space with lovely light. I love its urban feel and the light quality.
How do you get into the mindset of making?
I tend to make in batches and like the rhythm of making, glazing and firing. There's always things to do in a studio, glaze and colour tests, tools, new work ideas.
What is your favourite tool and why?
Can you describe your making process to us?
I make my own tools if I can, my favourite is the knife I made out of a second hand buy.
I throw nearly all of the pots on the wheel, usually in batches, using a simple stoneware clay. Pots are dried slowly, bases turned, handles attached and finished before firing. The pots are fired twice, glaze fired in a gas kiln at stoneware temperatures. What is your inspiration?
Cultures of Japan and the near and far East are just amazing! What led you to choose this craft as a profession? What do you love most about it?
I've been making and teaching ceramics for a long time, its allowed me to travel and work, so its more a way of life for me, always learning mostly by mistakes.
How do your surroundings affect your work?
I'm an urban potter. The studio is very private and quiet which is very conducive to work, but the hustle and bustle of the city is close by.
What is your favourite piece?
I have pieces that I collected travelling in Japan, Egypt, Iran, Finland and Spain. I love using them in the kitchen, beautiful and functional.
We stock a range of beautiful mugs, bowls and dishes by Annadale Brickworks. Clive's beautiful tableware is suitable for the dishwasher, microwave freezer and oven.