A big congratulations to Matthew Blakely who was presented, at this year’s Art in Clay, with the Valentine Clays Peers Award.

In the tradition of the past 19 years fellow peers vote during the weekend on which studio potter deserves recognition. The winner is then presented with their award the following year which is created by the previous year’s winner.

Alan was proud to present the award which had been handcrafted by Fleen Doran to Matthew and commented: “I have known and worked with Matthew for many years and he is one of the nicest guys you would ever wish to meet.

“It’s no wonder then that in 2012 most of us voted for him to win the Valentine Clays Peers Award for the best contribution to the festival. He continues to explore different materials and processes that demonstrate ceramics in a way that illustrates the link between science and art, highlighting the fundamental connection with the planet we all inhabit. In his own words his aim is “to create another way of looking at the land on which we live by making ceramic pieces that are entirely created from rocks, minerals and clays collected from individual locations. Each piece will therefore be an illustration of the ceramic and geological character of that place.”

“I therefore watch with interest over the coming years how Matthew will continue to explore this relationship and develop a unique approach to ceramics.”

Following the presentation Matthew commented: “It really means a lot to win this award which is voted for by peers. I have been coming to Art in Clay at Hatfield House for many years now and winning this is very important to me.

“Over the last few years I have taken quite a risk with changing direction of my work and to win something like this has really given me a boost and the encouragement that all the hard work has definitely been worth it.”

For further details on Matthew Blakely please visit www.matthewblakely.co.uk

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