Isatu Hyde is a production potter based in Shropshire. As an apprentice to Andrew Crouch, one of Britain’s most accomplished and renowned potters, Isatu has spent the last few years honing her skills in an almost forgotten world of studio pottery. The processes that she uses seem so out of step with contemporary living, there is nothing quick about the start to finish of any one piece. The consideration, concentration and knowledge that are required to create Isatu’s work are hard won, time consuming attributes but once employed make for effortlessly beautiful ceramics.
‘Drink’ is a collection of work made in response to the delightfully basic need. Every piece has been designed to be simply poured or drunk from. This purity is reflected in the dipping of the glaze, which creates a thick milky coating on the stoneware that once fired forms a deep rich surface. The muted tones of the glazes produce a soft finish that is often contrasted by the stern faceting and furrowing.
Isatu is a thoughtful maker whose practice is informed by the simple customs of daily routine. Her ceramics are shrouded in ritual; they are made to appreciate the simplicity of drinking. The effect of her ceramics is often greater than the sum of their parts; small and perfectly formed yet big in a satisfying and calming nature.
Inspired by ancient civilisations and their use for functional wares; Mexican water jars, Minoan oil jars and Medieval English cider jars, Isatu draws from a wide range of sources. With a little research you can begin to see how these past cultures feed into her practice.
One of our favourite pieces from the ‘Drink’ collection, below, is this Shropshire Costrel, named after its forefather the Dorset Verwood Costrel. Traditionally used as a cider vessel the distinctive shaping conjures those Ancient influences.
Each and everyone of these carefully made objects have been thrown and fired to be cherished for many years to come through their daily use.
'Drink' - a complex realm of ritual, either briefly in our minds, or purposefully in how we present the drink itself; cleansing, rejuvenating, soothing, sharing, offering.