Making a chimney is not an every day event for many potters especially when it is for the famous 15c Blue Anchor Inn of the Cornish market town of Helston and most probably comes only once in a lifetime. Originally from the far north of England, Russell Gibbs a ceramist studied pottery at Carlisle School of Art with Jim Malone, who greatly influenced the development of what Russell calls his "more spiritual work" is one of the best production potters in Cornwall today.
Russell is probably better known for producing a range of simply decorated earthenware domestic pottery in his version of the Cornish Ware tradition with colours of subdued greens, blues and creams which convey a simple rustic style. Working from his studio at Roskilly’s in the depths of the Lizard Peninsula his work is rooted deep in the ethos of traditional country pottery, with utility and indigenous materials playing a central role. The work is a natural projection of Russell's training and passion for traditional ideas and techniques.
The Blue Anchor Inn was under going a re-thatch after 25 years and Russell was commissioned to replace one of the original chimneys. In his inimitable rustic style he has created a unique hand crafted chimney that will grace the ridge of the ancient inn, renown for brewing the famous ‘Spingo’ ale for centuries. The sprigging was influenced by the inn’s well known logo and the fish as a connection to past and sea that is never very far from wherever you may be in Cornwall. Following the examples of master English potters like Isaac Button, George Curtis and Harold Thorburn. Russell's unique designs have featured in numerous exhibitions nationwide, and pots commissioned by Kew Gardens have also been exhibited in Japan.
Russell Gibbs Pottery, Roskilly’s, Tregellast Barton Farm, St Keverne, Cornwall TR12 6NX