Local Potter, Yolande Beer gave a “potted” history of her life to date, saying how her love of art and ceramics had developed. Her talk was illustrated by slides showing examples of her ceramics and short clips of how she makes her pots which illustrated the time and skill involved.
Yolande was born in Sussex to parents of French descent, who can be traced back to the Huguenots. She studied Three-dimensional Design in Brighton, and pursued her love for ceramics and flair for life drawing leading her to decorate pots, platters and tiles with lively and flowing figures. Yolande also studied at Summer School at Slindon School with Eric Mellon, the famous ceramist.
As business increased, sgraffito into press moulds was gradually set aside for brush-decorated ware, and after five years as an established and recognised Brighton Studio-potter, she was awarded sponsorship to travel to Japan. Here she spent over a year brush-decorating tableware at the Tobo Sugi Company in Tokoname. Before returning to England, she presented a solo show in Tokyo, where everything sold. A subtle Japanese influence is still visible in her work today.
Since her return to England in 1998, Yolande married a furniture maker, and is now settled in a converted barn in Five Ashes, East Sussex, where she pots and sells. She also teaches at home, in schools and at Adult Education Classes.
Yolande specialises in brightly coloured earthenware and durable stoneware. She has featured in numerous shops and exhibitions, and has even collaborated with The Body Shop in the realms of shop display. She currently exhibits her unique work in her showroom at home and at the Ashdown Gallery Forest Row and Charleston Farmhouse.