Bamford Vases: Companions for wildflowers

Keeping craft alive

HAND-MADE IN THE COTSWOLDS, OUR STONEWARE VASES CELEBRATE THE BEAUTY IN SIMPLE FORMS. THEIR PAIRED DOWN AESTHETIC IS SIGNATURE OF CAROPOT – A PRODUCER OF STONEWARE VESSELS FOR THE HOME AND GARDEN, FOUNDED BY CARO HARRIS IN 2018 AND MADE ENTIRELY FROM HER HOME STUDIO IN THE COTSWOLDS.

Hand-painted in autumnal hues, the colour palette is reminiscent of blossoming wildflowers and their autumnal companions: birch, heather and fig, which lie at the heart of our Autumn-Winter colour story.

The glaze is applied by hand with a brush to ensure a more controlled and consistent finish; while this is not the most efficient way to glaze pottery (compared to the alternative dipping technique), the joy of producing in small batches lies in these unseen decisions made by the makers to ensure the best finish possible.

Enduring design

The Bamford Vases collection heroes three silhouettes – the cylindrical vase, bottle vase and pourer – drawing on the sculptural influences found in Parisian museums. The overall effect of the collection is most striking when the different colourways and silhouettes are arranged together on the same surface; the cylinders offer a perfect foil against the curves of a bottle vase, creating sculptural spaces that fall between the objects and cast an alluring shadow against the wall in late afternoon light.

The vessels are sized to fit snugly in a cottage setting, echoing their humble origins from the converted home-pottery studio containing little more than a potter’s wheel, a kiln and a few bags of clay. During the summer months of 2020 when the collection was made, the studio was also decorated with wildflowers Caro had collected on her daily walks – a way to bring the outside in, adding a multi-sensory element to the craft experience.

‘I’m sure I do my most creative work when all my senses are happy.’ - Caro Harris

Keeping craft alive

Working closely with independent makers guarantees a quality and longevity that mechanical production cannot surpass; the slow, considered methods of the craftspeople we collaborate with are founded on the respect they have for the materials they work, and a desire to produce objects that will be cherished and will endure.

In conversation with Caro Harris, founder of Caropot

Do the colours you work with hold a particular significance to you?

‘Colour is hugely significant for me. I was brought up in the countryside near the sea, so seascape colours really speak to me. Now, living in the Cotswolds, I’m surrounded by and take huge inspiration from the colours of the local countryside and neighborhoods. I absolutely adore the blues and greys and greens we see around us on the doors and window frames in the Cotswolds, and even on the woodwork in the kitchens. These are the colours reflected in my work.’

Did you learn anything new about your craft whilst making the Bamford collection?

‘I had to develop a more disciplined, systematic approach to ensure I was using my time and studio space efficiently. The vases were made in the throes of the pandemic and during this time it became clear to me just how important potting has become for my own well-being - both the discipline of working and the nature of the work have been incredibly helpful in getting me through these extraordinary times.

I suspect I would have really struggled if my pottery had not been so accessible. I try to keep my studio as welcoming a place as possible, somewhere I really want to be. Over the summer I filled it with the wild flowers collected on my daily walks, bringing a little of the outside in. Music has also played an increasing important part for me over the last year in my studio; I’m sure I do my most creative work when all my senses are happy.’

Do you think this year will have a lasting impact on our habits and pace of life?

'I think people have been encouraged to become more aware of local, smaller, independent businesses. I’ve definitely noticed an uptick in interest in my pottery over recent months, and based on my own experience I’m genuinely hopeful that sourcing local produce and supporting independent brands, businesses, cafés, shops, pubs and farms is a habit that will stay around when the pandemic is finally behind us.'

'During this time it became clear to me just how important potting has become for my own well-being.' - Caro Harris

The Bamford Vases collection is available to shop online and in stores.

Supporting artisan communities

Artisans rarely work in isolation; their method is rooted in a strong connection to the landbase from which they source their materials, or the social background of their community. Learn more about our sustainability commitment to Keeping Craft Alive.

Sustainability at Bamford