Meet the Team

Claire Birch
Owner / Collector
Claire Birch is passionate about traditional crafts, especially ceramics and textiles. In the late 1990s Claire and her family lived in India and later Hong Kong. During their travels Claire would always seek out places with a reputation for pottery and the collection in this room is as much a map of those travels as it is an indication of her interests and sense of humour.
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James Birch
Owner / Collector
James lives in the Hall with his wife Claire. He collects Political Ceramics. “My first buy was a bust of Lenin, from the Hungarian Herend porcelain factory, in a Budapest flea market in 1980. Busts of Stalin are rare as many were smashed in the 1956 uprising. In 1999 we went to live in Hong Kong and there I was drawn to propaganda ceramics from Chairman Mao’s China. I realised I had begun a collection of political ceramics with a communist slant, although I do like my John F. Kennedy plate. This collection is modest and incomplete, but I have added busts of Beethoven and John Wesley already in the Hall.”
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Antony Jarvis
Collector
Antony (b: 1938) lived in the Hall with his wife Vicky (d: 2006) from 1973 – 2006. They collected British Studio Pottery (20th & 21st century). “My lifelong interest in ceramics began in July 1963 when my wife and I met artist Tom Plowman and gallerist Henry Rothschild. Tom Plowman’s handsome domestic stoneware pots immediately won us over. For 15 years, Tom supplied our breakfast-ware in a succession of beautiful glazes. Henry Rothschild owned the shop Primavera in Cambridge, and in the 1970’s (when I was studying there as a mature student) he put on an exciting ceramic show that was an eye opener.”
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Rebecca Blackwood
Curator
Rebecca is the curator for the Summer of Ceramics exhibition in the Hall - a celebration of the 300th anniversary of the Doddington ceramics collection. Rebecca is a board member of Arts Council England funded Primary an artist-led space that supports creative research through artist studios, residencies, public exhibitions and events as well as an Advisory Board member of The Attenborough Arts Centre (University of Leicester). She was Executive Director for Arts Council England Ambition for Excellence 3-year funded Mansions of the Future in Lincoln. Founder and Director at Of Many Circles and Thirteen Ways.
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Preston Fitzgerald
Curator
Preston is the curator for the Summer of Ceramics selling show based in the Stable Yard Galleries, exhibiting highly collectable work from renowned National and International Ceramists. He has been collecting contemporary ceramics for over twenty years starting in New York City and now based in London. He has curated contemporary craft and design exhibitions including working with The Royal College of Art, The Flow Gallery, London and Terra Delft Gallery, Holland. After post - graduate degrees at Christie’s Education and Sotheby’s Institute of Art Preston worked with Janice Blackburn at Sotheby’s contemporary decorative arts selling exhibitions. He recently spoke at The National Centre for Craft and Design study day, ‘The Studio Potter’ regarding collecting contemporary ceramics
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Susanna Gorst
Curator (Lincolnshire Artists)
Susanna is the curator for the Summer of Ceramics selling show based in the Stable Yard Galleries, exhibiting the best of Lincolnshire makers. She first made pots many years ago at school and rediscovered pottery at evening classes, with a particular interest in throwing and slipware. Susanna is now studying part-time for a Foundation Diploma in Art & Design at City Lit, London.
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