Welcoming the talents of artist / makers Bridget McVey & Ian Parsons to Margate Tile Makers

Bridget and Ian run Clayspace, a pottery, ceramics and sculpture studio in Margate, which is a not-for-profit social enterprise. Clayspace really is a much-loved hub of our community, offering a professional studio space which provides the opportunity for people to be introduced to and to develop clay handcrafting skills under the guidance of the very experienced Bridget, Ian and their team of talented teachers.

Sarah at Margate Tile Makers approached Bridget and Ian when a London-based Interior Designer contacted us to ask if we could create some custom tile samples for a potential project for their client. Bridget and Ian were happy to take this task on, testing various glazes and clays over multiple firings to achieve the perfect tile finish for the client.

Artist profile

Ian and Bridget met at Loughborough, where Ian studied Fine Art and Bridget studied Ceramics. Ian worked as a scenic artist, living in Italy for a year working at the Teatro Regio in Turin, before returning to the UK to set up his own events company. He worked as a set builder and rigger for major exhibition and hospitality events like Ascot, Silversone, Chelsea Flower Show, and also for TV, theatre and opera. He also designed and built and worked on equipment for travelling shows, including a rocket powered bike, ramps for cars and a double decker bus to jump a river, and a cannon for human cannon balls.

Ian has exhibited his paintings and ceramics throughout Britain in group and solo shows.

Bridget’s first job was running a pottery studio in a psychiatric hospital and has a long standing interest in mental health and in the therapeutic qualities of working with clay. Working as a community artist and lecturer, Bridget has worked with an incredibly wide range of people from all backgrounds and abilities, she has always balanced her teaching with her own creative practice.
She has exhibited and sold her ceramics widely across the UK, winning awards at Leicester City Gallery and at the British Crafts Trade Fair. Ian and Bridget also designed and produced a range of tableware which sold all across the UK for many years. 

Bridget and Ian moved to Margate to set up ClaySpace in 2014.
Design / handcrafting inspirations
Both Ian and Bridget absolutely love Japanese studio ceramics, and work produced by some of the international wood, salt and soda fired ceramics community this has inspired. 
Being a Margate-based artist / maker
The friendliness and supportive atmosphere of the creative community in Thanet was what attracted us to move here 6 years ago. It felt like somewhere we could have some fun and make good friends whilst setting up a new business. It's lovely being part of a community who "get" what we want to do and support us in all sorts of lovely ways.



Being involved with the Margate Tile Makers

This project feels like a great way to collaborate with some really interesting makers in Thanet, and hopefully to provide work opportunities. It’s lovely to work together solving problems and creating beautiful outcomes.