An Interview with Stef Baxter Glasgow Based Potter
In May 2017 I noticed some beautiful little coffee cups in a shop in Glasgow’s trendy BAaD (Barras Art and Design) space. I noted the name of the potter and decided to make contact to see if he was up for a commission for making Executive Shaving handmade, stoneware shaving lathering up bowls.
And so began our relationship with Glasgow based Stef Baxter.
I met with Stef over coffee and biscuits to discuss his work.
Q: Tell me Stef, do you do many commercial commissions such as Executive Shaving Stoneware Shaving Bowls?
A: Yes. Coffee cups to For Fika Sake Coffee shop, plates for private restaurants, and mussel crocks and bowls for Waxy O'Connors pub in Glasgow and various other small commissions throughout the UK and Ireland.
Q: Were you surprised at how popular your shaving bowls are on www.executive-shaving.co.uk ?
Q: I see you do pottery tuition, how popular are these classes, how much do they cost and what do you get for your money?
A: Classes are full every weekend. 8-10 people max. Saturdays and some Sundays added to meet demand. £30 per person I pay the venue 20% and a fee for coffee and cake for each participant.
Q: If someone reading this wants to book a tutorial class how do they do this?
A: They should visit my website, we have an online booking form, people can also email me on firstname.lastname@example.org for information or ‘phone me on 07788 552 589.
Q: You mention on your website that you take inspiration from music, how so?
A: I see music as intricate as emotions. It inspires feeling, texture, colour. On some occasions I imagine music to have a vibration that one can virtually see, definitely feel. My taste in diversity of music is broad and I use it as a means for occasion, relaxation and contemplation. I also look at synaesthesia, a cross circuit of the senses.
Q: Do you play any musical instruments?
A: Guitar, mandolin, banjo, Bodhran, (piano, fiddle beginner) and I sing.
Q: Professionally or amateur?
A: Amateur... hobby.
Q: Have you played with any famous musicians?
A: Yes, I have had the pleasure of playing alongside the likes of Mark Duff from Caperceilidh, Robyn Stapleton, Fiona Hunter and Siobhan Miller folk singers, LB Salter and Jenn Butterworth. Rua MacMillan. These people are noted in the folk and traditional scene globally.
Q: Back to your website, it mentions you have worked all over Europe. How did that come about and which countries have inspired you the most?
A: Through meeting artists and crafts people. Greece was a major inspiration especially the Cylcadic (Neolithic Greek) culture of the Cyclades Islands, ie, Santorini.
Q: Apart from shaving bowls, what else that you make is popular?
A: Beer mugs, egg cups, tea pots, knitting bowls goblet sets.
Q: Finally Stef, what are your plans for the future?
A: I aspire to have my own workshop/classroom. Increase my classes and run courses. I also plan to have more frequent shows/exhibitions of my own designs and objects, vessels, using a varied range of making and firing techniques. I also wish to return to making my own glazes from recipes I have gathered throughout my career so far.