1690

1690 is the brainchild of artist and ceramicist, Sophie Wilson. After packing up her life from London in order to restore a hauntingly beautiful, dilapidated manor house in Lincolnshire, Sophie unwittingly stepped into a new era of inspiration. From her kitchen table, she produces characterful collections of wonderfully purposeful ceramics, each with their own unique story.

Artist & Ceramicist

1690

The Fens

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THE PROCESS

Each 1690 piece is firstly handbuilt in terracotta by Sophie, before being poured with a white slip. Once the piece is dry, Sophie carefully applies her signature sgraffito decoration to the vessels, which often feature enchanting figures, mystical animals, botanical patterns and charming text.

Q&A

1. What motivates you to make?

Money. I live in a beautiful but very damaged 16th century house with my three young children. My ambition is to be the first female custodian to carefully restore this wonderful property and make it sound for the next two hundred years.

2. What and/or who are you most inspired or influenced by?

My children are my biggest influencers. Their childhood is a kind of living theatre here and I am fascinated by their playfulness, curiosity and wonder. I am essentially making props for their stage; objects and works which are steeped in memory and belonging.

3. What is your unique approach to your craft, and how have you honed your skills?

I think the constraints of working from home and trying to fit making into a very full day demands quite an impetuous approach to the things I make. Happily, perfection doesn’t interest me at all. It’s all about the humanness for me; the messiness of just being.

I do think about new work for a long time before I embark on it physically though - researching and reading and imagining. To this end, I know exactly what it looks like in my head before I begin in clay.

Quite often, I call my children for dinner and they sit amongst drying out forms, bags of terracotta and glaze trials at the table and I think this lack of distinction, this being part of a very actively lived in home, lends character and gravity to the things I produce from the outset. In terms of surface decoration, it’s very important that I don’t labour too long over work. It all becomes a bit stagnant and strained otherwise.

4. What is your defining or proudest moment as a maker so far?

I remember saving for one of Emma Bridgewater’s Toast & Marmalade cream jugs when I was a teenager. I loved that perfect little jug. Recently, Emma told me that my creativity was, ‘unusual and LAVISH’ - written, just like that - I felt I was on to something then. It was the best endorsement I could hope for.

5. What is your dream project?

Fixing my roof.

ALL PRODUCTS

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7 Products found

  1. Absolut I by 1690
    Absolut I
  2. Absolut II by 1690
    Absolut II
  3. Nacht I by 1690
    Nacht I
  4. Nacht II by 1690
    Nacht II
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    7 Products found

    1690
    £750
    Out of stock
  5. The Jockey I by 1690
    The Jockey I
  6. The Jockey II by 1690
    The Jockey II
  7. Seneschal I by 1690
    Seneschal I
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7 Products found

Objects