At the 2017 AGM of the Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen held on 22 March, members unanimously elected two new Life Members – Anne James and Toff Milway – to the highest accolade that this body of professional designer-makers can award to their fellow members.
Both the new life members are ceramicists and from 1 January 2018 will join a select group of craftsmen and women whose work has received international recognition and who actively supported the Gloucestershire Guild and its membership. Their contribution over many years was described by current and previous chairmen, Mary Greensted and Colin Gerard.
Both the new life members are ceramicists and have worked in the county for many years although their work is well known nationally. Anne James has been a Guild member since 1976 and is based in Painswick. She particularly enjoys working with porcelain, often using the raku technique, and her work is always developing in new directions – some of her most recent work as well as older pieces will be featured in a special display celebrating her eightieth birthday in June 2017 at The Guild at 51 in Cheltenham. She has always been an active member of the Guild, working on exhibitions, serving on committees and supporting younger members.
The potter Toff Milway has worked in Gloucestershire since 1985; he runs the Conderton Pottery and has been a Guild member since 1988. He specialises in salt-glazed stoneware, making decorative domestic pieces which often feature fishes and natural forms. He has been a stalwart member of the Guild where his down-to-earth philosophy and practical skills had been invaluable.
The Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen was founded in 1933 – it is the oldest county craft guild with over seventy members, all professional designer-makers. As well as two annual exhibitions Guild Crafts Tetbury and Guild Crafts Chipping Campden, programmes of high-quality workshops and events, it also runs a flagship craft shop, The Guild at 51 at 51 Clarence Street, Cheltenham, GL50 3JT and a website: www.guildcrafts.org.uk.