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Chris Speyer

My original training was in Stage Design at the National Institute of Dramatic Art, NSW University, Sydney. I moved to the UK in 1973 and worked with InterAction Trust as a community arts worker before setting up Theatre Kit, a London touring Children's Theatre Company with my wife Katherine Ukleja.


In 1983 we moved to Devon and, while I continued to freelance as a playwright, theatre director and designer, I began to play with clay. Katherine and I built a workshop at the end of our garden and, in 1985, we became Yerja Ceramics and Textiles. We exhibited Katherine's painted textiles and my tableware for the first time at Chelsea Crafts Fair in 1987 and the orders that followed prompted a move to larger premises. There followed thirteen years of making during which we sold our work through shops, galleries and ceramic markets in the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Portugal and USA, produced tile designs and undertook a large interior design commission for the Biras Creek Hotel in the British Virgin Isles. I was elected a Fellow of the Craft Potters Association and for several years edited the CPA's newsletter.


In 2000 I became co-artistic director of Monster Productions (Newcastle) and ceramics had to take a back seat while I concentrated on running this new theatre company, writing and directing. We also became parents.


2009-2015 were taken up with novel writing, songwriting with school groups and saw the publications of Devil's Rock and Forest of Lies.


In 2015 I returned to ceramics by beginning a part-time MA in Ceramic Design at Bath School of Art and Design. The course finished in January 2018. My Masters Project was the creation of the two-metre high outdoor sculpture, Gateway of Dreams.


My interest now is in creating small and large-scale sculptural work and in exploring the use of clay in performance.


I'm back to having a studio in the garden, this time in Exeter.

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