Vessel Open Studio

At the heart of the arts programme Vessel, we hosted an ‘open studio’ residency with ceramicist Jules Degroot, who worked collaboratively with the community in our space to co-create vessels for food, exploring the parallel ideas of creation and production in bodily and ceramic form, as she was herself pregnant.

The full collection of work made during the residency, including work by Jules herself, was glazed, fired and made available for sale at the Locavore Festive Feast. Following the sale, Custom committed to buying back all remaining vessels for use in the Custom kitchen/restaurant.


“I have been a ceramicist for over 5 years now, building and honing my skills. My ceramic journey started in London, then having the opportunity to work and live in Sydney for a year, before finally bringing me to Folkestone.

“In the three very different locations that I lived and worked as a ceramicist, although sometimes the colours and tone of pieces have changed with inspiration from my surroundings, there is also something that unifies my work, the pieces are simple yet intentional. I focus on using my design and aesthetic skills to create pieces that are useful, pieces that become part of a person’s everyday routine, so the beauty and tactility of the them causes moments of joy and often becomes part of the identity of the place or the person.

“Part of my great joy in life is sharing skills, and in turn learning from others. Working with clay is something that forces you to slow down, due to the nature of the material. It connects you to your body, there is something really grounding about working with your hands, and creating something that is of use and beauty from nothing. There is also something beautiful about the connection between ceramics and time, whilst making these items time seems to change entirely, you can lose yourself in a simple action and spend hours working on smoothing the clay. But I often also reflect on the fact that lots of these items will outlive me as a person, the pieces are durable and lasting, and the moments that you spend making them are only a fraction of the life of the item itself.”

Jules Degroot

Part of VESSEL