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Syl & Ray Macro



T: 01434 381610


Stokoe House Ceramics Gallery has now closed. We will re-open accross the road in Studio House in mid March. Syl and Ray are using the winter months to make stock for next year in their studios at Leadgate, Alston. Should you wish to purchase from existing stock please  contact us at or 01434 381610

Mosaic tabletop , by Syl Macro

The constant factor in Syl's work is the inspiration of pattern and texture in landscape. Her college training in dual disciplines, ceramics and illustration, lead to her fascination for the use of imagery in ceramics.

"I spend periods drawing and photographing, before getting involved in a sequence of making derived from these observations. Living and working in the Pennines has heightened my awareness of the changing colours and textures of the hills, woods and moorland. Landscape is seen as apparent random juxtaposition of areas of texture and colour, both naturally occurring and affected by the hand of man.

Wall Plate with trees, by Syl Macro


"Similarly, my pieces are built up in areas of clay, which have previously been coloured, textured and patterned in a variety of ways :- such as impressing, marbling and printing with coloured slips and glazes. The design work is carried out on a flat surface and then formed in moulds. More recently, larger scale work is being developed in the form of wall and floor panels and tabletops."



Tree-light, by Ray Macro

Shimmering light through the tracery created by tree branches, is the inspiration for Ray's tall, elegant pierced wall lights. Before starting a period of making, he spends time walking in woodlands, taking photographs and sketching. Back in his studio these images are the basis of designs which he will transfer to his lamp forms.

Ray has developed a technique of hollow extrusion, to achieve these extended forms. A variety of different sections, such as rectangular, square and triangular of all types are possible, which enables individual lamps to be made specially to fit into corners and alcoves.

The making process starts with preparing the clay , an off white stoneware is used, and extruding a number of shapes varying in length. The extrusions are trimmed and stained with black slip and stored in a damp cupboard ready for the next stage, which is piercing the tree designs. The designs are transferred onto the extruded shapes, sometimes as a handed pair or as an individual piece. The designs are skilfully incised, then subjected to a complex drying process. Following biscuit firing, a dolomite / felspar glaze is applied with a further firing to cone 8.


  Solo Exhibitions
LYC Gallery, Banks , Cumbria 1979 and 1981
Bede Monastery Museum , Tyne and Wear 1982 and 1984
Buddle Arts Centre, Newcastle 1983
Metal Arts Precinct, South Shields 1983 and 1985
Gossipgate Gallery, Alston Cumbria 1986,1989, and 1992
Bondgate Gallery, Alnwick, Northumberland 1993
Pyramid, York 1994
Stokoe House Gallery, Alston Cumbria 2000
Severn Studio ,John Ruskin's House, Brantwood 2003

Group Exhibitions
1980 – 1985
Northumbrian Craftsmen Exhibitions at DLI Museum , Durham ,
Preston Park Museum , Middlesbrough ,
The Queens Hall, Hexham.
Central Library Newcastle .

Northern Potters Association Selected Exhibitions
Cleveland Craft Centre, 1991:
Mercer Gallery Harrogate 1992 :
Washington Arts Centre, Co Durham 1992 :
Gray Art Gallery , Hartlepool , 1992 :
The Manor House Gallery, Ilkley, Yorkshire , 1993 :
Lotherton Hall Yorkshire , 1994 ; The Harris Gallery , Preston , 1997.

Clayworks 3 Craftsmen Potters Gallery London , 1993 ;
Craft Guild Selected Exhibitions, Grizedale , Cumbria , 1998, 1999, 2000 and Rhum Gallery Penrith 2001.

Other events
Potfest Penrith Cumbria each year from 1996, to 2000
Potfest in the Park, Hutton in the Forest each year from 2001 - 2008
Art in Clay, Farnham 2001
Potfest , Scotland each year from1998 to 2007
Potfest Peak , Bakewell, Derbyshire 1996, 1997

Several publicly commissioned works for churches, including font for Sacred Heart, Newcastle , Chalices and Patterns for refurbished St Nicholas church, Durham , communion sets for international Methodist's Conferences, Newcastle 1992, Nottingham 1993 and Leeds 1994. Decorative wall panels, to commemorate Jarrow 900 years and Middlesbrough 150 years and panel to commemorate the opening of BBC's new regional headquarters, Newcastle unveiled in 1989 by Prince Charles.

2000 Tiles in Eden
A millennium project funded by Eden Arts; Collaboration with Sue Sharp led to 3 separate community tile making projects, which have resulted in 4 ceramic panels installed in Alston Town Centre. 1999 – 2000

Community Tile Mural and Way Markers “ THE WADER PROJECT” at Rookhope in Weardale, sponsored by R.S.P.B. and The Countryside Commission installed on the exterior of the Village Hall 2002

Tile Mural with Portland School for special Needs, Sunderland , Commissioned for opening of new school with River Wear theme. 2001

Tile pavement – a community tile making project to produce medieval tiles to be sited in Alston.

Garden of Dreams a series of 5 tile murals with Badger Hill school, Cleveland to create an outdoor classroom – the largest being 12ft – 3ft. theme the Natural world. 2002

Tiled mural local landmarks - Bamburgh Special School – South Shields 2003

Tiled Mural “Tree of life “ Whitfield School , Northumberland. 2003

3 tiled murals – Sea life theme with Errington Primary School , Marske, Cleveland . 2004

Featured in publications
Colour in Clay by Jane Waller, published by Crowood Press 1998
Potters Workshop by Jenny Rodwell, published by David and Charles 1999.

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