Syl Macro

Syl in her pottery


Stokoe House Ceramics
Market Place



01434 382137


Stokoe House Ceramics is next to The Turk's Head in Alston's Market Place


Syl Macro

The constant factor in my work is the inspiration of pattern and texture in landscape. My college training in dual disciplines, ceramics and illustration, lead to my 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.

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.

wall bowl with lake


Education – Newcastle College of Art 1960 – 64 National Diploma in Design (Ceramics and Illustration)

Leicester College of Art 1965 - Art Teachers Diploma

Teaching - Newcastle full time Art and craft secondary level, and further education pottery courses In Durham and Sunderland.

Associations – Committee member with Northumbrian Craftsmen and Northern Potters Association from 1990, with special responsibility for administration of the annual Festival of Ceramics. Vice chairman from 1992 - 1994.

In 1985 Syl opened a pottery workshop and showroom at Blackfriars Craft Centre, a restored 13 th century monastery in Newcastle, where she made and sold her pottery until 1997.

In 1995 Syl and husband Ray, purchased a 17 th century building in Alston, Cumbria, which they have gradually restored and opened as Stokoe House Ceramics Gallery with studio and workshop. The ground floor gallery displays the of Syl and Ray, whilst the 1st floor gallery shows changing exhibitions of other potters' work.



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 ; Cumbria 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

Regular sales Outlets

Stokoe House Ceramics Gallery, Alston, Cumbria (own gallery )

Northern Lights Gallery, Keswick Cumbria

Thornthwaite Gallery, Cumbria.

Coach House Gallery, Brantwood, Coniston, Cumbria.


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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