The Reef Cup: A Project with Ceramicist and Surfer Jake Boex
15 . 12 . 19
Like most workshops, ours is fuelled by hot drinks and enthusiasm. Buying some new mugs for the workshop could have been a quick and easy task; we could have gone to a supermarket and picked up a matching set for a pound or so a piece; we could have assembled a collection by visiting a few charity shops; or we could have ordered a set of tin camping mugs and had our logo etched into the enamel. But we make things by hand and wanted to support a maker. There are some incredibly talented ceramicists in Cornwall, but the standout to us, who immediately sprang to mind is Jake Boex. Jake is a former professional surfer turned ceramicist from Porthleven, who now throws beakers and bowls full time. His series “A Cup By The Sea” features a spiral of ground up rock from his local surfing reef, one of (if not THE) best surf breaks in the UK. Could we order some for the workshop here, but could we also work with Jake to create wooden handles for them with the same reef dust mixed into the glue bonding the layers of home-made plywood (from surfboard offcuts) together? Buying some new mugs could have been a quick and easy task, but not when there’s a story this strong to be explored. We made the handles, and with some of the special reef-dust plywood left over, we cut out and foiled some fins. In for a penny, in for a pound, as the saying goes. We’ve now got a set of beautiful and totally unique mugs in the workshop, and a friendship with an amazing maker, and surfer.
Mid-way through the project, we sat down with Jake for a conversation about the importance of place, planet, materials and making, and how they all weave together in his work.