Our pottery journey

Learn about our story and meet the team behind the studio

Hristiyan Pavlov

Founder

I set up the pottery studio in 2018 at a very difficult point in my life – ceramics had become a means of escaping the world, a sanctuary, and it only made sense that instead of escaping I should create the environment that my heart was so desperately seeking and share it with others.

Fast forward to today, through the trials of world turmoil and the challenges of sustaining an independent art space, we have cultivated a thriving clay community of passionate students and a team of dedicated tutors, working pure pottery magic every day.

We have found a dreamy new home, nestled in the historic Jewellery Quarter, an area built on craft and industry, and we are proud to be part of Birmingham’s modern creative revival.

Our doors are always open to everyone – whether you’re looking for a new creative hobby or simply a safe space to have a conversation in; want to celebrate an occasion, organise a team building activity, or surprise with a memorable date night; need some advice or just want to talk all things pottery.

Libby Gillies

Tutor

Libby is the studio matriarch and the best way to describe her is ‘a warm embrace’.  A true northerner at heart, she approaches conversations with a candid honesty, infused with the kindness and tact only befitting a mother who has lovingly raised eight remarkable children. Join one of her pottery classes, and you’ll soon feel like a part of her welcoming family!

As a practising multi-media artist, Libby specialises in the intricacies of mould making and hand building. She employs glass and clay to create both sculptural pieces and functional pottery. Her art, marked by a playful and often humorous touch, prompts reflection on the dynamics of power and our roles within society.

Libby’s work frequently features in exhibitions around Birmingham and across the UK. Working alongside curators, she aims to connect with communities and explore heritage and feminist practices. Her work draws inspiration from experiences gained while raising a large family as they travelled across Europe and Asia, observing the lives and roles of women.

Abi Wright

Tutor

It wouldn’t surprises us to find Abi at the studio after working hours mending a pot for one of her class students – not often will you find a teacher so dedicated and caring. She always prepares meticulously and will guide you through even the most challenging of pottery projects.

Abi discovered her passion for ceramics as an artist in residence at King’s High School, where her first encounter with a potter’s wheel left her captivated. After completing her secondary school art teacher training, Abi eagerly embraced teaching pottery classes at the school, sharing her skills and passion with others.

Beyond the classroom, Abi runs an online shop featuring her latest creations and bespoke commissions. Her signature style shines through in her focus on simple shapes and forms, brought to life through layering glazes and a commitment to functionality.

She looks forward to guiding you though the many stages of creating pottery, from a humble ball of clay to a beautiful work of art.

Gavin Rogers

Tutor / Studio manager

To attempt to contain what Gavin does in a matter of words is a difficult task. Suffice it to say that he is the vital force that has kept us ticking when disaster strikes and without him the studio would likely be falling apart and getting flooded on a daily basis.

He is a multi-faceted creative who is driven by the idea rather than the material, and believes that we all have the ability to make things, entertain and experience art and culture.

Gavin has been teaching art and art therapy professionally for over 15 years at a number of schools, colleges and universities across the UK; and currently holds the title of Senior lecturer in Fine Art at the University of Wolverhampton.

He has been a part of Pavlov’s journey from its humble beginnings and has since become an excellent pottery instructor working with people of all ages in Birmingham and across the West Midlands.

Be warned though, when at the pottery, he likes to play a fusion of UK garage and soul music, especially when it is time to mop the floor.

Tahini

Non-Human Resources

Arguably, the most entertaining of our staff is Tahini – the studio parrot. She has poor work ethic and only appears at the studio on occasion when she pleases, but, due to good looks and charm, she gets away with it and is paid a healthy generous salary of love, fresh fruit, and only the finest Bulgarian sunflower seeds.

 

Kotryna Brazynskaite

Studio technician

Kat is a mixed media artist who was classically trained in drawing, etching, and printmaking. While getting her BA and MA degrees, she continued experimenting with paint, resin, jesmonite, and a variety of materials. The mixed techniques grew and developed from 2D imegery to 3D sculptures in porcelain and glass. Figurative pieces of natural human shapes have been exhibited at New Designers in London as well as Coventry and Vilnius.
Most of the themes she explores include human form and nature merging together that create imagery reminiscing of mythology and symbolism.

Currently, Kat is a tutor and a visual arts technician at Midlands Art Centre, where she teaches life drawing, illustration, and anatomical drawing. She also works at Pavlovs ceramics as a technician, helping the tutors and the studio to run as smoothly as possible.

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