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Teaming up with top chef: Ceramics students at Bath College plate up their own meal

Ceramics students at Bath College teamed up to work with Michelin-trained chef Gordon Jones and create plates for his award-winning restaurant.

Gordon, of Menu Gordon Jones, was keen to find replacements for his quirky restaurant plates, which were made in Thailand.

A chance comment during a meal at his restaurant in Bath led to Love2learn ceramics students Gwyn Chanter and Julie Watt forging a deal – ‘you make the plates and I’ll supply the food’.

Gwyn and Julie took up the challenge and sourced an American glaze, which was food safe and matched the original colour of the plates.

They took advice from their tutor and mentor Julia Warin about shrinkage after firing and experimented with methods and materials.

Both students found it an exciting and educational challenge to take on, and a month later they presented the finished plates to Gordon and his manager and partner Amelia.

Having done this, they are looking forward to a meal from the tasting menu at Menu Gordon Jones in a couple of weeks’ time.

Julie, who has been studying ceramics as a Love2learn student for six years, said: “The original plates were hand-made, so we had to work out the size and how to achieve something similar.

“We made four plates to begin with, each with a small size difference, just to see the finished size after firing (so that we knew what we were working with).

“I enjoy making things at the college and it’s also about the people here. It’s a nice group of people- we all get inspired by The Great Pottery Throw Down when it’s on TV and try to replicate things.

“I enjoy thinking about decorative effects. When I first started, I thought it was all about making the pot, but there’s a world of decorative techniques out there and you learn quite a few over the years.”

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