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Maak Foundation was founded in 2022 with the primary purpose of supporting and promoting studio ceramics. By providing funding towards the publication of books dedicated to studio ceramics the aim is to stimulate an ever wider appreciation and understanding of this specialist creative art form.

Through a twice-yearly grant programme Maak Foundation provides funding for primary research that will result in the publication of books and literary material with clear art-historical perspective to advance the education and understanding of studio ceramics.

Applications for the next round of funding will open for submission on 2nd January 2023, and close on 31 January 2023. To apply please review the Grant Application guide below.

Grant Applications

Maak Foundation is keen to support activities that advance our objectives in an effective way. However, we recognise that a limited amount of funds is available to distribute each year and so our current funding priorities are:

- Funding research into important individual ceramic artists, groups of ceramic artists or broader artistic developments in studio ceramics for subsequent publication.

- Funding research for written material to support non-commercial exhibitions of studio ceramics intended to provide educational opportunities to the general public on studio ceramics.

Maak Foundation makes Grants of between £1,000 - £5,000, with submissions welcomed twice a year. 

Applications for the next round of funding will open for submission on 2nd January 2023, and close on 31 January. To apply please visit www.maakfoundation.org.uk and follow the application instructions on the website.

Awarded grants must be used to cover the costs that are directly connected to carrying out the agreed funded activities in line with our objectives and as outlined in a successful application.

Applications are welcomed from individuals and organisations including but not restricted to

  • - Authors
  • - Publishers
  • - Institutions

Our funding programme supports research in the field of studio ceramics and the dissemination of that research. All supported projects must result in some form of publication that will be available to the general public and have a clear art-historical perspective. Applications will be assessed according to their academic rigour, originality, and contribution to the understanding of studio ceramics. 

Applications will be considered for stand-alone publications in the form of long length books or catalogues on individual artists, groups of artists and artistic development, as well as exhibition catalogues where the associated exhibition is strictly non-commercial.

Publication projects should be be able to demonstrate a clear route to publication and preferably be ready to go to press within two years from the date the Grant is awarded.

Dates for the next round of applications will be announced here soon.

Applicants should complete the Grant Application form, available to download via the website or on request from info@maakfoundation.org.uk. Guidance to completing the Grant Application form is also available as is our Grant Making Policy.

All applications will be reviewed by the Trustees and successful applications notified within 30 days of the submission deadline.

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Grant Beneficiaries


Release Date: 3 October 2022

The Pottery of John Ward, by Emma Crichton-Miller with a foreword by John Ward. Published by Lund Humphries.

The first book to survey the life and work of one of Britain’s foremost studio potters.

'John Ward is a unique figure in the history of studio ceramics. This is the long awaited, insightful and beautiful monograph that illuminates the range and depth of his art. It will bring an even greater audience to appreciate his remarkable subtlety and strength.' – Edmund de Waal

Order your copy here


“I am very proud that the Maak Foundation has chosen to support the publication The Pottery of John Ward as its launch project. For projects of this type - labours of love, which can take years to realise - a generous intervention at the right moment can make all the difference. In particular, there is currently very little support for early research in the ceramics field. The Maak Foundation's visionary idea to step into this breach is timely, as public interest in the field grows. There is no book currently available about John Ward, and I am delighted that Maak has been able to support the Ward family and Lund Humphries in honouring this important potter.”

Emma Crichton-Miller, Author and Editor

Maak Foundation Friends

Support Maak Foundation by making a donation to help continue the funding of future publications on contemporary ceramics. Donations can be made via our Just Giving page.

Donate with JustGiving.

Chair & Trustees

Marijke Varrall-Jones


Marijke Varrall-Jones brings with her over 25 years of experience within the Fine Art industry. Founding Director of Maak Contemporary Ceramics, the auction house dedicated to handling the very best in British and International Contemporary Ceramics, Marijke is committed to developing the international market for studio ceramics at the highest level. With her expertise in the field, Marijke has been a consultant lecturer and invited to participate in panel discussion and exhibition selection committees in her capacity as ceramics specialist.

Dr Ashley Thorpe


Ashley Thorpe won the inaugural Ceramics Art+Perception Writing Prize in 2018 for his essay on the work of sculptural ceramicist Tessa Eastman. He subsequently published Contemporary British Ceramics: Beneath the Surface with The Crowood Press in 2021, which featured individual essays on 22 ceramicists. A second volume focusing on the work of 24 potters has just been completed and will be published in 2023 by the same publisher. A passionate collector of ceramics, he has been commissioned to write exhibition essays for Julian Stair and Anne-Laure Cano. He teaches Japanese and Chinese Drama at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he gained his PhD in 2004. 

Frances Robinson


Frances is a specialist in contemporary ceramics and has been part of the Maak Contemporary Ceramics team for just over 4 years. She brings with a her a broad knowledge of the auction and contemporary ceramics industry and has previously worked with a number of institutions and charitable organizations.

Jenny Clark


Jenny brings over 20 years experience in the commercial sector working across a number of charitable and sporting organisations. She started her career at IMG and went on to manage the sponsorship and marketing operations for Major League Baseball across Europe, followed by eight years at the Rugby Football Union as Head of Commercial Partnerships. Since leaving the RFU she has been Head of Partnerships at Henley Royal Regatta alongside commercial consultancy for governing bodies and charitable organisations.

Jenny is also a Trustee of Give It Your Max, a charity that uses tennis to improve the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable children across the UK and was on the Board of Trustees for Interactive, the strategic lead organisation for sport and physical activity for disabled people in London.

Press Release

Maak Foundation Launch | London, 2022: Maak is delighted to announce the launch of Maak Foundation, a charitable initiative with the primary purpose of supporting and promoting studio ceramics. By providing funding towards the publication of books dedicated to studio ceramics, the aim is to stimulate an ever wider appreciation and understanding of this specialist creative art form.

“Over the 20 or so years of specialising in studio ceramics I have actively expand my library at every opportunity. Yet studio ceramics is relatively underrepresented in art-historical literature terms. So many of our most important ceramic artists or developments in studio ceramics as a movement are only superficially referenced with only a handful afforded the accolade of comprehensive exploration. With Maak Foundation our hope is to provide much needed funding to authors, institutions and publishers looking to publish high quality books and literary materials on this subject, allowing many more people to build a deeper understanding and appreciation of the artistic contributions of these artists and craftspeople. Through supporting research, we can support the publication of books and public displays celebrating the very best ceramics. We are proud that Maak can be at the forefront for patronage and an advocate of expertise.”

Marijke Varrall-Jones | Chair of Maak Foundation

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