Home/ Maak Foundation

Maak Foundation was founded in 2022 with the primary purpose of supporting and promoting studio ceramics. By providing grant funding for the dissemination of research resulting in the publication of books, literary material or non-commercial exhibitions with clear art-historical perspective dedicated to studio ceramics, the aim is to advance education and stimulate an ever wider appreciation and understanding of this specialist creative art form.

Funding is available to individuals and organisations through grants with applications open for submission two times per year.

Applicants can currently apply for a Dissemination Grant – where Funded Activities will relate to the costs incurred to disseminate completed research. Various forms of disseminations will be considered, whether through the publication of written materials, public non-commercial exhibition or other digital forms of dissemination.


Applications for the next round of funding will open for submission on 1 July 2024, and close on 31 July 2024.

For further information on funding priorities, eligibility and how to apply please review the Grant Applications guide below.

Grant Applications

Maak Foundation looks 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 the dissemination of quality research within an art historical context on important individual ceramic artists, groups of ceramic artists or broader artistic developments in British studio ceramics through the publication of written material either stand alone or in support of non-commercial exhibitions intended to provide educational opportunities to the general public. Other forms of distribution will also be considered.

Maak Foundation makes Grants of between £500 - £5,000, with submissions welcomed twice a year. The Trustees may choose to support multiple applications up to the total Funds available in any one application round.

To apply please review the Application Process below and submit the relevant completed application form.

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.

Applicants can apply for a Dissemination Grant – where Funded Activities will relate to the costs incurred to disseminate completed research, for example through the publication of written materials or public non-commercial exhibition or digital dissemination.

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

    • - Authors
    • - Publishers
    • - Institutions


Applications are usually only open to individuals or organisations based in the United Kingdom, however, the Charity Trustees will also consider proposals from individuals and organisations that are established outside the UK.

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 dissemination 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 exhibitions where they are strictly non-commercial. We would not normally support any commercial exhibition or event where works are offered for sale.

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.


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

All applications will be reviewed by the Trustees and successful applications notified within 45 days of the submission deadline.

Sign up to the Maak Foundation Mailing List

Keep up with our news and events by signing up to the Maak Foundation mailing list. 

By subscribing you are agreeing to Maak Foundation Privacy Policy You can unsubscribe from Maak Foundation emails at any time by clicking the 'Update Subscription Preferences' link in any of your emails.


Grant Beneficiaries 2024

William Morris Gallery, Exhibition ‘Mingei: Art Without Heroes'

23 March - 22 September 2024 | William Morris Gallery

Maak Foundation was delighted to support the William Morris Gallery with funding to licence five films from the Mingei Film Archive, including editing, subtitling and translation from Japanese. 

These films were shown as part of 'Mingei: Art Without Heroes' - an exhibition dedicated to Mingei, the influential folk-craft movement that developed in Japan in the 1920s and 1930s.

The exhibition runs from the 23 March - 22 September 2024 | Free entry

Read more here

Grant Beneficiaries 2023

Julian Stair : Memory, Material, Ceramics

Authors: Ashley Thorpe, Jago Cooper, Alun Graves

Published by Yale University Press | Release date: 28 May 2024

The first comprehensive account of the pioneering ceramic work of Julian Stair

"The most profound themes of human existence, contained in a simple pot: this is where Julian Stair is today. In this beautiful book, readers learn how he got here, with many wonders on the way. It is not just a terrific read, but an essential text for those interested in the integration of conceptual depth and material intelligence." - Glenn Adamson

"Julian Stair’s work has an unparalleled breadth of expression and depth of resonance. Here at last is the beautiful reflection of his lifelong commitment to the art of ceramics. It reveals an artist who renews our understanding of the vessel, who makes us look and think anew. This is a truly special book." - Edmund de Waal

"This book is a testament to the tremendous intelligence of the hand and the ways in which artists continue the legacies of spiritual belief, sculpture, labour and the power of the vessel – big and small – to intimate the truths of our humanity... Julian’s work is a daily, rigorous meditation on the histories of clay and the possibilities of human achievement through this humble material." - Theaster Gates

Order your copy here

Grant Beneficiaries 2022

The Pottery of John Ward

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.

Frances Robinson


Frances is a specialist in contemporary ceramics and has been part of the Maak Contemporary Ceramics team since 2018. 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.

Julian Miller


Julian is a partner of a City law firm working in financial services. He has served as a director of the Craft Potters Association and was one of the founding trustees of Clay College set up by Lisa Hammond MBE in 2017.  Julian has been interested in pots for many years and has an impressive collection of contemporary British studio ceramics.

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. 

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

© Maak London Ltd 2024