Derek Matthews

Derek Matthews is a Selected Member of the Craft Potters Association


A UK based freelance illustrator for more than forty years with clients from Tokyo to Toronto, he also illustrated a remarkably successful series of pop-up books with worldwide sales in excess of 13 million copies. 


Derek now devotes almost his entire creative output to hand building ceramics. His ceramics often have a narrative element that’s imagined, half remembered, carefully researched or commissioned.


“I tend to work on one piece at a time so my output is slow and low ”


Inspired by an interest in folk art, religious and tribal art along and a good dash of whimsy he allows other influences, including the physical nature of the clay and his background in illustration to enter the creative mix.


“I like the idea of my work having an underlying logic and an implied provenance. Artefacts or relics retrieved from a place that may…. or may not have existed”


He uses a variety of clays into which other fragments of additional material are added. He tends to avoid the use of glazes preferring to encourage these ”inclusions” plus the use of oxides and multiple firings add to the alchemy that often give his work a distressed or patinated surface.


 His works have found an appreciative audience in the UK and America and are now found in many private collections.

Derek Matthews



Derek Matthews

Peckham Rye: Blake's Vision


Derek Matthews

The Naming of Things


Derek Matthews



Derek Matthews

Bull and Bird


Derek Matthews

Bull Mask "Brutus"


Derek Matthews



Derek Matthews

A Thoughtful Sphinx


Derek Matthews

A Maquette for a Shrine to Mozart’s Pet Starling


Derek Matthews

Manifestation Box with Moon Face