Arts Q&A: Ceramacist Adam Frew on Massive Attack, Indiana Jones and cookery books

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, ceramic artist Adam Frew

Potter Adam Frew's functional porcelain is inspired by cooking and the rural north coast landscape where he lives

1. When did you think about a career in art and what were your first steps into it?

Art was my best subject at school by far, so when I went to Castlereagh Tech it was an obvious choice to do A-level Art and Design. That’s where I first tried the potter’s wheel and fell in love with the process and material.

2. Best gigs you’ve been to?

The Five Corners Quintet at The Jazz Café, Camden was an amazing gig. Also, John Shuttleworth in the Black Box, Belfast – he's a very funny guy. My favourite art exhibition has to be by the Korean potter Lee Kang-hyo at the British Ceramics Biennale last year. He was decorating a massive pot to the rhythm of a heavy traditional Korean drum beat.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

Future Islands.

4. The record you'd take to a desert island?

I like a broad range of music, including jazz, dance, soul and electronic. I recently listened to Massive Attack’s Blue Lines and had forgotten what a good album it was – I’d definitely take it. It has a bit of reggae, soul and hip hop in there.

5. And the book?

How to Survive on a Desert Island (if such book exists), for obvious reasons.

6. Top three films?

The Hunter, Office Space and The Revenant.

7. Worst film you’ve seen?

Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, because the original three were my childhood favourites.

8. Favourite authors?

The only books I read are recipe books. I like Rick Stein and Theo Randall. Chad Robertson’s Tartine Bread book is great too.

9. Sport you most enjoy and top team?

Rugby: Ireland and Ulster are my teams.

10. Ideal holiday destination?

Anywhere on the Mediterranean – I love the food, culture and climate.

11. Pet hate?

People who slurp cereal (my wife).

12. What’s your favourite:

Dinner? A rich ragu, with fresh homemade pasta – preferably eaten in Italy.

Dessert? Pavlova.

Drink? Beer, preferably a local brew in a lovely English pub. Belfast’s Boundary Brewery beers are great too.

13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?

My wife Catherine Keenan – we met at an art exhibition.

14. Is there a God?


:: Adam Frew's new ceramics studio was part-funded by a Kickstarter crowd funding campaign. The grand opening will take place on August 18, Aghadowey, Coleraine, as part of August Craft Month. Flowerfield Arts Centre's curator Deborah Logan will perform the official opening at 12.30. To see samples of Adam's pottery visit For more information on the events happening across the north, visit

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