Paul Cummins is an international applied artist based in the Midlands. known for his distinctive landscape installations and traditional puncheons. His work features exuberant, flower glazes.

Paul Cummins - Artist

Stylistically, Paul’s signature flower heads and vessels are reminiscent of ceramics from the Mediterranean. Having originally studied environmental architecture, his work is informed by a detailed understanding for aesthetic form and holds a commanding visual authority. Paul is developing a reputation as an emerging voice and prized talent in the world of ceramic art.

Within the last three years Paul has been commissioned to create large-scale installations for the Devonshire’s Chatsworth House, Derby Royal Hospital, Alscot Estate, Blenheim Palace and the Conran Shop and other well-known institutions. The success of his most recent commission the English Flower Garden, part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements.

Lottery Funded Arts Council


Recent Posts

Flower exhibition and sale at Hardwick Hall

Flowers in front of Hardwick HallPaul Cummins would like to invite you to his latest event at Hardwick Hall.

This exhibition will include thousands of the ceramic flowers that Paul created for The English Flower Garden, as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. The pieces on display were installed at The Houses of Parliament, the Althorp Estate, The Secret Gardens of Sandwich, Chiswick House and Gardens, Castle Howard, Blenheim Palace and the Southbank Centre.

The exhibition will also feature some of his stunning new designs.

Everything will be available to purchase and 20% of profits will go to The Enterprise Link Project, which helps new businesses and promotes business growth in Derbyshire.

Exhibition Dates: 12th – 26th April
Venue: Hardwick Hall, Doe Lea, Chesterfield, S44 5QJ


Two exquisite sculptures for sale

Paul is delighted to announce that two sculptures will be for sale from 5 November.

Both pieces are staggering in their stature and elegance, with each boasting around 100 handmade roses.

They are currently in The Secret Gardens of Sandwich, situated in front of the Grade I-listed manor house, The Salutation, which was designed by famous English architect Sir Edwin Luty.

One of the sculptures at The Secret Gardens of Sandwich

Paul created the installations for his English Flower Garden series, which saw him spend two years making a total of 11,500 individually hand-thrown ceramic blooms mounted on metal structures to sit in English country house gardens. It is a celebration of the quintessential British love of flowers.

The sculptures can be bought separately, or as a pair, and are valued at around £20,000 each. To find out more about this unique opportunity to buy from one of Britain’s up-and-coming artists, please get in touch.

  • The sculptures stand at 10ft h x 10ft l x 5ft w, with around 100 roses on each. Frames made from copper and steel, and are suitable for an outdoor situation. Available to purchase after 5 November.

Sweet peas at the Althorp Estate

Here are a few pictures of the sweet peas at the Althorp Estate, home to the Spencer family. There are four pieces to see there, and they are ready to see now as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Each of the 5,000 sweet peas are handmade and glazed so they’re all unique.

Sweet peas have been chosen for the Althorp Estate because they have a close connection with the Spencer family. Although introduced to the UK in 1600 by the Sicilian monk, Father Francis Cupani, the modern sweet pea can be traced back to the Earl of Spencer’s gardens circa 1901, where it was bred and named Countess Spencer. It carries 4-5 blooms on each stem. Punnett and William Bateson used the sweet pea to form their ideas that fundamentally influenced the development of genetics.

Click on the images to get a closer look:

English Flower Garden Exhibition Opens

The final Friday of February saw Pauls English Flower Garden exhibition open in his home city of Derby.  With a packed year of shows as part of the Cultural Olympiad the event had the air of anticipation as the Derbyshire artist unveiled new sculpture for the first time.

The event was attended by people from across Britain as they took the opportunity to have a private preview of the works to come during 2012.  In attendance at the event were Rory Slater (Derbyshire 2012 Legacy Co-Ordinator), Paul Brookes, Saphia Smith (Assit Combined Arts, Arts Council England), John Coyne (Vice Chancellor, University of Derby), Sara Sanderson (Relationship Manager, Diversity in Arts Practice, Arts Council England) and Rosy Greenlees (Executive Director of the Crafts Council).

The project is part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. It has also been selected to be part of the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration from 21 June and running until 9 September 2012 bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK.

The Making Process

Paul uses traditional yet environment methods to create ceramic vessels and installations. This is reflected in  the way he creates and fires his work. Paul uses traditional once firing methods, which use less energy thus reduces the firing to 36 hours as opposed to 6 days.

In addition to this Paul create glazes using more environmentally friendly based material for example sourcing materials such as lead substitute as opposed to using lead.

The tulip heads are made in Terracotta clay. The artist kneeds a large wedge of raw clay weighing approximately 5 kilos. The wedge or ‘hump’, as it is known when placed onto the potter’s wheel, is thrown to form 3 or 4 flower heads in succession. Each head is cut from the hump and put aside to dry to leatherhard or green state, when it is ready to be sculpted into its final shape.

Paul carves each flower head using a potter’s pen, to achieve its individual form, using drawings, photographs and images as his inspiration (some from copies of the famous plates in The Temple of Flora that was originally produced on 1 May 1798, published by Thornton). Every flower head is different.

To achieve the lustrous glazes and rich colours Paul uses two firing methods. The first applies to the tulip head in its leatherhard state which is painted entirely with pale Maiolica tin glaze, after which colour details are applied by brush, and then the colour and pattern is fixed in a single firing.  The alternative process involves two firings: Initially the leatherhard tulip heads are placed in the kiln and fired to 950 degrees to become ‘biscuit’. When slightly warm (around 100 degrees) Paul paints the first opaque cream maiolica glaze, and once the heads are cool he adds the colours – oxides and stains – that achieve the vivid colours. The heads are kiln-fired again to a temperature of approximately 1100 degrees for 2 days and when the kiln is opened, it reveals the spectacular tulip heads.

Paul Cummins is a fine ceramic artist with a passion for hand building ceramic pieces. He draws on nature as his primary influence. Stylistically his work has been described as having an authentic Mediterranean feel which incorporates bright colour glazes and drawing directly onto the raw material (known as sgraffito).

He makes unique, one-off pieces as well as large scale ceramic installations and his work is gaining widespread, and international admiration.

Paul originally studied architecture, Then pursue his passion for ceramic craft – creating and making through clay. He graduated with prize winning work at the University of Derby.

Paul Cummins lives and works in Chesterfield Derbyshire. His studio reveals his interest in natural world where he surrounds himself with references to nature, drawing and painting from nature to inform his work.