Hear from MAKE’s Head of Design about new brand Bert & Buoy…

No Comments | December 13,2017 | by Site Administrator

We’ve heard a lot about the new Bert & Buoy range… but have you been wondering why Keith selected Bert as a collaborative partner and how he decided on the mug shape and design? We’ve asked our Head of Design, Keith Brymer Jones, to tell us all the gossip as to why and how decisions were made…


Where and how did you meet Bert?

Bert and I originally met at the Spring edition of the Home trade show… he was actually directed straight to us by one of our major clients. After the initial meeting, I invited him down to my studio as I knew that he could be the one to work with!


There’s thousands of designers in England – why did you choose him and his nautical designs to work with?

Bert and Buoy has scalability and I am always looking for scalability! By that, I mean, a brand that can go forward into other areas not just ceramics. Also, the design and concept behind Bert and Buoy fits perfectly with MAKE International’s vision of the type of product that we want to sell.


What’s the best thing about working with Bert?

Simply put…his honesty! He has a unpretentious overview of brand, design, skill and a general realism of what is achievable.


You also live by the sea – is there any relationship there that attracted you?

Only that we both living by the sea! It’s ever changing and I, personally, find it very inspirational. Quite frankly, Bert has managed to capture the story of his brand in a contemporary way that doesn’t feel really obvious ‘seasidey’ – the designs are very clever.



How did you come up with the mug shape? Did it take a long time?

Well no, it didn’t take long to come up with the mug shape. The reason being that the design concept of the brand is so strong and well-presented it was relatively easy for me to produce something fitting. I thought of a pebble hence the body colour of the clay, the smooth shape and the unglazed base.


What’s the biggest difference between the new Bert and Buoy range and your KBJ Word Range?

Well…the clay body is strained with a pigment so unlike the super white of the Word Range the Bert and Buoy range is light grey. Also, the Bert and Buoy has an unglazed base instead of being all glazed, surface designs instead of a word stamp and the brand stamp on the side instead of the bottom. Still made from porcelain though!


Why did you choose to do the glaze like you did with the lower part uncovered?

There four reasons really…firstly, the fact that I wanted to use the Bert and Buoy logo stamp on the side of the mug as opposed to the bottom meant it would look better unglazed. Secondly, I wanted to show the light grey colour of the clay that emulates that of a pebble. Thirdly, it gives the mug a more original and contemporary feel. Lastly, since The Great Pottery Throw Down I have been really inspired to use more different textures in my work.


Why did you decide to put the Bert and Buoy stamp on the side of the mug not the bottom?

The Bert and Buoy brand logo is so distinctive and is very visually appealing with good proportions. Perhaps it plays into my dyslexia but to me it’s not just a logo but part of the design of the mug.


If you’ve got any questions for Keith or Bert about Bert & Buoy, himself or the new ceramics range then let us know 🙂