Wednesday 25 March 2015

The end of an era

Anticipating something does not make it any easier to accept once it happens. I knew that Eleni Varnadaki would stop working sooner rather than later, but I was still shocked and upset when I got to the shop the other day and saw that the door was closed and the sign gone. She is 83 after all, and we all have to stop working at some stage, but it really was a shock. Her ceramics shop has been on Voukourestiou Street ever since I remember.

An inspired artist, who has forged new directions in ceramics in Greece, Vernadaki has never been interested in publicity or in 'selling' herself: in fact, if you google her name, all you will find are my posts. And yet, her work has consistently sold for I don't know how many years and she has a very dedicated and loyal following who are very appreciative of her work.

I went next door and was told that she has indeed stopped working even though her health is excellent. I was allowed in.

The shop is an office now that Ms Varnadaki uses, and the few ceramics that are left are for sale.

Very few pieces

Bowl and ball


Painting in the form of a platter


These bowls are her latest work, produced just before the summer - my favourites were the white ones with a dash of black inside, but those have all gone, and the only ones left are these, still lovely, white and black with a dash of red inside


Two black and white balls, and a small spinning top.

I have done quite a few posts on her shop over the years and you can see them here (the original shop), here , here and here .

Below are some of the pieces she has produced over the years:

The white bowls I mentioned earlier

and also in this vibrant blue

A lot of her work is very large in size - this piece is 2-3 feet high. Must be so difficult making and handling such large ceramics pieces

one of my favourites

variation on a theme

 and again.

Her teapots are legendary

A jug

A stack of plates

Isn't this vibrant blue, stunning?

Another vessel

Gold is another favourite material

A necklace

Oxidised silver broach.

Finally some of the pieces I own, most of them birthday presents from Ken:

Teapot: with a dash of silver on the right, and a dash of gold on the top

Teapot, which is a dark silver



White dove inspired by the minimalism of Cycladic art







  1. So sad for you. Were you able to buy one last piece?

    1. Last chance, so yes, I did buy one of the deep bowls, Olga - I would have loved one of the white ones, but the black is lovely too.

    2. Your collection Is especially stunning. I'm glad that you were able to add a final touch.

    3. Yes, I have to say, I am very pleased with my collection. They're all pieces I treasure.

  2. I mixed up some oxides this week onto porcelain sample tiles to see if I can get a satisfying deep black, be interesting to see how they come out. Your collection here is lovely.

    1. I remember the black I mixed Avril, and it was good, so you should be o.k., particularly as I think you have access to better materials than we did at the College. I look forward to seeing the results.