Flux Gallery is a wonderful little oasis of calm in the centre of Bristol, owned by silversmith Sarah McCallum and managed by Sarah and ceramacist David Chilton. It has an array of beautifully curated work from new and established makers and is always a dependable destination if you're after a unique gift or something rather special to treat yourself.
Hi Sarah, thanks so much for agreeing to be interviewed for my Meet The Stockist feature. Can you start by giving us a little bit of background to you and when, how and why you set up Flux?
I’ve been a maker for nearly 20 years and a gallery owner for the best part of ten. Flux has been here about three years, as previously I was within a partnership. When complications arose with the lease, it caused me to rethink & re-evaluate and I decided it was time to go it alone.
When the premises heres came up it felt like serendipity, as the space was perfect for a gallery to show work by makers that inspired me and with a workshop downstairs for me to make my jewellery and teach others.
David Chilton Ceramics
How do you balance both being creatives yourselves with managing the gallery?
I think we bring a unique voice and perspective as makers, we understand what it’s like and try to make the experience of selling with Flux as positive as possilble. We like to mix new and established makers as it keeps things fresh.
It’s not always easy to juggle but we’re both glad we do as it’s one of the things I love about Bristol, the community of makers & artists and my neighbouring businesses within the Christmas Steps
What are you looking for when you're curating artists and makers for the gallery? Is a a certain aesthetic or more about things that you love yourself?
Our philosophy when selecting work is always to choose work that interests me visually & that I haven’t seen before, also in a way that is unexpected. It may be the use of a material such as Bronwen Gwillim’s recycled plastic to Jenny Llewellyn’s use of silicone (see pic above), both do something no one else does and it’s instantly recognisable as theirs.
Honesty & uniqueness are qualities that I value & want to share with others. I very much want to offer unique things for people who value the unexpected and appreciate the beauty of the handmade. Everything we sell is an example of the artist’s viewpoint combined with their skill, from Anja Lubach’s porcelain to Elin Horgan’s silver jewellery.
I feel that it’s important to support British craft as we are going through a real renaissance, we are literally spoilt for choice and this is something that I want to pass on to my customers, to be excited to see something unexpected & beautifully made.
What exhibitions/artists have you got coming up over the next few months that we should check out?
Stuart Low will be showing new paintings & glass inspired by the landscape. The show is called 'Space to Breathe’ and it's on throughout November & early December
You're located in a lovely part of Bristol with Colstons Yard and the Christmas Steps Arts Quarter nearby....any neighbours that you'd like to give a shout out to?!
I feel very lucky to be part of such a wonderfully creative community, Bristol is lucky in that it offers such a wealth of independent retailers. It’s one of the things I love about Bristol, the community of makers & artists & my neighbouring businesses within the Christmas Steps, particularly Ani Stafford-Townsend at Miliner’s Guild who does the most incredible hats & Alison at Ragtrade who combines fashion with sustainability by selling preloved clothes.