Tom and Vanessa ‘Cheeks’ Rooth are a brother and sister team. Tom creates the plates and designs, and oversees each stage of production, while Cheeks is the organiser who runs the logistics, and the online side of the business.
I’ve painted and drawn all my life, and love working in ceramics, which I find a very expressive and tactile medium. I particularly like making plates, as they look fantastic hanging on walls as pictures, as well as displayed on tables and shelves. They are also functional, and an integral part of a good meal - one of the best and most important things in life.
Sea creatures on ceramics are part of a long tradition, and were a particular favourite of the ancient Greeks and Romans. I see my artworks as being part of this heritage. They also spring from my awe and fascination for the ocean - and passion for seafood (although I’ve given up octopus!). I also work in oils on canvas, and in 2014 painted the Northcote Mural in Battersea, London.
I used to be a senior Art Specialist, Director and Head of Department at Christie's, and come from a family of artists. My great-grandfather was an artist-inventor, who (among other things) designed and built the first ever car-drawn caravan, and invented the 'step' that allows the bow of speed boats to lift off the water, to go faster. His paintings can be found in the Imperial War Museum, and you can watch him in action with one of his inventions here. His younger son (my grandfather) was also an artist, and at fifteen years old became one of the youngest ever entrants to the Royal Academy Art Schools. He later became the expert on the great British landscape painter, John Constable. My mum is also an accomplished artist.
I'm from the West Country, and moved to Edinburgh 17 years ago, from London, where I was working in the film industry. I spend my days juggling plates, my family, and a plethora of animals - but always manage to fit in a daily walk along one of our nearby beaches!