Charles Shackleton & Miranda Thomas
Charles and Miranda first met at the West Surrey College of Art and Design in England in 1978, but their partnership — in life and art — did not begin until five years later, when they both found themselves in Vermont working with the Irish glassblower Simon Pearce.
Inspired by their shared belief that artistic objects made by the skilled human hand have an inherent value and important life of their own, Charles and Miranda began ShackletonThomas in 1987. Their work is founded in a profound faith that the act of making a beautiful object is itself transformational and that handcrafted objects can bring the mystery and magic of humanity into everyday life.
Miranda Thomas was born in New York and raised in Italy, Australia, and England, where she completed her training with the master potters Michael Cardew and Alan Caiger-Smith.
She moved to Vermont in 1983, where she and her husband, the Irish furniture maker Charles Shackleton, run their combined workshops as ShackletonThomas. Miranda and Charles and their team of craftspeople share a passion for handwork, which they believe gives each piece character, soul, and life.
Miranda’s pottery, decorated with designs inspired by the magic of the natural world, is collected worldwide and has been given as official gifts by Presidents Clinton, Obama and Biden, the United Nations to dignitaries including UN Secretaries-General Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary of State Madeline Albright, and Popes John Paul II and Francis.
Charles Shackleton is a renowned Vermont furniture maker and designer who was born and grew up in Dublin, Ireland. Trained in the traditional styles of handmade furniture making, Charles has been recognized by the Vermont Senate as Vermont Woodworker of the Year, is one of the founding members of the Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers, serves as a judge for the National Crafts Competition in Ireland as part of the Royal Dublin Society, has written multiple articles for Fine Woodworking Magazine, and has designed for thousands of private individuals, including celebrities and dignitaries. He is also the founder of The Naked Table Project, which has been featured in The Boston Globe, Business Week, and The Irish Times, among others.
Charles is heavily influenced by his upbringing in Ireland, from his own Georgian home in Dublin to the cottages in the rolling hills in the West. He brings to his work a love for the natural world, given to him by his father, David Shackleton, one of Ireland’s most famous gardeners. He is also a relative of Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.