The Aesthete: Peter Ting talks more personal taste

The ceramicist concludes his list of likes with Eva Hesse, acupuncture and Rex Harrison's knits

Peter Ting at home in London
Peter Ting at home in London | Image: Daniel Stier

My style icon is Rex Harrison. He has this knitwear and tweed jacket thing going, which intrigues me.

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Switzerland. I toured Lake Geneva for the first time this summer and fell in love with Montreux. We stayed just by the lake; the water was freezing but the views were breathtaking. 

Rex Harrison
Rex Harrison | Image: Getty Images

And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is a Blanc de Chine Buddha from Dehua by Chen Deqing, who was a sculptor of Guanyin (Bodhisattva) and Mao Statues at the No 1 State Porcelain Factory in Dehua, Fujian province. It turned out to be the last Guanyin statue he sculpted.

An object I would never part with is my mother’s jadeite ring. It’s a beautiful green stone and I wear it every so often to admire the colour and ponder why she never wore it herself.


The last meal that truly impressed me was cooked by Nadine Vischer Klein, co-founder of the Tresor Craft Fair, and her husband Hans-Heiner. We started with her vitello tonnato and finished with his raspberry ice cream. It was divine.

If I didn’t live in London, the city I would live in is Trieste, a place I’ve fallen slowly in love with. It’s not as intense as Milan or Rome, the history is interesting, the people are friendly and the food is simple and seasonal. I love Toso, for beautiful natural sponges and brushes; Essenze, for its interesting scents; and Caffè San Marco, a Fellini-esque café with yellow walls. Another favourite is Gelateria Zampolli, where you find clusters of people eating gelato late into the night, and the beautiful design store, Vud, owned by a couple who make wooden chopping boards and objects in the shop: I have yet to leave empty-handed. Caffè San Marco, Via Cesare Battisti 18 (+3904-0064 1724; Essenze, Piazza Sant’Antonio Nuovo 4 (+3933-8731 0211). Gelateria Zampolli, Via Ghega 10 (+3904-036 4868; Toso, Piazza San Giovanni 6 (+3904-063 6288). Vud, Via Diaz 15/a (+3904-0461 2452;

Blanc de Chine Buddha from Dehua by Chen Deqing
Blanc de Chine Buddha from Dehua by Chen Deqing | Image: Daniel Stier

In my fridge you’ll always find salted Brittany butter, avocado, prosecco and chilli sauce which I buy in bulk from Marcel & Sons in southeast London. This uncle and nephew team make the most beautiful Mauritian comfort food, and their chilli sauce is so popular that they decided to sell it separately. £2.50; The Artworks, Unit 18, Elephant Road, London SE17.

The person I rely on for wellbeing is my acupuncturist Giles Davies. His treatment combines the Five Element and traditional Chinese medicine approaches. I go five times a year for my seasonal adjustments. It works. From £45; The Barry Road Clinic, 15 Barry Road, London SE22 (07739-414 210;

Caffè San Marco, Trieste
Caffè San Marco, Trieste | Image: Alamy

The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Eva Hesse, who had a fascinating but, sadly, brief life. I first came across her work at an extraordinary exhibition at the Camden Arts Centre in 2009. I love how she experimented with alternative materials and the way the work is intimate and bold at the same time.

The best book I’ve read in the past year is Love in a Dark Time by Colm Tóibín. It gave me a fascinating insight into the lives of gay artists in the 19th and 20th centuries and made me appreciate that it was their steely determination and sacrifice that created a more accepting society.

Love in a Dark Time by Colm Tóibín
Love in a Dark Time by Colm Tóibín

My favourite room in my house is the “hippie den”. The apartment is open-plan, so it’s a zone rather than a room, with mattresses and an eclectic collection of cushions from around the world set against a gilded wall painted for us by my friend, the scenic artist Andrew Greenfield.

The last music I downloaded was nothing. I don’t play music and the house is silent. We just talk.


If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a baker. I love to make things by hand and baking combines accuracy with the opportunity to be creative. My staple is Waterford Irish soda bread, which, when I’m organised, I can get into the oven in eight minutes. 

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