Sculptor and artist dies

Lionel and Rewa on their 60th wedding anniversary in 2004
Lionel and Rewa on their 60th wedding anniversary in 2004

A PROLIFIC sculptor and artist, who made fine ceramic figures and produced extensive watercolour paintings, has died.

Lionel Miller, who lived in Bramble Way, Fairlight, passed away aged 87.

He became known in the area for his collection of watercolour, acrylic, pen and ink and oil paintings, as well as his ceramic figures.

Mr Miller and his wife Rewa moved to the village in 1985 from Sutton at Hone, near Swanley, Kent.

While in Swanley the couple started their own ceramic and art business, called Liomware, following the end of his company, Deelux Displays.

Mr Miller’s figures and paintings are well-known to locals, particularly in Fairlight, where his artwork was continuously on show in the Crossways Restaurant and at a display in Hastings Museum and Art Gallery. Many of his clay figures represented times past or family members of clients depicting all trades. His wife, who died in 2009, was also highly involved, her potter’s wheel producing equally attractive ware.

Mr Miller’s son-in-law, Keith Jellicoe, said: “Lionel’s clay technique demonstrations at many fayres, fetes and exhibitions in Hastings, Bexhill and Eastbourne brought about most sales and commissions, often to be sent all over the UK and abroad.

“His paintings depict rural scenes of Sussex, including Fairlight Cove, Winchelsea, Rye and Battle. Many are of clients’ homes and land and seascapes with, of course, Hastings fishing boats. Although Lionel and Rewa effectively retired from their ceramics in 2002 their artistic talents remained. Their previous interest and Lionel’s involvement in motor racing, as a marshal at Brands Hatch, resurrected their huge Scalextric circuit, proving a must for all, including four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren alike.”

Mr Jellicoe said his father-in-law had become unwell at Christmas and spent the last three months at Cedarwood Care Home, near Battle.

Mr Miller’s funeral was held last Tuesday (May 8) at Hastings Crematorium.

His daughter, Vivienne Jellicoe, lives in Fairlight, and is a former Mayfair hair stylist. His son, Gregory, lives in New York and is chief colourist for Vidal Sassoon.