CELEBRATING CERAMICS IN FULL SWING @ WATERPERRY GARDENS

(A version of this article has been published on the London Potters – Magazine – October/November 2022 – Issue No. 211)

It was one of the hottest weekends of the summer in Britain. But nothing could have stopped a trip to one of the most important ceramic shows of the year. Celebrating Ceramics in full swing.

Lots of drinking water with me and energy. But mostly an inquisitive and open-minded approach. I spent a gorgeous day surrounded by ceramics: pots, vases, vessels, sculptures … And a fine selection of talented artists all set against the backdrop of the wonderful ground of Waterperry House and Gardens from the 15 to 17 of July 2022.

A perfect opportunity to meet, engage with and purchase from a wide range of contemporary ceramic artists, some of whom will be demonstrating on their stands together with lectures on a wide range of topics. The summer event – has been organised and presented by Craft in Focus, who have been staging contemporary mixed discipline craft events for over 20 years.

Amongst Celebrating Ceramics – this stunning collection of diverse makers from the world of contemporary ceramics – some of the contestants from The Great Pottery Throw Down series so visitors who have watched the TV programme saw some familiar faces and had a chance to chat and purchase work from the contestants.

Big tv celebrities’ names apart – a great number of artists showing at this stunning collection of diverse makers are members of our London Potters. Each one .. unique work … so inspiring by technique, style and voice. We collected some of their stories …knowing that this is just a small picture of a bigger one – a great way to ‘giving space’ to their voices, indeed.

Lise Herud Braten, get inspiration from her native Norway .. Her glazing technique is amazingly interesting: I am glazing and firing until I am completely happy and fully satisfied… Doesn’t matter how many firings are needed, Lise commented when I stopped by to admire her collection of vases and vessels.


And very interesting is Lise Herud Braten comments on her taking on the show:

“This was my third time at Celebrating Ceramics, and I really enjoyed it. It’s a well organised show with plenty of visitors. I find it really useful to do a show a few times, as people recognise you and some may only purchase once they’ve seen you a few times. It’s also good if you’re establishing a customer base in that area so that they can see you and your work in their part of the world.”

The trio behind Clay Evolution offered to visitors and buyers a very complementary range of ceramic and vessels from Helen Ridgway green glaze collection, and amazing range of colourful buttons … reminded me of Lucie Rie (see book review) and her work during early days in London when she was working at the Button Factory and later started on making her own ceramics buttons. Also interesting is Zelide Edgeceramics with her specificcolour and glaze..AndJanet White with her lava glaze pieces, contrasting with the sea and blue selections.

Full immersion with porcelain with Lindy Barletta’s work. Colourful lines and movement in her vases and pots… They bring us back somewhere holidaying, and the range of her creations offers a refreshing feeling, even more perfect on that hot summer day.

Great to share with our reader Lindy Barletta’s feedback on her experience – Lindy is also our chair at the London Potters: “I took part in Celebrating Ceramics along with 10 or so other London Potters and 140 more makers in Clay. There was a real buzz on Friday – my stand was opposite the Throw Down Potters – ‘them off the telly’ as a contemporary put it! They are such a popular draw, and it was good for us all. I had a successful show, lots of new customers and some returning, which is always pleasing. And a gallery came and swooped up 16 pieces. It’s still hard work, the lifting, setting up and breaking down. I was lucky to have a daughter with me as a helper. She bought from AJ Ceramics and was delighted with two purchases before AJ pretty much sold out! How amazing that must have felt. Super to meet so many lovely makers, I was next to Shelton Pottery, it was like being immersed in a ceramic encyclopaedia for the weekend – thank you Ken and Valerie for all the knowledge and advice. I’ve been a potter for 25 years and know nothing compared to those two. Everyone will remember the heat that weekend, but us potters are used to it. Thank you to Rob and the team at Craft in Focus – well organised show”.

While some of the LP members sadly couldn’t make it for this edition – I luckily managed to collect a few lines from Robyn Hardyman that I am sharing with you: “I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in Celebrating Ceramics again this year. It’s a well organised show, with good visitor numbers, and the layout of the marquees was much improved from last year. It’s expensive to have a stand, but for me it’s now been worthwhile financially twice, as well as all the benefits of meeting fellow potters and increasing awareness of my work.”

To keep the visit even more interesting, the event offered an amazing range of food, drinks, artisan coffee and music. We didn’t want to leave, really. See you next year. Same weekend – the organiser informed me just before we went to print.

More info:

https://www.celebratingceramics.co.uk

New dates at Waterperry: 14-16 July 2023

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