Sunday, November 14, 2010


I was delighted to be accepted to Potfest in the Park , a three day international ceramics fair in the Lake District of England.  It takes place at Hutton-in-the-Forest, a 15th century English estate. It was absolutely lovely. Over 100 ceramic artists from Europe, Australia, the UK and America ( that would be me!)  set up in massive white tents on the rolling green lawns in front of the castle.

Below are some pictures of setting up:

Will, holding down the fort

Unloading in the rain

David and Wendy plotting out the wall installation

Most artists camp at a nearby campground

Dave setting up the tents

Dinner at the campground kitchen yurt

My booth

Wendy's booth

Margaret Frith 

One of the things I loved about this fair was the sense of community. Courtesy umbrellas- at a fair that draws thousands! And all were returned.

There was also a remarkable sense of community amongst the artists. Chris and Geoff Cox, the organizers of the show, go to great lengths to foster this sense of community. One of the greatly anticipated events every year is the cup exchange amongst the makers. The third one from the left is mine. The first cup that I ever made. We all stood in a circle and passed around the cups in a giant game of hot potato, except you get to keep the potato!  This was followed by a catered dinner for the artists with awards given out to the best in several categories.

The work by the other artists at the fair was a visual treat. Below are some of my favorites. To see more you can visit the official Potfest 2010 photo album HERE

Boat by Mark Smith

Mark Smith

Each ceramic piece by Mark Smith draws its inspiration from the sea, and each piece has its own unique appearance and individual story to tell.

As he makes each piece its own narrative develops often revealing the tale of a journey or maritime adventure.

Objects discovered on the shoreline are incorporated and find themselves becoming part of the rich story.

Mark uses a variety of decorative techniques as his ideas continue to flow, moving on to create different avenues and new approaches.

Ships, boats, and wrecks are the main focus of the work which is made from clay that has the texture of metal and wood from objects that have been salvaged by Mark. The clay is press moulded and patched together to produce a variety of forms that look as though they have been weathered from long voyages and amazing adventures on the high seas.

Gayle Cherry, his lovely partner

Mark Smith

The Work of Craig Underhill. I loved his dreamy landscapes. 
They were so softly detailed and evocative of a distant place.

My favorite. Love the flock of birds taking flight.

Craig Underhill

Dave Binns on left chatting with Wayne Clark. I bought one of Wayne's lidded jars to hold tea.  

Sally and Alasdair Neil MacDonnel. One of the loveliest and most gifted couples you will ever meet. I am in love with their work and have long admired Sally's figures. When she wanted to do a trade I nearly did a cartwheel right then and there!
Below on the right is my figure. On the left is Wendy's.

Kathrin Najorka and Christophe Zange from Germany, 
and their gorgeous woodfired functional ware below

Chris Cox

Meri Wells figure

Life Size figures on the lawn, by Meri Wells

The Work of Paul Young

Paul Young was brought up in Clowne, Derbyshire.
His interest in slipware, particularly the large medieval jugs, early pew figures and the Eighteenth-century baking dishes, emerged from a series of lectures at College, and later was enchanted by the French rigid tile figures, epi des faitages. These influences can all be seen in his recent pieces alongside some Persian and Japanese inspiration.
He set up a workshop in Leicestershire producing electric and wood-fired earthenware. He was short-listed for the UK Trade Export Award at Origin, 2007.

Paul Young

Every year, the festival has a themed contest on the lawn. This year was "Shrines, Altars and Markers" Below are some of my favorite entries.

Shrine by Meri Wells

This garden bench by Jan Lewis-Eccleston was the first place winner, deservedly so. The procession of tiny flightless penguins bearing gifts to the giant, looming winged bird made everyone who saw it laugh out loud in delight.

My entry

The food tents. Best brie and chutney sandwiches EVER.

This artist collected kiln mistakes from many of the artists exhibiting at the fair and created this shrine to kiln disasters. Something all of us can relate to as ceramic artists!


  1. great post! wish i'd been there, the clay addict that i am!! the last photo of the shrine is terrific! too.

  2. Wat a wonderfull idea, must be great to be with so many talented clay artists, I wish I was there!

  3. Maravilhosos os trabalhos em cerâmica. Parabéns a todos.