Welcome - This is a Social Enterprise Business It aims to help potters and ceramic artists to become better known, to sell their work, to fill their courses and to provide a window into this fantastic world of 3D art!

New Members

Work for Sale

Ceramics by Prue Cooper at Studiopottery.co.uk

Prue Cooper

Ceramics by Janet Halligan at Studiopottery.co.uk

Janet Halligan

Upcoming events

Emily-Kriste Wilcox with Guild Crafts Cheltenham at Gardens Gallery 4th - 13th October 2019 New work from Emily-Kriste Wilcox
Keramisto Ceramics Fair in Holland at Keramisto 21st - 22nd September 2019 Major Pottery Fair in Holland about a 100 leading ceramists from Europe show new work.
Decorex 2019 at Olympia 6th - 9th October 2019 Offering a showcase of the very latest in high-end design, an exceptional speaking programme and highly anticipated curated exhibitions
Makers in Clay - Stephen Murfitt at Babylon Gallery 24th September to 13th October, 2019 Anglian Potters selected members exhibition

Recently added Courses

Regular Pottery Courses by Suleyman Saba - 29th January to 31st December, 2018
Students will learn about preparing clay and different techniques of ceramics from pinch pots and coiled pottery, to slab building and throwing. Students are also guided on aspects of decoration and glazing. 
Lindy Barletta weekday Courses in East Sheen - 1st January to 31st December, 2018
Studio Pottery Making techniques: A terms course covers a project in each - pinching, coiling, slab building and throwing.

Archive for June, 2012

Art in Clay Hatfield Pottery & Ceramics Festival : 6th 7th 8th July 2012

 An exceptional display of ceramics and pottery at this three-day out-door event in marquees in the beautiful parklands of Hatfield House. You will be able to meet makers from across Europe at over 180 stands, chat about their work and purchase some of the most imaginative and creative work made in clay.

There will be something for the collector; established potters will be exhibiting at the show, Robin Welch, Mary Rich and Svend Bayer just some of the names you might recognise. Alongside these will be newcomers and graduates showing for the first time at Art in Clay.

Art in Clay is also an entertaining family day out with two areas where young and old can show
their creative side; the Throw-a-Pot and the Make and Take, both suitable for everyone over 4 years old to have a go. In the Throw-a- Pot marquee an experienced thrower will help you to throw your very own pot to take home with you and in the Make and Take area there will be helpers available to inspire you to mold or sculpt your own creation. There are also lovely walks around the grounds and a children’s play area a short walk from the marquees.

On the 1st of June, Ridley Scott’s new science fiction film “Prometheus”‘ came to cinemas throughout the UK, and will shortly be launched worldwide. Rob Sollis spent four months in 2011 working at Pinewood Studios making large-scale ceramics that play a major part of the plot in the movie.

On the 6th 7th 8th July, Rob will be exhibiting at the ‘Art in Clay’ show at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, where he will be demonstrating the making and “Raku” firing techniques he used to create the unique ceramics for the Prometheus movie. Rob will also be exhibiting a new body of work created over the last 12 months.

There really is something for everyone, including a full program of talks and
demonstrations for those interested in the technical side of ceramics, and ongoing demonstrations within the marquees. You will be fascinated by the amazing skills on show and the variety of work on display, from garden pots to domestic-ware, life size sculptures and some very original Art in Clay.

There are a number of awards given at the show, presented on Saturday as the show closes at around 5.30pm; you are welcome to stay for the awards.

Hatfield House is easily accessible. The train station from London is directly opposite the main gates and by road it’s just 10 minutes from Junction 4 of the A1; there is free parking on site.

Address: Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, AL9 5NQ

Opening Times: Friday & Saturday 10am – 5.30pm., Sunday 10am – 5pm

Admission Prices: Adult £8.50 Two-Day Ticket £15 Three-Day Ticket £22.50 Concession £8 Concession Two-Day Ticket £14 Concession Three-Day Ticket £21 Child 15yrs and under FREE

Tickets can be purchased in advance from the St Albans Tourist Information Office Tel: 01727 864511, or you can pay on the day at the entrance.

See special offer 2 for 1 tickets

At in Clay: 6-8 July 2012. 2 for 1 ticket offer

This year the 2-4-1 Admission is valid for all three days. Please take a copy of this page with you to qualify for this special offer. We’re happy for you to distribute this offer to friends and family, please copy for anyone you think would like to come to the show.

2-4-1 Tickets are also available if you pre–book at either St Albans Tourist Information Office (Tel: 01727 864511) or with Art in clay directly, (Quote: Studiopottery)

Contact details below.

Andy & Di McInnes, Art in Clay, 9 Ivy Grove, Carlton, Nottingham, NG4 1RG

Tel: 0115 987 3966 or Email to: info@artinclay.co.uk

The Benefits of Greater Co-operation within the UK Studio Pottery Sector

21 Jun 2012

This article is a synopsis of the paper written by Dr Ian Jackson and Dr Phil Tomlinson. The full paper is copyright, but copies can be obtained from the author for personal use and research. I think this paper merits considerable further discussion and i would welcome comments to me at Studiopottery.co.uk, via the blog, which I will be happy to publish to aid further discussion – Stephen Dee, Editor.

The Benefits of Greater Co-operation within the UK Studio Pottery Sector

In recent years, there has been plenty of business research into the potential benefits of co-operative ties (with suppliers and customers, for instance) for firm performance. Much of this research has tended to explore co-operative ties within large manufacturing industries and/or also within service sectors. The conclusions have tended to suggest that closer ties can improve a firm’s profits and possibly innovative performance. However, what is true for large scale manufacturing may also hold true for smaller craft based industries, such as studio pottery. For instance, co-operation with suppliers over the use of different clays and glazes can often enhance ceramicists’ levels of product improvement and variation in artistic design. Similarly, exhibitions and trade fairs provide opportunities for fellow ceramicists to meet, network and draw ideas and inspiration from one another (and also with customers), while also opening up new marketing outlets. Such networks can enhance a creative atmosphere, from which new ideas and inspirations can emerge.

In order to investigate these possibilities, a few years ago (late 2007, in fact), Dr Ian Jackson (from Staffordshire University Business School) and myself conducted a small survey of the 203 UK based ceramicists, who were then listed on the UK Studio Pottery web-site. The survey asked questions about the various networks studio potters were engaged in and the extent to which they co-operated with suppliers and buyers (known in technical terms as vertical co-operation) and also with other studio potters (known as horizontal co-operation). We also asked them about non-business related activities, such as the importance of leisure time to take account of vocational aspects of the business. To measure these variables, we asked respondents to rank their degree of co-operation (with suppliers, buyers and other studio potters) on a 5 point Likert scale, over a range of business (and non-business) activities. In total, we received 57 completed questionnaires, which represented a 28% response rate (this is slightly above the norm for questionnaire response rates). We also conducted an in-depth telephone interview with Stephen Dee, the founder of the Studio Pottery website. Stephen provided us with invaluable background information about the nature of the studio pottery network, the artistic and business environment and the importance of business education within the sector.

The survey provided us with some very useful empirical data. We were particularly interested in the importance of co-operation within the sector and how it might affect the performance of studio potters. Measuring performance in the arts, however, is extremely difficult. For instance, how do we measure ‘creativity’? As studio potters, you will quite rightly point out that art has an inherent, ‘intrinsic’ value and this is often difficult to capture in monetary terms. In addition, within the sector, there exist studio potters who produce a range of (possibly) small and very different artistic outputs, while there are also those who specialise in producing ‘bespoke items’, specifically made to order. How can one differentiate between the degree(s) of creativity embodied in each of these very different types of output? Moreover, some studio potters see their business primarily as a vocation and put less emphasis upon reaching certain so-called business targets. How do we account for this, in comparing different business performances?

I hope that you will forgive us, in that being economists, we took a rather crude approach to the ‘creativity’ measurement problem. We reasoned that while studio potters may have very different objectives, they would still have an eye on increasing their turnover. This would help them to sustain their livelihood and their craft. Using a Logit (probability) regression model, we thus sought to assess the effect of co-operation upon the sales revenue performance of studio potters. In doing so, we also controlled for leisure time (to account for those with more vocational objectives) and other key variables such as experience and the competitive environment.

The results were very interesting. We found that co-operation at all levels increased sales revenue growth. Our estimates suggested that, for instance, if studio potters increased their degree of co-operation with suppliers and buyers from, say a ‘low level’ to even a ‘medium level’, then he/she is 17% more likely to achieve higher sales revenue. Similarly, if studio potters raise their degree of co-operation with fellow potters (say from ‘no co-operation’ to a ‘low level’ of co-operation), the possibility of generating higher sales revenue increases by 18%. The mechanisms by which such results can be achieved are linked to the reasons discussed above – co-operation over clays, glazes, designs, marketing and general information sharing and discussions can all lead to ceramicists designing artistic products that are perceived to be of higher value in the consumer’s eye and may command a higher price, and/or a greater awareness of the ceramicist’s art.

However, despite the purported benefits that co-operation and network ties can bring to a studio potter’s business outlook, overall our survey data revealed a general lack of co-operation within the sector. According to our survey, possible reasons for this included a difficulty in finding suitable partners, a lack of trust and co-operative culture, communication barriers and a lack of public funding for such activities. One inherent barrier may be the fact that studio pottery is often ‘highly individualistic’, with the craft often practiced in isolation and does not lend itself to a high degree of social networking and firmer co-operative ties. 

In this regard, regional ceramics associations, craft fairs and web-based networks such as Studio Pottery potentially offer useful forums and opportunities for studio potters, their suppliers and customers to engage more openly about the artistic environment and the nature of the business environment. Given the potential benefits that closer co-operative networks can bring to the sector, this is something that could be explored further.

Dr Phil Tomlinson, is Lecturer in Business Economics, in the School of Management at the University of Bath.  This article is based upon published research entitled ‘The role of cooperation in a creative industry: the case of UK studio pottery’ in the International Review of Applied Economics, Vol.23, No.6, (Nov, 2009), 691-708.

Courses – Residential Courses, New category

I get various good ideas from the “30 Second Survey” which is shown at the top of the home page. Over time i try and incorporate the best of these in the website, subject to cost and resource, as ever. Recently I was asked to add a category to courses for “Residential Courses”.

This has been done and while there are not many courses shown at present, there are a few – UK and elsewhere, that may be of interest.  We always welcome more course listings, but unless submitted by a Selected Member, there is a small charge. Current  Residential Courses shown are:

Raku Pottery & Sculptural Ceramics Holiday Courses :: September 17, 2012 to September 21, 2012
These courses will appeal to potters and would-be potters who would like a chance to combine intensive studio work in a delightful setting with the opportunity to explore a particularly interesting area of southern France.
August Five Day Throwing Course :: July 30, 2012 to August 03, 2012
A five day course to students serious about improving their throwing and making skills.
Five day hands-on school with John Calver :: August 13, 2012 to August 17, 2012
A 5 day residential course run by John Calver.  He will be giving group and one to one tuition
Seth Cardew – learn from a Master! :: July 15, 2012 to July 21, 2012
Courses in Wheel Thrown Pottery is also titled “The Language of Shapes”
Seth Cardew – learn from a Master! :: October 14, 2012 to October 20, 2012

Courses in Wheel Thrown Pottery is also titled “The Language of Shapes” with an option of a second week.
Creative Pottery Holidays/Breaks with Sue Ramsay-Smith :: June 19, 2012 to September 30, 2012
Explore a variety of making and decorating techniques to create unique pottery or sculptural pieces fired in an electric kiln.

Ashraf & Sue Hanna – Rufford Craft Gallery 22-June- 15 July 2012

This is an exhibition that charts the development of their work over the last four years since their last exhibition at Rufford. Sue will be showing new work exploring the figure in the abstract and a series of wall panels inspired by the geometric symbols and rhythmic designs of the Kuba people of the Congo. Ashraf will be showing  a body of work that represents new directions after his time out to do an MA at the RCA as well as a select group of his original Raku work.

Exhibition opens at 10am Friday 22nd. Ashraf & Sue Hanna will be at the Gallery throughout the opening weekend.

MAKING IT : Studio Opportunities – Deadline: Wednesday 4th July 2012

MAKING IT : Studio Opportunities

Rent Free Studio for 1 Year!

Making Space has received an Arts Council England grant for MAKING IT, a craft project which aims to reveal the process and relationship between the craft of hand and mind, between object and word and through learning and making. MAKING IT aims to demonstrate that craft is the tool to investigate wider ideology, which is active, participatory and implicit in every day lives and in creative development.
MAKING IT is a collaborative project with Alice Kettle, the Centre for Real-World Learning at the University of Winchester and Hampshire County Council.

As the first part of this project, Making Space is offering two rent-free studios for one year valued at £2,400 per studio. Successful applicants will also receive £1,000 for materials to support research and development. The residencies are suitable for emerging makers who want to experiment or fuse different techniques with new materials; to be open to collaborations, gain from critical dialogue with other partners and reach new audiences. Selected makers will be expected to explore and address how their practice links to the key aims of the MAKING IT project.

For more information please download the application pack from
Website: www.makingspace.org
Email: admin@makingspace.org
or phone: +44 (0)23 92472491

A Japanese Passion: The Pottery of Edward Hughes











Edward Hughes 1953 – 2006

A monograph on the work of potter, Edward Hughes, long overdue, which includes essay, exhibition texts, transcript of an interview – in all 116 pages, lavishly illustrated by Stephanie Boydell, Shizuko Hughes and Alex McErlain.

Edward Hughes has for too long been overlooked, since his tragic death in 2006 and I, for one, am delighted to see this monograph published to give an insight into his life and work. For me, his pots are superb, the glaze, attention to detail – all shout out the quality and excellence of his work. A preview of this work is available as a pdf for those who would like to explore further, before purchasing.  Preview

Published: 5 June 2012

Available from: www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/3294415