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 Mary Kershaw at Studiopottery.co.uk

Mary Kershaw

Ceramics by Bob Kershaw at Studiopottery.co.uk

Bob Kershaw

Upcoming events

Shades of Clay at Kunsthius Gallery 3rd November to 24th December, 2017 New work from Janet Halligan
Oxford Ceramics Fair 2017 at CPA Autumn Fair 28th - 29th October 2017 More than 60 of the UK's leading potters will be exhibiting and selling their ceramics at the Oxford Ceramics Fair 2017.
Winter Draws Nigh at Brook Street Pottery and Gallery 18th November to 6th January, 2018 Includes work by Jitka Palmer. private view on Saturday 18th November 11 am - 4 pm
Art Fusion - Stephen Murfitt ceramics at Babylon Gallery 25th October to 5th November, 2017 New work from Stephen Murfitt

Recently added Courses

Celia Allen - Animal Sculpture at West Dean - 22nd - 25th September 2017
Animal Sculpture
Adult Summer Pottery Course with Mohamed Hamid - 28th August to 1st September, 2017
Hand building, throwing and decorating techniques! (previous week Fully booked!)
Experimental Ceramic Workshop - Claire Ireland - 18th September to 20th November, 2017
This course will explore the use of clay in an experimental way 
Potters Wheel Courses and Workshops at Eastnor Pottery - 5th August to 2nd December, 2018
Escape to the country and spend a relaxing day or weekend learning how to make pottery on the potter's wheel.

Marshall Colman: Request for information on the Life of Dora Billington

I am writing a biography of Dora Billington and would be glad to hear from anyone who has any information about her or any of her work in their private collection.

Dora Billington (1890-1968) was one of the most influential people in British studio pottery, particularly because of the potters she taught at the Central School of Arts and Crafts. Among those who studied with her are Gordon Baldwin, Alan Caiger Smith, Nora Braden, Katherine Pleydell-Bouverie, Stella Crofts, Ray Finch, Quentin Bell, Kenneth Clark, Ann Wynn-Reeves, William Newland, Margaret Hine, Nicholas Vergette, James Tower, Ursula Mommens, Helen Pincombe, Gillian Lowndes, Tessa Fuchs and David Queensberry. She was at the Central for almost forty years but the most important period in terms of the impression she made on ceramics was the decade after the second world war, a period of great innovation when studio pottery was threatening to go stale. The new ceramists were taught by Dora Billington when she was in her sixties and, despite her age and old-fashioned appearance, she encouraged young people and was interested in new ideas.

She also contributed to ceramics and the crafts by writing. “The Art of the Potter” related the making of pottery to its historical and artistic context, and “The Technique of Pottery” was at the time the most thorough and well-informed account of ceramic technique for studio potters. She was active in the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society and was on its modernizing wing. She helped to set up the Crafts Centre, a gallery in the centre of London that eventually morphed into the Crafts Council and Contemporary Applied Arts.

Her importance is universally recognized but almost nothing has been written about her. The little that has been published depends on her books and articles and an interview she gave to her colleague John Farleigh for his book “The Creative Craftsman”. She had her own studio and won international prizes for her pottery but most of it is in private hands and is never seen. Her work for the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society is virtually forgotten. In some ways she is an enigma.

How could an influential artist, writer and teacher leave so little trace? The main reason, I think, is that she was a single woman. Although she lectured and published, she did not promote herself aggressively or turn her work into an ideology. There is no archive, no diary and little correspondence. She said that she was interested in pottery almost to the point of obsession but her main activity was teaching. She expressed herself through others; her legacy is in her students and she has left little of herself.

If you have any information, however, slight, do please email me. – Marshall Colman

Email: marshall@marshallcolman.plus.com

portrait-from-farliegh-copy2 V&A-2010ED0178

Dora Billington.  (Courtesy of Central St Martins School of Art)

Tobacco jar and cover, glazed earthenware, painted by Dora M. Billington, England, 1923. (Courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum)


Posted on September 17 2013 under News.