Pottery showtime

Some of Britain's best and most innovative potters have been selected to take part in Ceramic Art York. Sharon Dale reports.

Jenny Morten is showing new work at  Ceramic Art York
Jenny Morten is showing new work at Ceramic Art York

Interest in original, handmade ceramics has grown exponentially over the past decade and proof came earlier this year when the BBC announced it was filming a second series of The Great Pottery Throw Down,

Pottery’s answer to The Great British Bake Off has further widened the appeal of this art form, which is attracting attention from serious collectors and from the man and woman in the street, who want to invest in something special for their home.

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These converts have discovered that handmade pottery doesn’t just look and feel different from the mass produced… it has an energy all of its own.

James Oughtibridge of Holmfirth with one of his pots. Picture by Cristian Barnett courtesy of Ceramic Review magazine

Some of the very best examples will be on display at Ceramic Art York, a selling exhibition featuring the best contemporary potters from Britain, Europe and beyond.

The event, which runs from September 9-11, will showcase everything from functional and decorative homeware to large, sculptural pieces suitable for gardens.

It is a chance to meet some of the most talented makers, from those using traditional slab building to those who utilise the latest 3D printing techniques. Among them are Edinburgh’s Lara Scobie, who makes porcelain vessels with subtle graphic decorations inspired by Miro and Lucienne Day. Richard Phethean is travelling from Penzance to show his terracotta ceramics featuring abstract designs decorated using paper resist and slips.

A strong contingent of Yorkshire-based potters includes Holmfirth’s James Oughtibridge, who has captured the imagination of Hollywood. James was commissioned to create a series of ceramic sculptures for the latest Bond film, Spectre, where they can be seen in Madeleine Swann’s Austrian Alps apartment.

Ceramics by Edinburgh's Lara Scobie

Leeds-based Rebecca Appleby will be showing her ceramic sculptures, which are inspired by the unseen and abandoned fabric of contemporary urban structure and decay.

Anna Lambert, who has a studio and workshop in Crosshills, near Skipton, has a new selection of hand-built earthenware. Her work is highly collectable and her most recent pieces explore moors, woodlands and valleys bottoms.

Look out for Bridlington’s Jenny Morten, who trained at Central St. Martins and lived in California from 2003-2012, which is where she developed her method of working in fine porcelain

A ticket for the show also allows access to the Centre of Ceramic Art at York Art Gallery, which houses the UK’s largest and most impressive collection of studio pottery.

Leeds-based Rebecca Appleby specialises in contemporary ceramic sculptures

* Ceramic Art York is a Craft Potters Association event in partnership with York Museums Trust. Recognised as the most exciting contemporary showcase of ceramic art, with exhibitors drawn from the UK, Europe and worldwide, it is based at York Museum Gardens from September 9-11. There is a daily programme of talks, discussions, demonstrations and films. Tickets are £12 for a day ticket, concessions £10.

For details visit www.ceramicartyork.org, tel: 020 3137 0750.

James Oughtibridge of Holmfirth with one of his pots. Picture by Cristian Barnett courtesy of Ceramic Review magazine
Ceramics by Edinburgh's Lara Scobie
Leeds-based Rebecca Appleby specialises in contemporary ceramic sculptures