Are you a pottery fan? Then Potfest is a must go to show! There are 3 available across the UK: Potfest in the Park, Potfest Scotland, and Potfest in the Pens (which is the event I visited). Potfest is a fantastic pottery show allowing the public to meet a range of pottery makers and suppliers and it acts as a giant pottery market giving you the chance to not only view a range of items but also buy them.
Potfest in the Pens was held in Penrith on the edge of the Lake District giving you a great reason to get away for the weekend. This is the first time I’ve been to a ceramics show like this and it was fantastic to meet so many fellow UK potters. There were so many different UK pottery makers in attendance I was very glad the organizers had produced a handout listing everyone, you can also find a full list on the Potfest website: http://www.potfest.co.uk/our-potters/?pottertypes=pens-exhibitors
As well as viewing other peoples work you could also have a go at creating your own with a pottery throwing class available. This is a fantastic option for those who have considered taking a pottery course or go on a residential weekend course, but would like to try it out before committing.
Many of the exhibitors had submitted their work into an avian themed competition, these works were hugely impressive with incredible detail and varied styles, I found them to be highly inspirational.
As well as creators there were also suppliers in attendance, giving me a chance to catch up with Northern Kilns, who supplied my home kiln. I also had the chance to meet staff from Valentine Clays, my main clay supplier, who gave me a small sample pack of a clay I’ve not used before. I also picked up some tools which were far better priced at the show than I’ve seen online.
Meeting the Potfest in the Pens Potters
I’ve found the pottery community to be a very friendly one and that was true of everyone I met at the show. There were so many talented individuals.
- Website: www.sarahwaferceramics.com/
- Etsy Shop: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SarahWaferCeramics
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/sarah_wafer_ceramics/
Sarah was one of the first creators I spoke to. She has a BA in Glass and Ceramics and uses this to create lovely small items that have a marbled look using the bubble glazing technique. Sarah sells online and is currently attending events like Potfest to establish her profile. The work on display offered a cool blue palette and she also offers a ceramic transfer printing service.
Natalie, Upsy Daisy Crafts
- Website: www.upsydaisycraft.com/
- Etsy Shop: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/upsydaisycraft
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/upsydaisycraft/
I was drawn to Natalie’s work due to her source of inspiration: biscuits! Her work looked fantastic and I couldn’t help treat myself to a ceramic Jammie Dodger broach. I was very impressed with Natalie’s overall presentation, not only did her stall look brilliant she also has a great business card and website.
Amanda had entered her work into the competition and it was an item I voted for! When travelling round the show I was drawn to her area as her work is very similar to my own, beautiful porcelain earrings and decorations, there was lots to choose from!
- Website: https://catrionaarchibald.wordpress.com/
- Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CatrionaArchibald
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/catrionaarchibaldcrafts/
Catriona said she didn’t have to travel far, she’s local to Potfest in the Pens. Her ceramic vases caught my attention, being similar in style to some of my work. She uses brights and bold colours which were attention grabbing, and she had a lot of great advice to offer around selling online and at shows.