The ceramics scene in the UK has never been stronger, here's our pick of the best exhibitions across the country if you're traveling there this year.
Handmade in Britain – Kew, London
Handmade in Britain are a brilliant organization that will be hosting their successful Handmade at Kew: The International Contemporary Craft Event. Taking place from 6th to 9th October at Kew’s Royal Botanic Gardens over 150 international makers will be exhibiting their wares. Some of the stalls will be set up in Decimus Burton’s iconic glasshouses and your ticket will gain you entry to the exhibitions and the gardens. Amongst the exhibitors will be the talented Martin Pearce and Pina Lavelli’s structural forms. It's not just Kew that Handmade in Britain will be holding exhibitions at either. From 28th to 30th October, Handmade will be showing in Scotland at Edinburgh's The Hub, showing ceramicists work from across the world. Later on, in the year from 11th to 13th November Handmade in Britain will be holding their annual celebration of contemporary crafts at London's Chelsea Town Hall. The show will have over 120 exhibitors selling their work.
Bedruthan Steps – Cornwall
China clay has been mined in Cornwall for over 250 years and the Royal Geographical Society say the British county has the largest deposits of clay in the world. It’s not surprising that Cornwall has a huge amount of excellent potters and ceramicists. Come and see their wares over at the Bedruthan Steps Hotel Christmas Market. Located near Newquay in North Cornwall, the fair will be set across three floors of the hotel, with spectacular views out to sea and Mawgan Porth beach. There’ll be over 50 stalls including homemade ceramics, local produce, and textiles. The event will take place on the 26th and 27th of November.
World of Wedgewood – Stoke-on-Trent
One of the most famous potteries in the UK the World of Wedgwood has got brilliant events running throughout the year from the IN: SHAPE exhibition, which is on until August 7th and located right opposite the UNESCO protected Wedgewood Museum to the Discover Wedgewood Bronze tours. When you’re there you’ll also get the opportunity to take one of their fantastic factory tours, where you can see the craftsmen at work, using techniques they have been perfecting for 250 years. On the tour, you’ll get to see many different types of ceramic production from casting to gilding. The tours take roughly an hour. Note that the factory tour will be closed from 29th August to 2nd September. They also have a famous tea room serving a traditional afternoon tea on fine Wedgewood china.
Ceramics in the City – Hoxton, London
Now in its 14th year, the Geffrye Museum will be hosting their annual Ceramics in the City pottery fair. Set in an 18th-century almshouse in east London’s Hoxton, the Geffrye Museum is a wonderful insight into exploring homes from the 1600s to today and looking at home life through the centuries. Ceramics in the City is taking place from 17th – 25th September 2016 as part of the London Design Festival with over 50 exhibitors including Ruth King, Ben Davies, Karen Bunting, Anna Whitehouse and more. Don’t miss Yuta Segawa’s miniatures. You can even take part yourself with the opportunity to paint a ceramic hanging decoration on Saturday 24th September from 2:30 – 4:30 pm.
Arts in Action
This year Arts in Action are celebrating 40 years of their July fair, which has seen visitor numbers grow from 14, 000 in its first year to over 25, 000. The event will run from 14th to 17th July in Waterperry Gardens in Oxfordshire and see over 400 musicians, potters, painters and sculptors taking part. There’s plenty of workshops for you to roll up your sleeves and get involved in, from hand building for all ages to slab building abstract vessels. For more intense tuition a series of ceramics teachers will be taking you through an in-depth round of pottery throwing.