Student Catch up

As many of you reading this will know, one part of what we do is teach from our workshop. Since we moved to the “not so new anymore” workshop, we have been slowly developing our workshops and courses and have a really fantastic group of students making wonderful things on a regular basis.

We teach a number of different courses, from regular day and evening classes to specific decoration courses with Alice, throwing and also have started to host workshops featuring guest makers and experts. You can find out more about all this here, and also navigate further on to look at specific workshops.

We really enjoy having folks in the workshop. The ideas and energy that the classes generate is wonderful and it feels like we are all building a small but enthusiastic community of keen potters, which is fantastic. So we wanted to highlight some of the great work going on and “big up” the skills, ideas and inventiveness of all of the students. Here are a few, but by no means all of the wonderful pieces and makers working over the last few months. Apologies if I have missed you out, it is just what I have taken photos of recently (when I remember!)

Most of these are from the Day & Evening Classes we run on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In these images we have: Rossy handbulding a flower vase, Sue decorating her jug, Victoria’s wonderful wide bowl form, Alan and Dawn throwing with Amanda in the background and Caroline decorating some of her bowls.

From the top left: Casserole and Jug form by Laura and Tyrone, Sue, Sarah & Kathryn making, Rachel’s fantastic Minoan inspired sculpture and Kathryn’s completed handbuilt forms.

Finally, here’s a great picture of Alan and our chalk board on the workshop wall with some of pottery commandments we try to live by in the workshop.

Burton at Bideford Art Galley & Museum Environmental Commission. “Water Vessels – Sampling the Torridge”

16/12/23 – 2/3/24

In 2022, Roop was commissioned by the Burton to respond to the theme of the environment and climate change. The “Water Vessels – Sampling the Torridge” exhibition, is the culmination of the first stage of the project.

This project begins to tell a story about the geology, environment and ecology of River Torridge from its source in North West Devon to the estuarine mouth in Bideford. The story is told through a collection of ceramic vessels made and glazed from materials found in the water or by its banks.

The hot, dry summer of 2022 proved to be a tricky time to be sampling water from the river and so some of the initial ideas had to change in order to be able to collect some useable data.

The original idea was to use only water data, but timescale, resource and access issues meant that I began by mostly collecting material from the side of the river where I could more easily get permission to access the land for a short period.

Having collected material, I spent time in the workshop developing glazes and making forms inspired by my time walking and sampling. The show comprises of a combination of the final pieces made as a result of the exploration and also all of the tests and documentation of the exploration, sampling and experimentation that I did.

If you have a chance in the next month or so, do go and see the fantastic Louise Bourgois show that is in the main gallery and also take a chance to see this more locally inspired one too. For more background, check out a series of blog posts I wrote here.

October Making

In trying to cover what is happening in the workshop a bit more regularly , here are some images of some more recent handbuilding work going on. I am really enjoying handbuilding and am feeling that there are several strands of ideas progressing simutaneously. These ideas weave in and out of each other, having a fairly eclectic range of influences that often overlap.

An interest in Geology, time, scale and material. My roots, stories, folklore and myth. The act of making and letting things go. That’s enough to be going on with I think….

Most of these will be vessel forms or candleabra and will have a playful quality in them. A bit fanciful, baroque, naive, surreal maybe? They follow on from previous pieces which you can see on our instagram feed that sold at Ceramics in the City at the beginning of the month.

Lately, a very dear friend from the Isle of Skye came to visit and, as he is a keen sea swimmer, we spent the time exploring the coastline for sea swimming possibilities. Here are some images of Northcott Mouth, on the North Cornwall coast. There are some amazing examples of folded strata all along this coast right up to Hartland Quay and I have always loved the way the bedrock is weathered by the action of the sea into these rounded rows of teeth protruding from the sand. In some of the cliffs you can see the ripples of fossilised mud & sand, laid down over 100 million years ago. Just amazing.


The Great Charity Pot & Print Fair – Prize Draw – In aid of Refugee Support Devon

Saturday & Sunday, 5 & 6th March 2022 – 9.00am-5.00pm

The Great Charity Pot and Print Fair

We are delighted to be taking part in this amazing online show in which a host of fantastic potters and printmakers are seeling work in aid of charity.

We are hosting a prize draw to win a Tall Bulb Vase and all proceeds from the prize draw will go to our nominated charity, “Refugee Support Devon“. Click on the link below to see the pot and make a donation which will enter you into the prize draw.

Refugee Support Devon helps men, women and children who have been forced to flee from their homes in other parts of the world to find the protection they need, rebuild their lives in safety and dignity, and achieve their full potential.

As a local charity, independent of statutory agencies, we support
refugees and their families to ensure that they are given the protection
they need, are able to settle successfully in the local community, can
reach their full potential, rebuild their lives in safety and dignity
and be treated with respect and understanding, as equal members of

Each entry will place your name into the hat.

The Charity Prize Draw will close at 9pm on Wednesday 9th March. The winner will be picked at random by us on Friday 11th March 2022.

A couple of things to note before taking part –

Any donations big or small will be gratefully received.

Any donations must be placed without Gift Aid.

Please leave your contact details with your donation as anonymous donations cannot be entered into the hat.

Open to UK residents only (the prize can only be posted out to a UK address).

In order to comply with licensing laws this Prize Draw can be entered for free.

Thank you so much for your support.


25th-27th June.

It was so nice to be back at a show again after such a long time away. Apart from a chance to sell some pots, craft fairs are a chance to catch up with friends, be they customers or fellow potters and make new ones too. Potters are relatively solitary creatures and so in many ways the whole idea of a lockdown hasn’t seemed as different as it might have been, but it is still important and valuable to keep connections going and we have missed everyone, so it is lovely to have had the chance to be back out again.

This Potfest was at a new venue, Compton Verney, near Stratford upon Avon, in Warwickshire. It is a beautiful estate with parkland designed originally by Capability Brown and the tents being outside were in a splendid setting. The house is now an amazing gallery that has the space to host it’s own collection as well as touring shows. We can recommend the Folk Art display in particular.

The show was really successful, well attended and a real pleasure to be at. The timed ticketing seemed to work well and it was busy all weekend. If you bought pots from us or came to the stand to have a chat or a browse, thank you, it was so nice to see you.