Potfest in the Pens

My photography skills are very lacking and lots of the pictures appear to be very shaky. Above is one of the fuddling cups that I made last week and below one of the money boxes. These pots are cutting it very fine to be ready in time for the exhibition.

I really enjoy Potfest, it’s a really friendly show and is easy to get to being relatively close to home for me and as I have done it for a few years now I have a group of customers who make the effort to visit each year so as to buy my work. It’s lovely having those people that have chosen to buy my pots again and again. I also got a lot of new customers this year which is always a good thing too. People travel from all over the place to visit, but some just stumble across it and pop in to see what’s happening. Chris and Geoff Cox whose baby it is were presented this weekend with the Mick Casson Memorial Award for their outstanding contribution to ceramics and very well deserved I believe it is too.
“In 1989 Geoff and Christine Cox exhibited at their first Continental potters’ market, the International Ceramics Festival in Eindhoven, Holland. Potters from all over Europe were exhibiting their work on market stalls in the city centre. It came as a revelation -potters of international repute were away from a gallery setting and selling their work in the heart of the community.
Inspired by the idea of potters and the public together on common ground they wanted to see something similar in the UK but soon realised that if it were to happen here,they would have to do it – and to put the event in the heart of their own farming community they decided on a large under cover cattle market as a venue.
Having struggled to get exposure for their own their work over the years they decided the event should be open entry, with no selection. In the spirit of fair play everyone would have the same opportunity, the same sized pitch (a cattle pen) with spaces allocated strictly on a first come first served basis.”
(taken from the Potfest website)

This is my stall first thing on the friday morning at Potfest in the Pens in Penrith this weekend. It is as it says on the tin, a festival of pots held in pens, cattle pens to be exact. It is a cattle market but gets a different clientele over this weekend fair. Each exhibitor gets a pen in which to set put their work in whatever way they see fit.

Here is Paul worrying that he may have to spend the whole weekend being surrounded by pots and potters as the weather was awful and he wanted to get out up the hills in the Lake District. He did manage Blencathra on the saturday and a few low land walks on the other two days but it was a very wet weekend. It’s a really good help having Paul around for the show as he is ‘happy’ to carry my boxes and cover the stand while I pop away for a wander and a natter.He’s pretty good at selling pots too though needs practise still on the neat wrapping up technique.

The one remaining square platter which received a lot of attention, possibly as it was so different. It found a new home before the end of the weekend.
The other thing that was different of course was the Clayopolis piece. I had quite a few comments about it, lots of people liked it. It did seem to confuse people though as one lady came to find me after having seen the smoke fired piece and looking very confused asked if I was Hannah McAndrew and whether I had made the smoke fired buildings in the hall, I said yes I was and yes I had to which she then asked “and you make this?” waving at my stand, I said yes again and her response was a very dejected and disappointed “oh”.
Some of the pots that came out of the kiln last week, the copper slip on the rim of this Oak Tree plate was really zingy, the photograph doesn’t tell the whole story.

This is the slight odd plate that I decorated the other week without having a complete plan when I started it. I was very pleased and a couple of people mentioned King Charles in a tree at Potfest, it does have that feel of a Toft tree and I think that that was what was playing in my head when I did the plate.

The three tea bowls all of which now have new homes. The gentleman who received my tea bowl in the mug swap was very pleased as he had decided that that was the one that he wanted and in the random raffle ticket draw that was the one he got.

This is Paul’s coiled tea bowl, it’s new owner Michelle Freemantle also appeared very pleased with her new acquisition.
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6 Responses to Potfest in the Pens

  1. Ron says:

    Hey, I don’t know how you managed to slip those fuddling cups. Cool money box. That’s funny about the lady looking for the smoke fired pots. I think customers can be very entertaining sometimes. Did you sell the tree dish with the head?

  2. Paul! What ever you do don’t ever get the wrapping up sorted (You’ll never get away again!) Lovely money box by the way.

  3. Hannah says:

    No I didn’t sell the head in tree plate but I think I’m going to send it to this medieval exhibition next week.

  4. Hannah says:

    Upside down and dunk Ron.

  5. paul jessop says:

    All this crap about a recession gets right up my nose, all it is, is that banks are only making 93 Million pounds profit instead of 193 Million !!!.Anyway the pots look great.

  6. Big Al says:

    Hannah, awesome work as always. Being a non-potter, I can empathize with the lady. Generally, non-potters expect pottery to be normal, glazed things that look nice, normal, and something you recognize (jar, mug, plate). When I first saw the smokey buildings I did not get it either. Art is always in the eye of the beholder but even more importantly in the eye of the artist. I love the buildings now that I’ve had a chance to think on them and understand how they were made, which was way cool. You have to admit, the differences between your awesome slipware and the smokey buildings is VERY striking! To someone who does not read your blog I can imagine they’d be confused at the differences. Keep up the great work on both styles!

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