York Ceramics Fair returns in ‘bigger and better’ space for 60 exhibitors at York Racecourse on March 4 and 5

York ceramicist Emily Stubbs: Taking part in the 2023 York Ceramics Fair, where she will demonstrate her skills in a 3.30pm session on March 5

FOR next weekend’s York Ceramics Fair, the Craft Potters Association has curated artworks from 60 prominent British ceramicists and potters, hailing from Cornwall to Scotland.

Returning after a short break, the 2023 fair – the fourth so far – will be held in a “bigger and better space” indoors at York Racecourse, Knavesmire Road, York, on March 4 and 5 from 10am to 5pm each day.

Among the Yorkshire makers will be Ruth King, Loretta Braganza and Emily Stubbs, from York, Katie Braida, from Scarborough, and Penny Withers, from Sheffield.

Anna Lambert: Exhibitor and York Ceramics Fair chair, at work in her studio. Picture: Ben Boswell, copyright of Craft Potters Association

York Ceramics Fair is selected and run by and for the makers, who aim to provide an affordable platform that nonetheless showcases the finest makers working in clay today, all seeking to attract seasoned collectors, enthusiasts and home ornament seekers alike.

From porcelain to earthenware, vivacious to tranquil, minimal to complex, abstract to realism, traditional pots to contemporary designs, these hand-crafted artefacts come in all forms, media, shapes and sizes. No commission is taken on sales in this chance to buy directly from the maker.

Anna Lambert, Keighley ceramicist and fair chair, says: “We’re very happy to welcome new and returning visitors and collectors to our new larger venue, with more than 60 selected potters and ceramic artists from across the UK.

RAMP creative collaborators Roop Johnstone and Alice Hartford: Demonstration at 1.30pm on March 4

“York Ceramics Fair outgrew its original home in the Hospitium [Museum Gardens], and after spending some time looking for the right space, we’re happy to say it will be hosted at the iconic York Racecourse. This bright and open venue ticks all the boxes, with a broad range of ceramic artwork at all prices, ease of access and plenty of space for exciting demos, activities and trade stands to browse. Plus for the first time we can offer parking to guests.”

The exhibitors will be: Kirsty Adams; Justine Allison; Julie Ayton; Dee Barnes; Natalie Bell; Steve Booton; Fiona Booy; Loretta Braganza; Katie Braida; Ben Brierley; Jane Cairns; Rebecca Callis; Roger Cockram; Johanne Coker; Dianne Cross; Anthony Dix; Dennis Farrell; Lesley Farrell; Doug Fitch; Miche Follano; Laura Gibbs; Sharon Griffin; James Hake; Jaroslav Hrustalenko; Ruth King; Anna Lambert; Tony Laverick; Roger Lewis and Francis Lloyd-Jones.

Taking part too are: Sophie MacArthy; Juliet Macleod; Hannah McAndrew; Colin Milnes; Sara Moorhouse; Jenny Morten; Eric Moss; Sue Mundy; Stephen Murfitt; Jeremy Nichols; Patrick O’Donohue; Simon Olley; Rachel Peters; Adela Powell; RAMP; Elizabeth Renton; Micaela Schoop; Yuta Segawa; Tokes Sharif; Emily Stubbs; Hiro Takahashi; Joanna Terry; Iona Crawford Topp; Carolyn Tripp; Shirley Vauvelle; Josie Walter; Paul Wearing; Andrea Welsh; Douglas White; Richard Wilson; Penny Withers and Rachel Wood.

Katie Braida: Demonstrating hand-building techniques at 11.30am on March 4

Over the weekend, in the centre of the fair space, informal demonstrations will be held by exhibitors, showing techniques important to their work. On Saturday, at 11.30am, Katie Braida will demonstrate the hand-building techniques she uses for creating her sculptural vessels, as well as how she refines and textures the forms.

At 1.30pm, the slip-decorated earthenware and porcelain-making collaboration of RAMP duo Alice Hartford and Roop Johnstone will work on making and decorating their taller forms to become lamp bases.

Alice will demonstrate her slip decorating techniques, painting thin layers of slip, application of paper stencils and scraffito work. Roop will demonstrate making taller forms on the wheel, using a combination of assembling separate forms and throwing large coils to build a form.

Steve Beeton: Demonstrating how to facet a large moon jar on March 5 at 11.30am

At 3.30pm, Lake District ceramicist James Hake will show how to make a square vase on the wheel. His stoneware is embellished with oriental glazes made using natural materials gathered from the Cumbrian landscape. The firing process creates fluid and dynamic surfaces that draw together his experiments with colour and texture.

Steve Booton will open the Sunday sessions in an 11.30am demonstration that will cover texture and faceting small pots and a large moon jar. At 1.30pm, Hannah McAndrew will show how she slip-trails a piece of flatware while discussing her slip trailers and the way she lays out her designs.

The demonstrations will conclude at 3.30pm with York ceramicist Emily Stubbs, who draws inspiration from her 2D paper collages and sketches. She will demonstrate how she translates these into clay, building up layer upon layer of slips and glazes, using various decorating techniques in clay, such as under-glazing, sgraffito, mono-printing and mark making.

York ceramicist Ruth King: Dedicated more than 40 years to the art and process of making ceramic vessels

Her finished vessels have a similar graphic quality to them, with bold colour, strong line and intuitive mark making. Make a note to visit Emily’s studio in Ambrose Street during the 2023 York Open Studios, open on April 15, 16, 22 and 23, from 10am to 5pm.

Throughout the York Ceramics Fair weekend, a free shuttle bus service will run every 40 minutes from the Memorial Gardens coach stand on Leeman Road, close to the railway station, from 9.30am each day.

Tickets cost £5, under 16s free, at eventbrite.co.uk/e/york-ceramics-fair-2023-tickets-474142331477. For a full list of exhibitors and further details, head to: yorkceramicsfair.com.

Loretta Braganza: York hand-built sculptural potter

New works by ceramicist Ben Arnup and Anita Klein are the headline acts in Pyramid Gallery’s Christmas Collection exhibition

The Christmas collection: York ceramicist Ben Arnup, left, and Pyramid Gallery owner Terry Brett with an Anita Klein linocut print behind them

YORK ceramicist Ben Arnup will open Pyramid Gallery’s concluding 40th anniversary exhibition, The Christmas Collection, in Stonegate, York, on Saturday at 12 noon.

Ben will be exhibiting 12 new pieces, having supplied gallery curator and owner Terry Brett with his distinctive trompe l’oeil’ ceramic sculptures for 28 years.

At the heart of The Christmas Collection will be new work by another Pyramid regular, London artist and printmaker Anita Klein. “I’ve invited Anita to fill the walls of this show with 15 large linocut original prints and two paintings,” says Terry.

“The gallery has enjoyed a long, unbroken relationship with Anita as a supplier of her extensive catalogue of prints that form a diary of her family life.

Angel With Gift, linocut print, by Anita Klein

“Over the 28 years in which she has shown more than 800 different pictures at Pyramid Gallery, we’ve watched her career progress to the point where she has become one of the most collectable printmakers in the UK. It seems very fitting that she is the main focus of this year’s final anniversary exhibition.”

As well as showing new linocut prints, Anita will be selling copies of her book Out Of The Ordinary – 40 years Of Print Making, published by Eames Fine Art in October.

For more than 40 years, this artist of the everyday and the personal has produced thousands of paintings, prints and drawings depicting her immediate family – husband, daughters, grandchildren and herself – going about the very ordinary activities of daily life.

From watching television, cooking, reading, driving to school, soaking in the bath and getting dressed, to cleaning the house, choosing a pet, going on holiday, or just cuddling up and sharing tender moments with loved ones, Anita captures these seemingly unremarkable domestic scenes with humour, sensitivity and beauty, creating an intimate visual journal with which everyone can identify. 

The book cover for Anita Klein’s Out Of The Ordinary, published in October and on sale at Pyramid Gallery

The book contains 550 of Anita’s best-loved prints, presented as a charming chronological record of the family’s day-to-day life through the decades, seen from the artist-mother’s perspective, as they grow and change in their respective roles within the household.

Out Of The Ordinary also charts her development as a printmaker, from the simple monochrome drypoints of the 1980s, a consequence of the practical and financial demands of being a young stay-at-home mum, through to the more colourful and elaborate prints of recent years.

A personal appreciation of Anita Klein’s work by poet Hollie McNish opens the volume, while texts by publishers Rebecca and Vincent Eames, who have collaborated with the artist for more than two decades, and critic Mel Gooding give an introduction to her practice.

Anita herself provides recollections and further detail with short commentaries on the images and the occasions that they depict, complemented by poetry contributions from Dame Carol Ann Duffy, Hollie McNish and Wendy Cope.

Pangolin, sculpture, by Jennie McCall, from The Christmas Collection at Pyramid Gallery

Taking part in the exhibition too will be sculptors Jennie McCall and Christine Pike; printmaker Mychael Barratt; slipware potter Dylan Bowen; ceramicists Katie Braida, Ilona Sulikova and Drew Caines (from Leeds); glass installation artist and sculptor Monette Larsen and glassmakers Rachel Elliott, Alison Vincent, Keith Cummings, Bruce Marks and David Reekie.

To complement with festive sparkle, the Christmas Collection jewellery displays will feature studio work by more than 50 British makers, including Jane Macintosh.

Saturday’s launch will run from 12 noon to 3pm; the exhibition will continue until January 12, open 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday; 11am to 4pm on Sundays.

The poster for The Christmas Collection exhibitiion at Pyramid Gallery