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

More Things To Do in York when a Yorkshireman’s favourite price is on offer. Hutch List No. 5 for 2023, from The Press

Hannah Davies: Poetic monologues at York Explore Library in Pilot Theatre’s Monoliths for York Residents’ Festival

THE best things in life are not always free, but plenty are this weekend for York residents. Charles Hutchinson also highlights the best value in theatre, music, art and comedy.  

Event of the week: York Residents’ Festival 2023, today and tomorrow

ORGANISED by Make It York, York Residents’ Festival 2023 combines more than 100 attractions, events and offers this weekend. Historical attractions such as York Minster, Jorvik Viking Centre, Fairfax House, York Castle Museum, Barley Hall and The Guildhall will be opening their doors for free to residents.   

Further highlights include wizard golf at The Hole In Wand; free river cruises with City Cruises; chocolate tours at York’s Chocolate Story; behind-the-scenes tours of York Theatre Royal and a virtual reality experience with Pilot Theatre’s Monoliths, featuring poetic monologues on city, country and coastal northern landscapes by Hannah Davies, Carmen Marcus and Asma Elbadawi  at York Explore Library. Restaurants, cafés and shops are taking part too. For full details, go to: visityork.org/resfest.

Fat chance…to see Sofie Hagen in her Fat Jokes show at Theatre@41

Comedy gig of the week: Sofie Hagen: Fat Jokes, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, Tuesday, 8pm

EDINBURGH Fringe comedy award winner Sofie Hagen presents Fat Jokes, a storytelling show bursting with big jokes, fat punchlines and unforgettable moments. “Come as you are and enjoy an actual fat person at the top of her game,” says the Danish-born, London-based comedian’s publicity blurb. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

Travelogue of the week: Around The World In 80 Days, York Theatre Royal, Thursday, 2pm and 7.30pm; Friday, 7.30pm; Saturday, 2.30pm and 7.30pm

PRODUCERS Tilted Wig are teaming up with York Theatre Royal for a nationwide tour of Around The World In 80 Days in creative director Juliet Forster’s circus-themed version of Jules Verne’s story, first staged on York playing fields in 2021.

Original cast member Eddie Mann will be joined by Alex Phelps, Katriona Brown, Wilson Benedito and Genevieve Sabherwal, who each multi-role as the rag-tag band of travelling big-top performers embarks on a daring mission to recreate Phileas Fogg’s fictitious journey, interwoven with the true story of Nellie Bly’s globe-travelling deeds. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.

Anna Meredith: Genre-crossing composer and musician heading for The Crescent in Independent Venue Week. Picture: Gem Harris

Innovators of the week: Please Please You presents Rozi Plain and Mayshe-Mayshe, The Crescent, York, Tuesday, 7.30pm; Anna Meredith and Elsa Hewitt, The Crescent, York, Friday, 7.30pm

WINCHESTER singer-songwriter Rozi Plain showcases her fifth album, Prize, released on Memphis Industries on January 13. Highlights among its ten tracks include the blissful single Agreeing For Two, the synth explorations of Painted The Room and the woozy jazz inflections of Spot Thirteen.

Later in the week, in a special show for Independent Venue Week, The Crescent welcomes Anna Meredith MBE, the genre-crossing composer and producer whose work straddles contemporary classical, art pop, electronica and experimental rock. Guitar, drums, cello and tuba feature in her band. Box office:  thecrescentyork.com.

Liam Brennan’s Inspector Goole in An Inspector Calls, on tour at the Grand Opera House, York. Picture: Tristram Kenton

Political thriller returns: An Inspector Calls, Grand Opera House, York, February 7 to 11, 7.30pm nightly plus 2.30pm Wednesday and Thursday matinees

PREMIERED at the Theatre Royal in 1989, Stephen Daldry’s radical take on Yorkshireman J B Priestley’s thriller An Inspector Calls returns to York next month with tour regular Liam Brennan once more in the role of Inspector Goole.

Written at the end of the Second World War and set before the First, Priestley’s time play opens with the Birling family’s peaceful dinner party being shattered by the inspector’s call and subsequent investigations into the death of a young woman as the dangers of casual capitalism’s cruelty, complacency and hypocrisy are highlighted. Box office: atgtickets.com/york.

Leroy Virgil: Teaming up with York band The Black Skies at The Crescent

Country gig of the week: Hellbound Glory & The Black Skies, The Crescent, York, February 7, 7.30pm

RENO resident and Hellbound Glory main man Leroy Virgil has single-handedly invented an outlaw country music sub-genre he affectionately calls “Scumbag Country”.

His stories from the seedy underbelly of the place he calls home in sunny Nevada are full of character observations and introspection, set to a soundtrack of folk and blues-laced Americana. His York gig will be one of only three on his debut British tour to promote latest long player The Immortal Hellbound Glory: Nobody Knows You.

Young York alt/rock band The Black Skies will be his backing band as well as playing their own set at this double bill of whisky-drenched, low-slung country and rock’n’roll from the American mid-west and Yorkshire. Box office: thecrescentyork.com.

The poster for York Ceramics Fair 2023

Going potty for pottery: York Ceramics Fair, York Racecourse, March 4, 10am to 5pm, and March 5, 10am to 4pm

AFTER a short break to find a new venue, York Ceramics Fair makes a March return indoors at York Racecourse for a fourth instalment with an “impressive line-up of ceramicists”, complemented by activities, events, talks and more besides.

A free shuttle bus will be running between York Racecourse, on Kavesmire Road, and the Memorial Gardens Coach Park, in Station Road, York. Tickets: via Eventbrite at yorkceramicsfair.com/ticket-info.

Nik Briggs: Directing York Stage in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie: Teen Edition

Looking ahead: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Teen Edition, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, May 29 to June 3

YORK Stage will be holding the first round of auditions for the Teen Edition of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie today, seeking black, Asian and mixed-race performers aged 13-19 to fulfil Nik Briggs’s company’s commitment to represent the diverse community of Sheffield, the show’s setting, through his casting. A second audition day follows on February 4.

Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae’s coming-of-age musical follows the true-life story of 16-year-old Sheffield schoolboy Jamie Campbell as he overcomes prejudice and bullying to step out of the darkness to become a drag queen. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.

York Ceramics Fair confirms 2023 return for March 4 and 5 event at York Racecourse

AFTER a short break to find a new venue, York Ceramics Fair will  return on March 4 and 5 indoors at York Racecourse.

The springtime show promises an “impressive line-up of ceramicists for this fourth instalment of the popular fair”, complemented by new public engagement activities, events, talks and more besides.

“This event will offer something for all,” says publicist Lotte Inch, the York curator and arts consultant, who is one of the fair’s planners. “Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just want to explore anew the wonderful world of ceramics and pots, why not drop in and support this fantastic event and all the talented makers involved in the show?”

A free shuttle bus will run between York Racecourse, on Kavesmire Road, and the Memorial Gardens Coach Park, in Station Road, York. Opening hours will be 10am to 5pm, March 4, and 10am to 4pm, March 5.

Tickets are priced from £6.13 on Eventbrite: https://www.yorkceramicsfair.com/ticket-info/