By kind permission of David Whiting:
The Wardlow Mires Pottery and Food Festival is already in its seventh year! It feels like a fraction of that time ago when Geoff and Pat Fuller discussed with me their exciting idea of organising an annual, very personal showcase for good spirited pots to enrich and embellish our mealtimes, something they have been doing through their own work and famous pub for many years now.
The Fullers, thankfully, please themselves. This festival is not the result of committee policy or the dilution of easy inclusiveness. It is refreshingly selective and unashamedly autocratic, aesthetically a close reflection of the Fullers' own making and using ethos. So here we have a strong and cohesive range of traditional pots to peruse and take home and enjoy for many years to come.
This festival has proved interesting for a number of reasons, not only for its very personal and intimate nature (though it is now a sizeable event), but because this is the place to see much work not often found elsewhere. Famous names rub shoulders with the lesser known. There is new as well as more established talent. Here are the kind of useful objects that will never, mercifully, be bought for investment, but because people want pots to beautify their houses and their eating times, a fitting frame for hospitality and for living.
There is so much to enjoy, from Sue Blatherwick’s vibrantly painted dishes and tiles and Mariam Cullum’s softly formed porcelain to Ben Dodd’s slip-covered and Nuka-glazed cups and dishes, and James Hake’s fluidly poured and splashed decoration on equally fluid shapes. From the newly founded Knighton Mills Pottery is Ian Morrison’s clean, well-designed and balanced salt glaze, and Clay College in Stoke, a very important initiative only established last year, is showing its wares for the first time.
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