THIS year was the second successful three-day Ceramics Festival held at Stoke-on-Trent in October, which is maybe surprising for a place which owes its very existence to pottery and is regarded by many, most particularly Paul Atterbury, the festival patron, as “the ceramics centre of the Western world”.
As well as Paul Atterbury, the Antiques Roadshow was well represented at the festival with Henry Sandon and Eric Knowles in attendance. Highlights included a Celebrity Throwing event and the Ceramic Arts Fair at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery which showed the work of studio ceramic artists from around the region.
As one of the few commercial manufacturers in the area still making hand-turned and decorated pieces, Moorcroft opened its doors to visitors who brought in their Moorcroft pieces for Eric Knowles to value. The Gladstone Potteries Museum, often used as a set for period film and TV dramas, held Raku firing sessions and a brick sculpture event.
Sam Riley of Stoke-on-Trent Tourism was well pleased with the event, saying that there were more than 5000 additional visitors to the city over the festival weekend. Next year's ceramic festival date is October 5 to 7.
BY JOAN PORTER