About us

The Westcountry Potters Association

A voluntary organisation, WPA is a network linking people with a shared interest in clay, whether as makers or collectors at any level.

Following the retirement of Michael Gaitskell, we are delighted that Tim Andrews accepted the invitation to be our new Honorary President.

A Message from our Honorary President

Pottery is a great leveler. The pitfalls and technical problems it constantly throws at even the most experienced practitioners keeps egos at bay and binds us into a strong community of makers. Throughout my potting life I have been hugely grateful for the help, encouragement and patient advice given by mentors, colleagues and friends. Whether we are puzzling over strange glaze happenings or just offering a sympathetic ear when disaster strikes, the generosity of spirit of potters is striking.

It was at a conference of potters and enthusiasts many years ago that I first had a dot-joining moment of revelation that this muddy material we were all interested in could, with passion, care and integrity, be transformed into objects of importance and great beauty.

So I was delighted and humbled to be invited to become the Honourary President of the Westcountry Potters Association – a wonderfully active organisation that welcomes beginners, students, amateur and professional potters as well as collectors and indeed anyone passionate about clay.

An old Turkish proverb says ‘A cup of coffee commits one to forty years of friendship’. For potters a coffee cup can do the same.

—Tim Andrews



We aim to provide a stimulating and rewarding mix of events and exhibitions, together with an informative and lively newsletter.

Newsletter

Published six times a year, the newsletter includes articles, views and information likely to be of interest to potters in or near the south west. Reviews of recent demonstrations, workshop visits and exhibitions are combined with information about future events. It is a very useful vehicle for the exchange of ideas, and contributions from the membership are always welcome.

Events and activities

The association holds a variety of social and educational activities throughout the year. These include demonstrations, workshops and visits to potters’ studios, as well as museum and factory tours.

Recent events include:

  • demonstration days with Françoise Dufayard, David & Margaret Frith, Paul Young, Sasha Wardell, Tim Andrews, Alan Foxley
  • studio visits to Douglas Fitch, Ross Emerson, Claire Murray, Elizabeth Smith, Richard Godfrey, Russell Coates, the Eeles family
  • hands on workshops with Penny Simpson and Rod Hare
  • guided tours of WBB Minerals clay pits; British Ceramic Tile Ltd factory; Plymouth Museum (including pot-handling session)
  • woodfired kiln building weekend with Steve Mills
  • dustbin kiln building workshop
  • social firing days with raku, smoke and newspaper kilns

Annual events include:

  • a social meal held after Christmas at an arts venue such as Dartington Hall, Devon Guild, Broomhill Art Hotel or Burton Museum and Art Gallery, Bideford, giving members the opportunity to combine catching up with news and enjoying good food, together with a talk or exhibition
  • Potters’ Market. This is staged each summer on the Quay at Exeter, giving all members an excellent opportunity to sell their work direct ot the public. Visitors love being able to handle and buy good quality ceramics and chat to the makers

WPA exhibitions

We strive to provide a variety of galleries and venues for our members to show their work, and are always seeking new possibilities. We hope to schedule at least two exhibitions per year, including one with open selection.

AGM Minutes

Please click below to download the Minutes of the 2015 AGM

Download


1993 – 2013 Twentieth Anniversary Timeline

Commencing in 1993, members of the Westcountry Potters Association have been meeting, making and firing for over two decades. Acknowledgements and thanks are due to everyone who has contributed to this ongoing history of the Association.