Potfest in the Park – UKs premium ceramics event
The Potfest in the Park 2019 is always a highlight in my annual event calendar. This ceramic extravaganza showcases over 100 exhibitors invited from all over Europe and beyond. Every artist has developed a unique style, and is passionate about working with clay. One new exhibitor had even developed incredibly creative ceramic fish with the bodies of of tobacco tins, boxes and even taps!
Potfest in the Park – ceramics as art
This is largest festival of its kind in the UK, and this year welcomed artists for the 16th time to the gorgeous grounds of Hutton in the Forest. This stately home is a couple of miles from Penrith, gateway to Cumbria and the Lake District.
Hutton-in-the-Forest, is a cultural destination in itself with it’s historic house, walled garden, topiary terraces and woodland walks. The Potfest in the Park takes place in and around marquees in front of the castle. The potters special competition displays pieces on the lawn, juxtaposing ancient architecture and modern ceramics. This year’s competition theme was “Avian Architecture.” The festival becomes part of this beautiful environment. Every year new faces appear, but you can only exhibit at this event by invitation. I did miss a couple of my favourite artists, but its always nice to see new ideas.
If you are a lover of fine ceramics, either to use around your home or just to appreciate as art, this is the event for you.
Hutton in the Forest – home of the Potfest
The country house, Hutton-in-the Forest is still the family home of Lord Inglewood. The beautiful grounds and gardens are definitely worth a visit in themselves. Built in the 1730s is the walled garden is a must see and there are some lovely topiary hedges too. It houses a large collection of lovely plants and the terraces were originally laid out in the 17th century. In particular, I like the tree walk where you can identify dozens of rare trees which were planted by the 1st Lord Inglewood. A free tree trail guide gives you some seventy species to track down including some giant California Redwoods.
The animal sculptures here are outstanding and I especially love Jon Barrett-Danes small flock of super realistic life size sheep – which all have names by the way – and his lovely sheep dog Raven who watches them (he is a sculpture too)
The ceramics at the Potfest are not cheap but they are beautiful unique works of art. To pay for your purchases it’s wise to take an amount of cash. Some of the potters are now organised to take card payments, but not all of them. I bought some of Isabel Merrick’s gorgeous plates, I just couldn’t resist.
Potfest in the Park – a pottery paradise!
The Potfest is the brain child of potters Chris and Geoff Cox, both former art teachers. They have really put Cumbria on the map with this terrific event and their passion for what they do is evident in the quality of the work on offer here. If you like the Potfest in the Park event then you may also enjoy the Potfest in the Pens. It’s called this because it is held in the pens of the cattle mart. It is always held held on the following weekend. You won’t see the same people, as potters can only attend one of the two events, so if you didn’t buy anything this time round you can get a second bite of the ceramic cherry..
Hutton-in-the-Forest lies 5 miles northwest of Penrith, Cumbria (M6 junction 41) – on the edge of the stunningly beautiful Lake District National Park. Well-behaved dogs on leads welcome.