sculpture head by Geoff Cox
.Geoff Cox - ..sculptor in clay
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Geoff Cox in the workshop About me

At school I hated history - just dates to remember to pass exams - but then at Art college I discovered prehistory and archaeology, and the open ended questions of who, what, where and why. At the end of my second year I toured ancient sites on the Moors, Dales and Wolds of my home county on a small motorbike and wrote my final year thesis on Bronze Age settlements in North Yorkshire.

My degree was in three dimensional design (creating solutions to design problems - trying to think outside the box to make original interpretations. ) What intrigued me about archaeology at that time were the puzzles presented through earth-works, artefacts, broken pottery. There were no proven answers, just informed speculations, interesting questions, things to ponder on and formulate theories - the past seen as a series of design solutions, problems solved. History was no longer about dates - it's what happens to everyone - his story. What I do today is history tomorrow. What happens tomorrow is part of today's story. Constructing a story from a few scattered clues is what I find fascinating. Maybe it's the thread that runs through my work.

After leaving college I spent the next 13 years teaching in secondary schools. In the mid 70s we were living in a particularly uninspiring area of East Yorkshire. I joined an archaeological group and the place came alive. 1900 years earlier, people living here had made pottery, their market an occupying army. Some of the pieces they produced had travelled as far away as Egypt - taken by Roman soldiers relocated to other parts of the Empire. Everywhere were shards of pottery - in fields, under hedges, in gardens. For 400 years the whole district had been a factory. Generations of families had produced hundreds of thousands of pots - each piece a part of a day in a life. The shards now in my hands had been soft clay in theirs, taken from the ground on which I stood and still here after 2000 years. I began to play with clay in earnest.
In 1985 I left education to become a full time maker. I wanted to prove, to myself as much as anyone, that I could make a living outside the establishment. Could I, like them, survive by making something from nothing - turning mud into money ? Perhaps I had something interesting to say. And so started my life as a potter / sculptor / maker in clay.

C.V.

Born Castleford - Yorkshire 1946

Wakefield Art College. 1964-66
High Wycombe College of Technology and Art 1966-69
Brighton College of Art Education 1971-72

1972-85 teaching art in secondary schools

1974-1985 - whilst still teaching I was selling work through galleries in:-
Rochdale, Beverley, Market Weighton, Wakefield, Leyburn, Lincoln, Harrogate, Middlesborough, Edinburgh, Soest and Dusseldorf in Germany, and Toronto in Canada

1985-2000 - now making full time I was mainly selling direct at craft fairs throughout the UK

Since 1989 I have exhibited at international ceramics festivals in :
Holland - Eindhoven - Millsbeek - Swalmen - Gouda - Dwingeloo - Amsterdam
Belgium - Maasiek - Brasschaat
Germany - Krefeldt - Hohr-Grenzhausen
Spain - Montblanc

1994 - 2010 - organiser of Potfest in Penrith - the first potters' market in the UK
1998 - 2002 - organiser of Potfest Scotland
2001- 2010 - organiser of Potfest in the Park - now one of Europe's premier ceramics festivals
2000 - one month residency and exhibition in Yokkaichi - Japan

2003 - demonstrating and exhibition at the Banko Ceramics Centre - Yokkaichi - Japan
2003 - 2004 - exhibitions in Nagoya and Seto, Japan

2007 - research trip to Thailand & Cambodia including one week in pottery village in Laos.
2008 - Mick Casson award for services to ceramics
2009 - research trip to India to observe large scale Tamil Nadu terracotta animal construction
2010 - founded Eden Valley Ceramics Centre

contact: geoff@potfest.co.uk