Pens Review 2017

140 potters took part in this year’s Potfest in the Pens, in the cattle market in Penrith. This year in the foyer, the competition was to the theme “Bird-Bath – Flight of Fancy” to which there were over 50 entries.
The potter awarded the CRAFT & DESIGN PRIZE, by Angie & Paul Boyer of Craft & Design  was Karen Fawcett. Karen is a master hand-builder of animals and birds, based in County Durham.


There were also 2 runners up for the CRAFT & DESIGN PRIZE – each winning a bottle of bubbly: David Salsbury with his “Bird Lido”  – which also won the potters’ PEERS PRIZE

and Sara Jane Wevill’s “Fanny Fountain’s Flight of Fantasy” which also won THE PUBLIC’S FAVOURITE vote on Saturday.


The PUBLIC’S FAVOURITE vote on Friday  went to
Gerry Grant’s “Crowing about having a bath with gold taps”


and the  PUBLIC’S FAVOURITE on Sunday was “Turkysh Bath” by Jan Lewis-Eccleston


All the competition entries can be seen here on Flickr

A growing part of the Pens is the hands on section. As well as the usual free throwing classes for adults in the foyer, and the ‘kids and clay’ corner with Shirley Sheppard near the refreshment area, Rob Whitfield offered the opportunity to glaze and raku fire a pot and the North West group of the Northern Potters Association made a large birdbath.As this year was the 40th anniversary of the NPA, members were invited to make and glaze various food dishes in clay to make a party table as a centre piece in the foyer……… and what a table!

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Once again Valentine Clays kindly supplied all the clay for the hands on projects and also sponsored the throwing prize. This was between the exhibitors who were asked to throw the tallest 10cm wide cylinder from 1.5 kilos of clay in the first round then from 2 kilos in the finals.


The winner was Mary Chappelhow from Penrith throwing to a height of 33 cms closely followed by Jose Mariscal and Ricardo Campos from Catalonia [ this year’s guest region ] then Andrew Harding from Northumbrian Craft Pottery, Bob March from Soulby and Gerry Grant from Fangfoss Pottery, near York.

Last but not least was the production throwing prize offered in the memory of Michael Palmer by his friends. Michael was a production potter, throwing thousands of pots in his time who died tragically a few years ago. The award was for a consistent quality and refinement of finish on large scale production and the prize went to Liz Teall of Oxford.


Our thanks to Craft & Design  for their sponsorship and main prize, and to Valentine Clays for the clay sponsorship of the hands-on area, and the throwing competition.

Potfest passport winners who receive free entry to all future Potfest events are:
G.Alexander from Poulton-le-Fylde, L.Dando from Spennymoor and L.Crossley from Manchester. Thank you  to all who took part in the public vote for the competition in the foyer.
We hope to see you at our 25th Potfest in the Pens next year Aug 3/4/5th 2018 (always the first weekend in August)