From humble beginnings in a cattle market on the outskirts of Perth, after two and a half decades, Potfest Scotland has certainly made its mark on the Arts Festival calendar. 

Now, without doubt Scotland’s most important ceramics event and a cultural highlight of many people’s year, Potfest Scotland attracts exhibitors from the length and breadth of UK and from as far afield as France and Croatia along with regular visitors from Spain, Germany and US. 

HeraldScotland:

Held across several large marquees on the beautiful lawns of Scone Palace, over 90 ceramics artists and artisan makers will be showing everything from domestic ware to fine jewellery and large outdoor sculptures.

Showcasing an amazing variety of work and demonstrating the incredible versatility of clay. 

Amongst this year’s exhibitors are renowned Scottish artists Patricia Shone from Skye, Lara Scobie from Edinburgh and Juliet Macleod of The Cloud Pottery, Aberdeenshire. 

HeraldScotland:

English ceramicists Tony Laverick, Isabel Merrick, Nic Collins along with his German partner Sabine Nemet and Korean artist Jin Eui Kim will all also be taking part. 

Potfest organiser Matt Cox said “There seems to have been a marked increase in the popularity of ceramics over the past 10 years but the lockdown seemed to create a real explosion of interest. Night classes and pottery courses are reporting record numbers and there seems to be an appreciation for craftsmanship and beautiful objects the we seemed to have lost over the past few decades.

"Celebrities such as Seth Rogen, Leonardo DiCaprio & Brad Pitt taking up pottery as a hobby and TV shows like The Great Pottery Throw Down have brought ceramics to a new and younger audience and that can only be a positive thing." 

HeraldScotland:

Exhibitors taking part in this year’s Potfest Scotland have been asked to contribute a piece for the annual Potfest competition, this year’s theme “Planted in the Past – Rooted in the Present.”

Competition entries are laid out on the Palace lawns and visitors are encouraged to vote for their favourite piece with the exhibitors and organisers each voting and awarding prizes over the weekend.

“Scone is a beautiful venue and people enjoy wandering round the show, the grounds and the gardens, they speak to the exhibitors, watch a demo but it’s great to see them interacting with the competition entries, debating with their friends and picking their favourite piece” said Matt.

HeraldScotland:

“Each year we choose a theme and ask the potters to make a piece to fit the brief. It allows exhibitors to step away from their usual work and in doing so maybe spark new ideas and possibly take their work in new directions.”  

Of this year’s 92 exhibitors, around 30 are new to Potfest Scotland with 12 of those being new to exhibiting. These are potters who have been given the opportunity to show their work through a subsidised stand, a means of encouraging new exhibitors to take their first steps towards becoming professional potters. 

Matt’s own parents, Chris and Geoff, were potters and began Potfest Scotland at Perth agricultural mart over 25 years ago after successfully holding a similar event in Cumbria.

Inspired by pottery markets on the continent, the Cumbrian market was the first of its kind in the UK and sprang from their frustration at the lack of opportunities for ceramic artists to show off their work. 

HeraldScotland:

Over the past two decades the shows have gone from strength to strength and this year will see seven separate Potfest events being held throughout the UK, between late April and early November, showcasing the work of over 400 artists to an estimated audience of over 20,000 people. 

Visitors can preview the work of those taking part in Potfest Scotland or any of the other Potfest events by visiting the Potfest website where tickets can be purchased in advance. Some tickets will also be held back for sale at the gate, each day. 

Potfest Scotland runs from June 10th-12th. To find out more go to www.potfest.co.uk