Welcome to our new website



We are the same pottery….hands-on….informal….workaholic….but with a re-vamped website, whose highlight is a batch of short films made by our delightful young friends, Carly & Martin. There is a film in textiles, one in courses, an introductory film about us and six more in pottery.

JOHN RIVERS is the potter, who has built his own gas kiln and digs his own clay locally.

PAT SMITH is the gentle presiding presence and occasional chef, who now pursues her passion of crafting with textiles.

We invite you to browse the films, leaf through all our pages, and visit us in person where  you can chat, watch, learn, maybe have-a-go, make up a formal party for an official ‘visit’, buy something unique, commission something.  Or come on a course….

See below for all our ongoing news.




JOHN will be “a one-man show” at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer: at:the Friends Meeting House  (Monday 12th August – Saturday 17th August, 9.30 – 11.30 a.m. It is called “POEMS and POTS”.  

He’s exhibited at The 3D/2D Craft Show in the Festival for 30 years and will be there again Monday 19th – Sunday 25th August, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.But instead of his normal earlier week there he is going under cover (!) and will focus on “discovering” poems.

A different menu each day of mainly modern poems many by women, some on pot-making, one a day by W H Auden and Anne Stevenson respectively. It’s to encourage the eclectic festival-goers to come and participate, discuss, read aloud…instead of just listening.  He’ll have a show of pots in the room and invite people to handle and discover them too.  And explain the making process, the way his personal style and preoccupations find their way into the pots.  There are texts on clay, and you can commission your own…

Please, spread the word to anyone you know in Scotland who might be interested. [Fringe brochure, www.edfringe.com, www.venue40.org.uk (F.M.H. program, out in a few days)].  Or come yourself, for one session or all six.

2013 Course dates

New course dates for 2013 ….  see under ‘Courses’

LORNA wrote, after her recent week-end here:

“Complete immersion in creativity.  I feel warmed to the core by hard work, achievement, good food, hospitality, creativity…and I will be back”.   Nov.2012


An Appreciator !

“What a wonderful film this latest one is.

Sitting here, some 3,000 miles away, I am now transported back to Riddings, and to this unique pottery. The temperature of the kiln room, the smell of the drying clay, all sensed anew! Great to see and hear again.

Anyone who as ever wanted to learn about pottery and have a go at making something should visit John and Pat. They have created a perfect environment to nurture your innate creativity. This is an ancient knowledge, passed on by a master craftsman and teacher, and a rare opportunity to spend time well.”

Kevin Alanson

It’s a mystery?

October 25th 2012

I have just stumbled on this strange montage of photos from 2006. I’ve no idea who took it, or more importantly who contrived the montage.  There appears to be a floral clock (Edinburgh ??) in the central strip.

Anyway, it shows a range of pots in our Gallery – THEN.


It’s a mystery ?



Getting ready for Edinburgh

August 12th:  John has finally left for the Edinburgh Festival, the focus of every potting year.  Tell any friends who might be in, or passing by, Edinburgh to look him up: at the West End Craft and Design Fair (Aug. 13th-26th, 11.00 – 6.00 p.m.daily).   It’s a fine gathering of 80 craftsmen & women, and great fun (in St. John’s Church precincts). 

This photo shows some of the pots (glazed and ready) awaiting their fate in the kiln – only 4 days ago.