Take a visit to Riddings Pottery in Derbyshire, and you will be warmly welcomed by John Rivers and Pat Smith.
Riddings is an old mining village, close to Matlock, and the Peak District, half way between Nottingham and Derby.
John uses locally sourced clay – he collects, softens, cleans and refines it within the grounds of their Victorian house. Find him at a potters wheel, or in the kiln shed where he has an electric, and a hand-built gas kiln. “But”, as he says, “it’s not easy to sell, or make a living as a potter: current tastes lead away from the hand-made and individual, and style-gurus advise in other directions. But we try!”
John shows in the “POTFEST” shows, at mac in Birmingham, but chiefly, annually at the Edinburgh Festival. There are artistic, domestic and religious pieces. Times and dates for these shows will appear on our HOME page. Typical pots are on the GALLERY pages. But we’d love you to come visit us and see it all here (map in CONTACT US).
Meanwhile, Pat is often busy in her textiles room – a treasure trove of collected and hand-made textiles, textures and colours. She uses a range of beading, sewing and embroidery to create unique evening bags, clutch bags, cushions, and smaller textile pieces to hold phones or iPods.
One of her other passions is literature and she can be found reading one of her many books, bought whilst working and saying, “I’ll read this when I retire”. She has also joined two Book Groups which “makes me read books on subjects I wouldn’t necessarily choose”.
Pat also passionate loves cooking – join her and John around the kitchen table whilst learning the art of pottery. During the residential courses, Pat and John can provide bed and breakfast, and a hot lunch. The weekend courses allow you to fully immerse yourself in the potting processes – preparing the clay, throwing, designing, turning, decorating…
The ceramic and textile pieces are for sale; both John and Pat are happy to take commissions.