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The Hepworth Wakefield Ceramics Fair Returns This Month

14 Jun 2023

The Hepworth Wakefield is celebrating all things ceramic this summer. Following on from the gallery’s successful Festive Market and Print Fair, The Hepworth Wakefield Ceramics Fair will return to the recently renovated event space at Tileyard North, opposite the gallery.

Visitors will be able to buy work directly from 65 emerging and established ceramicists and potters working in both contemporary and traditional ceramics. On sale will be everything from homeware and jewellery to unique sculptural pieces.

This year’s stallholders will feature new and returning ceramicists to the fair with styles to suit all tastes. Sellers include: Sheffield-based duo Pottery West with their signature earth-toned tableware and Harrogate-based ceramicist Eren Armitage whose ceramics are inspired equally by her Japanese heritage and the English countryside. Bringing a youthful flare to the line-up, Manchester’s KPH Ceramics will be selling signature pastel-coloured functional and decorative objects made through marbling, weaving and canning processes. Providing playful ceramics are Yorkshire-based Little Lovers, who make contemporary porcelain jewellery. Newcastle-based maker, Alex Sickling provides a contemporary twist on Staffordshire pottery and Victorian-era figurines.

Across the weekend, families can create their own pottery in our Clay Studio drop-in workshops. With activities in the exhibition spaces and garden, budding artists are guaranteed to be busy. Family activities are free for Wakefield residents and under 18s, or free with an exhibition ticket, which are half price all weekend.

Portrait artist Keziah Burt is offering visitors a rare opportunity to co-create a ‘conversation piece’ – a ceramic sculpture based on a conversation between artist and sitter. During each session, Burt will talk to the visitor about their life, experiences, hopes and beliefs while free-sculpting in white clay. The resulting sculpture will be a unique piece of art that captures a personal moment in clay for visitors to keep. Burt’s work is featured in our current exhibition If Not Now, When? Generations of Women in Sculpture in Britain, 1960-2022. Sessions last around an hour and must be booked in advance through The Hepworth Wakefield’s website.

There will be a range of food and drink on offer across Wakefield’s Waterfront site. Visitors can enjoy brunch, lunch and take-away items in The Hepworth Wakefield Café and Garden Café or bring a picnic to eat in The Hepworth Wakefield Garden. Or try lunch in the new Yorkshire Brasserie, followed by a cocktail in The Distillery bar, both recently opened in Tileyard North.

Olivia Colling, Deputy Director at The Hepworth Wakefield, said:

‘We are delighted to be holding our first in-person Ceramics Fair since 2019. Tileyard North’s wonderful new event space is the perfect venue for our large-scale fairs and markets progreamme. The event supports many talented ceramicists and potters across the UK to sell their work, introduces our audiences to a breadth of makers, as well as providing a fantastic day out at Wakefield’s Waterfront. There is so much on offer at The Hepworth Wakefield all summer, including our exhibition The Art of the Potter, which tells the story of innovative ceramics since 1930 and the inherent relationship between ceramics and sculpture in Wakefield’s art collection. So, whether you just want to know a bit more about the history of ceramics, have a go at making something in clay yourself, or buy a great gift, The Hepworth Wakefield’s Ceramics Fair is the place to come on 24 and 25 June.’

Nick Keynes, Co-founder of Tileyard North, said:

‘We couldn’t be more thrilled to be the event partner again for The Hepworth Wakefield Ceramics Fair here at Tileyard North. After the resounding success of their Print Fair and Festive Market in our space, we’re excited to invite visitors into our regenerated mills once again. Together – working with our neighbours at The Hepworth Wakefield – we’ll celebrate the arts in our creative industries destination.’

Entry to the Ceramics Fair is £2 / free for members and under 18s. During the Ceramics Fair weekend, exhibition tickets are half price (£6) / free for Members, Wakefield District residents and under 18s.

Tileyard North