Celebrating Ceramics at the Spring Fling Open Studios Weekend

Celebrating Ceramics spring fling
Christine Hester Smith and Urpu Sella

More than a dozen high quality ceramicists will be taking part in this year’s Spring Fling – Scotland’s premier open studios weekend.

Among them are Fitch & McAndrew, Christopher Taylor, Christine Hester Smith and Urpu Sellar whose work displays a huge diversity – from practical crockery and traditional slipware to contemporary decorative pieces.

Robyn Cove (Studio 34), a potter from Cardiff, takes part in the event via the Springback Scheme and is setting up shop in Castle Douglas.

Visitors to Andy Priestman’s studio near Bargrennan on the Blue route (Studio 14) can see his homemade kiln and the way he uses natural glazes.

Joanna Macaulay, Events and Exhibitions Manager for Upland which runs Spring Fling, said: “There are lots of superb, high-quality ceramicists all across Dumfries and Galloway – they are always one of Spring Fling’s major attractions.
“The range of their work is always impressive, from the pretty and practical through to edgy, contemporary decorative work – and this year will be one of the strongest yet and will be a real highlight for visitors.”

Urpu’s pieces are mostly inspired by birds, fish and animals and are full of humour.  One light-hearted piece, a green frog, is titled “Kiss me and find out”.

She said: “My aim is always to create something that is beautiful to look at, but that will also make people smile.”

A big attraction of Spring Fling is the chance to meet artists and makers and see the lovely places in rural Dumfries and Galloway that they live and work.

With Urpu (at Bankhead, Dundrennan – Studio 29) they get the chance to see a studio with an abundance of pieces in all stages of completion set in a pretty garden.

Christine’s studio and workshop (Barnbarroch Pottery, Kippford – Studio 52) is a popular destination as it’s packed with imaginative pieces inspired by her observations of human and animal life.

Husband and wife team Fitch & McAndrew (Corsock, Studio 47) are internationally renowned for their use of traditional techniques to create pieces with a truly contemporary character.

Christopher Taylor (Dumfries, Studio 59) will be showing a range of work and enjoys combining materials, techniques and processes in new and unusual ways.

Each of the Spring Fling ceramicists produces distinctive and high quality pots – among them Clare Dawdry (Kirkpatrick Durham, Studio 45) and Miles-Moore Ceramics (Langholm, Studio 91).

The event was originally due to feature 94 studios but now sees 93 specially selected studios throw open their doors to the public. It’s a chance to meet painters, original printmakers, jewellers, glassmakers, wood and metal workers and photographers in the cottages, farms, galleries, mills, converted churches and other places that they work and live.

Spring Fling organisers are sad to announce the death of much-admired Spring Fling participant, Peter Wareing (Studio 6). Peter’s studio is not open for this reason but visitors are invited to view a small exhibition of his work at Sarah Stewart’s studio (Studio 9) in Wigtown.

Peter (who had been planning to take part in this year’s event) had been a regular participant in Spring Fling and a long-term supporter for many years.

Other ceramicists taking part are:

  • Andrew Adair (Dumfries, Studio 70)
  • Ruth Elizabeth Jones (Moniaive, Studio 84)
  • Hannah Spicer (Crossmichael, Studio 42)

Full details of the Spring Fling details are available at www.spring-fling.co.uk.