Ridgeway Potters Collective

As a small group of 6 local Dorset Potters, the collective was formed from a shared love of all things ceramic. The collective exhibits together a range of hand-made work showing each individual potter’s style; from functional stoneware for the kitchen, table and home, unique wood-fired pottery together with raku sculpture and artworks.

The group love to share the processes behind their making and regularly do demonstrations alongside their exhibits at selected events. These include the intense and dramatic raku firing technique, an ancient Japanese process involving rapid heating before ceramics are placed in combustibles like sawdust bursting into flames and smoke! On-lookers can experience the whole firing process over an hour or two and see the final pots as they are scrubbed clean to reveal unique crackling and colours. In addition, demonstration throwing pots on a traditional kick wheel brings the craft alive as a lump of mud is coaxed into shape and form.

The potters met through their shared passion for ceramics and in particular the art of wood-firing. Renowned local potter, Bill Crumbleholme built a large wood-kiln just outside Weymouth which the team come together to fire a few times a year. The kiln takes around a week to load the hundreds of pots before a 2 day firing schedule with the stoking team taking shifts to ensure it gets to temperature. Wood-firing is less common nowadays but creates incredible depth and variation to the pots through ash speckles and flame toasting the unglazed clay. Its highly unpredictable and can be a little fickle at times, bringing an equal mix of trepidation and excitement each time we open up the brick door. Each pot will be completely individual.