Royal Seal of Approval
On 28th November, Clay College was visited and opened by His Royal Highness Charles, Prince of Wales during a day-long visit to Stoke-on-Trent
The visit began with trustee Lisa Hammond MBE introducing HRH The Prince of Wales to the Clay College trustees and staff gathered in the gallery. He used this as an opportunity to find out about Clay College, and took the time to admire the range of slipware on display in the gallery.
His Royal Highness was then taken on a tour of the college and met the Clay College students, where he briefly found out what had brought each of them to study at the college.
The College is based within the Prince of Wales Studios; a building on the Middleport Pottery site that was restored by the Prince’s Regeneration Trust and re-opened in 2016. For the college to move into the building, a range of alterations were made and a whole mezzanine was added to a rear room of the building to house the library and divide the space. This was designed by Adam Cornish of Studio Partington. The money to fund this development was kindly donated in memory of potter Susan Neal. His Royal Highness got to see this development and meet the different parties involved with making it happen.
The slipware on display was the first exhibition at the college, and showcases the beauty, drama and diversity of contemporary slipware, through the work of leading potters; Clive Bowen, Dylan Bowen, Patia Davis, Doug Fitch, Geoff Fuller, Nigel Lambert, Hannah McAndrew, Josie Walter and Paul Young. Several of these potters have also visited as guest tutors.
The next exhibition will be work of leading stoneware potters, and opens on 20th January.
As the College and the work of the students develop, the ‘Clay College Studio Range’ will be available through the gallery. Developing a studio range allows the students to begin to develop and hone their core skills and production-throwing technique. Any profit made through the gallery and sales contributes to the ongoing sustainability of the College, and funding the aims and developing the educational goals.