Ceramic Arts Festival urges visitors not to be “thrown” by new dates

Potfest, Hutton-in-the-Forest

Potfest in the Park is set to take place in Hutton-in-the-Forest on 4th, 5th & 6th September after being delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Usually scheduled for the last weekend of July, those who thought their annual pottery pilgrimage was just another victim of 2020 can rest assured their beloved show is good to go.

With the stunning backdrop of Hutton-in-the-Forest, Potfest in the Park has an international reputation, attracting thousands of visitors every summer. Whether you’re a ceramics enthusiast, art lover or new to pots – more than 80 exhibitors will showcase a spectrum of styles and techniques demonstrating the versatility and beauty of ceramic art along with the creativity and skill of those taking part.

Potfest in the Park is an open-air event and lends itself to being COVID-19 secure with just a few updates to the normal format. With exhibitors setting their stalls in open-sided marquees, the artisan festival allows visitors the opportunity to meet and buy from some of the best potters and ceramic artists in the UK, from Caithness to Cornwall, and take a unique souvenir away with you.

New precautions for 2020 include limited daily ticketing, sanitation stations sited throughout the show, visors for exhibitors and staff as well as extra toilet facilities. Along with acres of space for socially distanced picnics, every effort has been made to help visitors feel safe.

Now in its 20th year, Potfest is no stranger to overcoming adversity. In 2001, the Foot and Mouth epidemic had Cumbria in its grip. Geoff Cox, Eden based sculptor and Potfest Co-Founder said, “The local area had been quarantined for 5 months leading up to the first Potfest in the Park, and it was lifted just in time for the show to go ahead. That year over 100 ceramic artists from all over the UK, mainland Europe and a group from Japan took part.

“This year, the double whammy of COVID-19 and Brexit have proved even more difficult. A small number of exhibitors have taken the difficult decision not to show this year due to shielding and health concerns. On top of that, restrictions on travel due to both COVID-19 and Brexit have been devastating for the international aspect of the show.”

“Despite all this, Matt, our son who now organises the shows has worked tirelessly to ensure that the event can go ahead in line with Government Guidelines.”

Set in the grounds of an historic Cumbrian house, the festival will be an oasis of calm and tranquillity promising a great day out for all the family. Included in the day ticket price is access to Hutton-in-the-Forest’s beautiful gardens and magnificent grounds – stroll along the topiary terraces and walk the woodland paths among 200-year-old trees.

Daily admission is £8 with accompanied children going free. Booking tickets online ahead of time is advised (www.potfest.co.uk) although a number of tickets will be held for sale on the day.

Arts – Cumbria Crack