About Us

The Society of Cork Potters is a non-profit organization, open to all ceramic artists or potters who live in Cork City or County and who are trying to make at least part of their living by working with clay.

The aim of the Society is to provide a framework for Cork-based potters and ceramic artists, to facilitate the exchange of ideas and information, to further their development, to organize ceramic-specific networking events, workshops, exhibitions for the benefit of its members and other invited craftspeople.

The Society was founded by a group of potters and ceramic artists working in County Cork during the 1970′s, and was affiliated to the Crafts Council of Ireland in 1980. Meetings were held on a regular basis to exchange ideas and information, and exhibitions of members’ work were organised. Well-known ceramic artists were invited to come and show their work to members and demonstrate techniques in workshop settings. Many of these events were thrown open to other potters throughout Ireland and the Society continued to meet regularly until about 1992. (See the History page on the right sidebar for more details).

Since then, many young potters have set up in Cork and are working in comparative isolation throughout the County. New and enthusiastic members are needed if the Society is to continue in existence and grow to reflect the wide diversity of current creative ceramic activity.

The Society celebrated the Year of Craft 2011, and 30 years since the foundation of the Society, two exciting workshops and an exhibition of members’ work was held. We recently celebrated our 40th anniversary, with a series of events and exhibitions.

If you would like to join the Society and take part in these events or help organise others, please email see the Membership details on the Contact Us page of this website.

Our History

1980 Society of Cork Potters was formally launched, in order to obtain representation on a national level for professional potters practising in County Cork, and to provide a means whereby practising craftsmen could meet in each other’s workshops throughout the county. A Cork Potters Weekend was organised in Bandon, with guest speakers Aubrey Flegg giving a talk about the use of Irish clay, the British artist Eric James Mellon giving an illustrated talk about surface decoration, and Cork-born Jill Crowley showing her ceramic sculpture. Potters throughout Ireland were invited to attend. An exhibition of the members’ work was shown in Bandon Gallery, and on the following Monday members opened their workshops to visiting potters.

1981 Weekend meeting at Cape Clear pottery. The Society hosted a national exhibition of ceramics at the Crawford Gallery.

1982 10-day International Ceramics Symposium held at Carrigaline, generously hosted by Lutz Kiel, and with financial assistance from I.D.A., WCDT, & CCOI. Workshops were organised in: Production, Raku & Low Salt Firing, Surface Decoration, Working with Moulds, & Architectural Ceramics.Ceramic Artists came from Germany, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland, and included: David Frith, Jane Hamlyn, Geoff Healy, Michael Jackson, David Davidson, Jacques Kaufmann, Florent Zeller, Sabine Nadler, Eric James Mellon, Ian Wright, Ulla Viotti, Dieter Crumbiegel, Kurt Spurey, Tony Franks. An International Exhibition was held, in conjunction with the Symposium, and a fundraiser was employed to raise £9000 for purchase prizes.

1983 WCC Europe 83 Conference. The pottery in Carrigaline was no longer available, so Workshops were hosted in Courtmacsherry and Bandon. Again International Ceramic artists were invited. 53 potters took part. Exhibition in Bandon Gallery.

1984 “Fired Works” exhibition in Bandon Gallery, November.

1985 A major National Exhibition, “Potters Art, Potters Craft” at the Crawford Gallery, Cork, with numerous prizes organised by David Rose & Tanya Touwen, and opened by Justin Keating. Jill Crowley & Mick Casson talks and demonstrations. New Year’s party at Bandon Pottery.

1986 Because San Francisco & Cork were twin cities, in 1986 Jim Turner wrote to San Francisco Mayor Diane Feinstein asking if she could put us in contact with a potters group there. As a result the Society organised an Exhibition: “Cork and San Francisco Potters” at the Crawford Gallery, Cork. Raku workshop at Rossmore Pottery.

1987 “Cork & San Francisco Potters” Exhibition at Bank of Ireland HQ, DublinTwo of the San Francisco potters, Bob & Jenny Kizziar, were invited by the Society to lead a one-week workshop at Lettercollum House. Pit firings.Society meeting at Gabi Beuchart’s workshop in Cork.Society of Cork Potters exhibition at Crawford Gallery, December.

1988 Annual Exhibition at the Crawford Gallery, Cork – reviewed in “Craft Review” Spring 1989 by Sarah Finlay. Meeting at Coolavokig pottery. Talk and demonstration at Lettercollum: “Product Photography for Pottery”

1989 “Skib Obs” in West Cork Art Centre – many Society of Cork Potters participants. Reviewed in Craft Review. David Best, demonstration at Bandon Pottery.

1990 Society of Cork Potters exhibition at Crawford gallery, December. October Weekend workshop on Cape Clear. “Raku & Fish” with Raymond Kingham & Hugh Lorrigan. Society of Cork Potters exhibition at Crawford gallery, December.

1991 5-day workshop, “Ritual & Ceremonial Vessels” at Lettercollum House. Takeshi Yasuda demonstration, sushi making and Food banquet using all the different pots that participating potters brought along to the workshop.

1992 Surface Decoration Workshop (3days) at Lettercollum House Timoleague with John Gibson, Eric James Mellon, Etain Hickey, Jim Turner, Peter Wolstenholme.

1992 Cork Potters workshop at Crawford School of Art, with Takeshi Yasuda, Ewan Henderson, Colin Pearson, Tony Franks & Sandy Brown.