A ceramics centre is excited to have launched a new style of exhibition that not only displays a great selection of contemporary ceramics but also examines who the people are behind the pots.

LoveClay, based at Valentine Clays HQ in Fenton, latest collaborative exhibition ‘Portraits in Clay’ showcases the creative journey of ceramics by bringing together the artistic form of both clay and paintings.


The exhibition which looks at the importance of craftsmanship opened with a private viewing on Wednesday 5thSeptember and includes four very talented and well-known artists:
Rob Pointon – Paintings

Local artist Rob utilises multiple-point perspective which enables him within his paintings to firmly locate the viewer within the scene. The paintings displayed at this exhibition were completed on location at each of the ceramic artist’s workshop environments to help to give a greater understanding of the people behind the pots and the craftsmanship involved in their creation.



Alex Shimwell – Ceramics

Alex, who graduated from Staffordshire University, has been working on the wheel in both porcelain and stoneware for many years. He takes his inspiration from the materials and glazes, how they interact and can be utilised to better display these properties upon, of and within the form.

Richard Heeley – Ceramics
A local full time professional potter, Clay College teacher and selected member of the Craft Potters Association Richard specialising in thrown porcelain decorated in cobalt blue pigments.

James Hake – Ceramics

Taking inspiration from Oriental ceramics, James has developed a palette of his own glazes. These range from subtle Shinos, to rich, dark Tenmokus and Copper Reds.


Visitors are encouraged to visit the new exhibition, which will be running from Thursday 6thSeptember to Friday 19thOctober, to gain a greater understanding of traditional artists and the craft forms that they use.

Pieces on display include oil paintings, ceramic vessels, containers, plates and pots which are available for purchase and can be collected at the end of the exhibition.


Alex Shimwell, ceramic artist and organiser of exhibition, commented: “It’s great to be back in Stoke-On-Trent exhibiting at the heart of the potteries, especially as it’s the place where I learnt my skills, with some great traditional artist who all have local links too.


The original concept came from the romanticism between portraits of people at work and the celebration of the traditional values of a good artist that is found through good craftsmanship.”


Hannah Ault, Sales & Marketing Director, commented: “It’s great to be able to bring such a different type of exhibition to the city that showcases the next generation of local artists. We also rarely get an opportunity to glimpse into the workshop of these talented people and what actually goes into the making. Rob has been able to capture these aspects perfectly so much so that you feel that you are a part of it.


It’s great to be able to give visitors and collectors the opportunity to enjoy a very different type of experience when looking at both types of art on display which also enables them to appreciate local traditional craftsmanship.”


Future exhibitions include Staffordshire University graduates and Liz Watts: Christmas Banquet.


LoveClay ‘the ceramics centre at the heart of the Potteries’ is open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

For further information on LoveClay, to view our exhibitions, to book onto one of the courses or events please visit www.loveclay.co.ukor call 01782 271200.