The collecting bug

By | Category: Travel destinations

Grayson Perry - The Guardians (Photograph by Lee Ewing)

Grayson Perry - The Guardians (Photograph by Lee Ewing)

A flip through the television pages will show programmes like Flog it!, Bargain Hunt, Put Your Money where Your Mouth Is, Dickinson’s Real Deal, Cash in the Attic, Antiques Road Trip and the granddaddy of them all, the Antiques Road Show. One of the reasons there are so many shows is because there is an audience for them. And part of that appeal is because there are so many collectors.

One of the biggest groups of collectors is for pottery, ceramics and the like. People seem to have heard of Clarice Cliff, Lorna Bailey, the Leach family and Grayson Perry almost as others know footballers and Z list celebrities. In the UK at least, when talking ceramics, the first name that often comes to mind is Stoke-on-Trent.

The home of umpteen household name potteries like Moorcroft and Wedgewood, Royal Doulton and Aynsley, the city is also home to the British Ceramics Biennial which – this year – starts in a week’s time. But this celebration isn’t just some dusty museum exhibition. You can look, you can marvel, you can buy but you can also make.

Most people probably won’t try to throw a pot to rival Grayson Perry. They’ll be more likely to look for a bargain, for a “second” or to follow the trail taking you around the potteries of so many of the world’s most famous names. Although this is still a dynamic collection of potteries it is also where connected to large amounts of our history. For nearly 400 years the area has produced the plates from which we eat, the mugs we down our tea in and the ornaments that decorate our homes. Some of these items command record prices in the hundreds of thousands of pounds. Some are almost worthless knick-knacks that we collect as souvenirs of our holidays.

The six week event will gather 150 potters and artists for chats with visitors, for showing their wares and for revealing how deft they can be as they create new ceramics for us to hoard.

For more information, click here

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