Preston's resident potters open new studio to attract artists
Resident potters at Make North opened up their studio this weekend for the first time to show and sell their wares.
Makers including Michaela Scoop, Katie Timson and Alexander Devol were joined at the event by recent graduates from the UCLan ceramics and print courses, as well as Louise Smith, who set up the studio in the former Saul Street Clinic in Preston three months ago.
Louise moved back to Preston from Edinburgh after establishing a community workshop and artist studio there, and was determined to encourage an arts scene in her home city.
She said: “Everything’s gone how I hoped it would. The uptake has been very good, with almost 40 community members now learning the foundations of pottery as well as 12 professionals using the space.
“There’s always a lovely atmosphere and it’s quite unusual that we don’t really do structured courses, but instead do one-off classes, which means people can direct the type of processes they use, whether it be surface decoration or on the wheel.”
One of Louise’s aims for the studio was to help retain talent in the city from UCLan’s ceramics courses.
Three ceramics tutors from UCLan are resident potters at the studio, and now Louise is seeing students coming, looking for studio space.
She said: “It’s nice to carry on building a relationship. In fact, a couple of months ago someone came here to have a go with ceramics and she loved it, and now she’s starting a ceramics MA.”
Louise, who has a crafts background is now looking at the possibility of expanding the courses offered, and finding a larger studio space to accommodate it.