A group of potters sharing a studio in Edinburgh, Scotland
In October 2014, thanks to the support of the Sharing Heritage Lottery fund, the Bridge Pottery Collective held a huge triple ceramics exhibition in the extensive galleries at St Margaret’s House. ‘Celebrating Ceramics’, consisted of ‘Scottish Lustre’, ‘Contemporary Scottish Studio Pottery’ and a retrospective of Scottish Lustre Potter Margery Clinton’s work: ‘Keeping the Flame Alive’.
The call for entries attracted a lot more interest than we had anticipated and since we had plenty of space at St Margaret’s House, we decided on an open exhibition, which made it a truly impressive array. Also showing was the lustre mosaic ‘Tree of Life’, a communal creative work by the members of the Bridge Pottery Collective.
During the exhibition, Prof. Trinitat Pradell, a Catalan Professor of lustre glaze Nano-technology gave a lecture which entirely revolutionised our understanding of the processes at work in lustre firing. Heather Jack, specialist ceramics historian, is writing an article on the exhibition for the Scottish Pottery Society.
The events attracted a huge amount of interest amongst both the Scottish Pottery community and the general public and so was well worth our extra efforts. The National Library of Scotland and the National Museum of Scotland were also very supportive. We have created an online digital resource about Margery Clinton’s work for the NLS, while the NMS’s curator of decorative arts will be taking some of Margery’s work for research purposes at their new facility in Granton.
So, although some of us nearly collapsed under the strain, we feel we have both raised the profile of Scottish Pottery and in particular Reduction Lustre artists; and we have preserved and elucidated the work of Margery Clinton, who would be extremely proud to see her legacy so celebrated.