Bridge Pottery Collective

A group of potters sharing a studio in Edinburgh, Scotland


Who We Are

We are a collective of people who enjoy working with clay, and have some education in pottery/ceramics. We want to practise making, and pursue individual and collaborative projects and research.

We share equipment and facilities. The majority of the equipment is owned by Alison – a potter of many years experience – who has a great deal of her own equipment as well as that of the late lustre ceramicist Margery Clinton.

The group has also been gifted various pieces of equipment and materials, such as a pug mill and a dust extractor unit.

We have created a supportive and creative environment for all of our members – who all have some experience of working with clay before they join us – and a place to grow as artists, and discover new ways to work with clay.

Our studio is in St Margaret’s House on London Road, a well established collection of artists’ studios with a very supportive landlord.

Our History

We set up the Bridge Pottery Collective in 2009, with five members and a carpeted space with no running water. We have grown in size and ambition, and now have over fifteen members, equipment that we have bought or had donated, and a brand new purpose built studio, with a basement store for the kiln.

We host evening ‘masterclasses’ for members, where we share techniques in an informal way.

In summer 2012 we began Raku firing, using Alison’s Raku kiln. All members are welcome to join the Raku firings, when the weather permits!

What We Offer

We offer membership to the collective, which includes;


  • Individual shelving space and ware boards for storing your work
  • Materials storage for clay
  • Work space
  • Four electric wheels
  • Mouldmaking equipment – plaster, cottling materials
  • Tools – wood, bamboo, metal, plastic, tile cutter
  • Access to library of Ceramic Review magazines from the past 40 years
  • Pug mill – white stoneware only
  • Electric kiln – fires up to 1240oC – our technician Tricia will fire work
  • Smaller Cromartie electric test kiln
  • Collection of raw glaze materials, used on a pay-what-you-use basis
  • Spray booth for spray glazing
  • .. and much more


  • Access to the studio whenever St Margaret’s House is open – 10am-10pm daily (usually opens earlier than 10am)
  • Studio space shared with other ceramicists and potters
  • Decorating/glaze studio adjacent
  • Basement store for finishing work, adjacent to kiln room

What we ask of our members

  • We ask that you have had some training in working with clay, whether that be a degree, evening classes, one-to-one tuition, or some other method.
  • Rent is £60 per month, and for that you get your own shelves for work, and clay storage.
  • A one off membership sign-up fee of £60 is payable when you join the collective.
  • Purchase your own materials. We have a supplier – Scotclays. If you wish to order clay, we usually organise a group order to save on any carriage costs. Of course, if you prefer to use another supplier, that is absolutely fine. We also use Scarva mail order for small items.
  • Clean and tidy after yourself. We do not have a cleaner or anyone who ‘works’ for the group, so we rely on everyone cleaning and putting away equipment when they leave. 20 minutes is recommended at the end of every session to clean the area, including the floor.
  • Every so often the studio will naturally need a deeper clean. We ask that all members take their turn to do this, in pairs.
  • Take part in group meetings when required. We always try to organise meetings when the majority of members will be able to attend, and understand that we all have other commitments, but it’s great to get together and get a consensus on the direction of the group, or when making decisions that affect us all. Meetings will usually be no more frequent than once every quarter.
  • Be contactable by email; emails to the group are send regularly to keep everyone in the loop with what’s happening in the studio, opportunities that are coming up, and any other pertinent info. We also are active on Whatsapp. Sometimes a quick decision will need to be made, and although we have a system which has worked up to now – where Sarah takes advice from members and makes a decision based on that – the system only works if members respond to the question, so even a wee email saying ‘that’s fine’ is great.


We currently fire the electric kiln to 1000 degrees C for bisque, 1240 degrees C with a 30 min soak for glaze [cone 6]. Any higher is likely to shorten the lifespan of the elements in the kiln.

If a member has other firing requirements, and has enough work to fill the kiln, we can accommodate that need.

The kiln is fired when there is enough work to fill it. Work is taken down to the kiln room in the basement [there is a lift!] and carefully labelled with the temperature.

Alison or Tricia pack the kiln [but likes to have help] and programme the kiln controller.

When work is finished, we ask that members take it home, to avoid collecting huge amounts of finished work in the studio.

St Margaret’s and Us

We moved here and set up Bridge Pottery Collective in 2009, when the ground floor was developed from an open plan space to subdivided studios.

In summer 2012 we were offered a much larger space with running water, by the landlords of. St Mags’, Dale. We bit his hand off, and have now moved to a 100m2 studio built to our specifications.

St Margaret’s House is a great place to meet other artists and be a part of Edinburgh’s artistic community. The galleries on the 3rd floor host shows by residents and other artists. The first Open Studios event in 2012 was a huge success, we now have Sophia Burns, a resident artist who is also the exhibitions/ galleries director.

We have achieved our ambition to organise a ceramics exhibition for our members in the autumn.

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