When Robin Wilson, chair of the Potteries of Rye Society contacted Rye News to say how pleased he was to read our article about potter Marian Mason, we thought it a good opportunity to find out more about the society.
The art of pottery continues to thrive in Rye, as it has done over the centuries. The Potteries of Rye Society was set up twenty years ago by a group of people interested in the potteries in Rye and the local area. Membership is made up of local potters, collectors, dealers and anyone who is interested in the local potteries. New members are very welcome.
As with all societies they have had had to cancel meetings as a result of Covid-19 but they continue to communicate with members via their quarterly newsletter.
Robin says “We meet twice a year at the Rye Art Gallery for a social get together and to listen to talks which may be from contemporary potters around Sussex and Kent or on other renowned pottery.
“These meetings are also opportunities for members to bring along pots to show or sell. There is usually an annual open day kindly hosted by two of our members which is always an enjoyable time”.
250 Years of Collectability
The object of the Potteries of Rye Society is to promote the study and collection of pottery made in and around Rye over the centuries.
Pottery has been produced in Rye since medieval times, but the still thriving Rye Pottery (see below) was started at Cadborough near the end of the eighteenth century. Cadborough established the design that is now recognised as traditional for Rye pottery – applied sprigs of hops and hop leaves on pots made from local clay with a lead glaze.
The Rye Museum article called Rye Pottery: nearly 250 years of collectability is a good read for those wanting to find out more about how the craft developed in Rye over the years.
Carol Cashmore is one of the founding members of the society and her book: ‘The Potteries of Rye 1793 onwards’ is the only substantive book on the subject. It is out of print now as it was published in 1999 but is still a very informative book and still available from Carol. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
How to Join The Potteries of Rye Society
Annual subscription rates are £15 single or £20 for a couple.
The Rye Pottery
The Rye Pottery shop is not open yet as they are working to make it safe but mail order is available. Watch their website for updates.
Run by just three families for over 200 years, their own family Cole re-opened Rye Pottery after the second world war in 1947. Currently run by the third generation of Coles – Josh & Tabby – classic style, timeless design and a demand for quality are at the heart of every piece produced. It’s a must for lovers of pottery – contemporary and traditional.
Image Credits: Robin Wilson , Nick Forman .