By kind permission of David Whiting:
Pat and Geoff Fuller's celebration of food and table is now four years old, and goes from strength to strength. It is now a well established part of the pottery calendar, and has a very special character of its own. The Three Stags' is the ideal venue; the event, like the pub, is intimate, inviting and hospitable. The Three Stags' is the very best context for the Fullers' basic point; pots are meant to be used, to be part of our eating and drinking, to be relished and perhaps treasured. As simple as that.
Galleries and shops dealing specifically in studio-made ceramics have been on the decline in Britain. The optimistic sales pitch of the 1980s and early 90s seems a long time past. A certain readjustment has taken place, with more potters selling directly again, and with fairs and festivals that give us the broadest possible range of pots. These initiatives are excellent, but their very inclusivity can be diluting, more of a mishmash than an argument. The Fullers' festival remains very personal, their philosophy straight-forward. As well as being eminently functional, pots should have their own freely expressive riches of material, form and decoration, an extension of the fine food that covers them. When a lot of nonsense, a lot of verbiage is circulated about clay, it is heartening that through enterprises like this we can get back to the roots of the craft, free of padding and hyperbole. The work you see here reflects the Fullers' particular ethos.
This festival redresses the balance, and gives us all a much more direct sense of what it is to own and cherish really good stoneware, earthenware and porcelain. In the end it is the object that counts, and with this (thankfully) continuing event at Wardlow Mires, we have much reason to be optimistic about the future. Enjoy the pots, enjoy the food!