Potter Dylan Bowen looks forward to the Oxford Ceramics Fair at St Edward’s School, now in its 16th year

The life of a potter has its ups and downs. Mainly it is a privilege to be able to do something I love for a living, but it can be a solitary existence. I am lucky that my working year is punctuated with exhibitions, talks and workshops, chances to catch up with fellow ceramicists and customers, old and hopefully new.

One of the most interesting and prestigious events happens every October at St Edward’s School. The weekend of the 24-25 sees The Oxford Ceramics Fair, now in its 16th year, opening its doors to potters, collectors and enthusiasts from around the country and beyond.

Presented by The Craft Potters Association of Great Britain, the national organization representing ceramic artists in the UK, and organised by well-known local potters Jude and John Jelfs, it features over 60 makers. A number of well established artists and upcoming new makers are carefully selected to represent ceramics in the UK in all its diversity.

The selections are made by a qualified panel for the high standard of their work, and organisers are careful to keep ringing the changes on who exhibits from year to year. There is also a full programme of lectures and demonstrations throughout the weekend. One of these will be given by Japanese potter Isezaki Jun, a living national treasure, who will be speaking on Saturday, October 24, about The Oxford Anagama project, a kiln building initiative taking place at the University of Oxford’s Wytham Woods.

Jude has expanded the fair so that the preceding week will feature in other events throughout the city. For example, in partnership with the Ashmolean, the Rev Richard Coles, who I listen to on Saturday mornings on Radio 4, will be giving a talk on Wednesday, October 24, at 2pm entitled “Bring forth the Sacred vessels”. Richard is a cleric, broadcaster, former Communard and collector of ceramics. Definitely one to book early: www.ashmolean.org

Blackwell’s Art Bookshop will feature a display of work from selected participating potters. The Ashmolean, together with the CPA and The Oxford Ceramics Gallery, will undoubtedly have other events occurring in the city. www.oxfordceramicsfair.co.uk