A special exhibition is coming to the New Craftsman Gallery, tying in with the St Ives September Festival, celebrating the history of the venue.

Dame Lucie Rie ceramic
Ceramic work by Dame Lucie Rie

The show, in partnership with The Craft of Selling exhibition, currently on show at The Crafts Study Centre, Farnham, celebrates the forthcoming publication of Professor Simon Olding’s essay on the history of the New Craftsman and its influence on the story of contemporary craft.

Simon’s essay traces the history of the gallery, from its roots in The Craftsmen’s Shop, which was opened by Janet Leach in 1952, to its current form as the New Craftsman Gallery. He considers this history in the context of craft selling in St Ives and further afield.

The Crafts Study Centre holds the archive of the New Craftsman and Janet Leach’s personal papers, as well as founding collections by many of the makers whose ceramics were sold through the New Craftsman. 

These archive documents and works of art are on show in Farnham until 16th December. In St Ives, there will be a parallel exhibition by artists associated with the 60-year history of New Craftsman, from Dame Lucie Rie, Shoji Hamada, Bernard Leach, Peter Lanyon, and Breon O’Casey, to contemporary artists such as Akiko Hirai.

Simon passed away in 2022 before completing his essay, titled Formidable Partners: The Founding of New Craftsman in St Ives, leaving editor and co-author Greta Bertram to complete the text. The essay will be published as a book on 28th October.

Also on show will be work by wood turner Anthony Bryant, and rising young painter Sarah Woods. Sarah studied fine art at Falmouth University and makes work that responds to the beauty of the Cornish landscape, achieving a pure translation of its clear northern light, wide horizons, and coastal colour.

The exhibition runs at the New Craftsman Gallery, Fore Street, St Ives, from 9th September until 6th October. It will be accompanied by a talk by the Crafts Study Centre’s Greta Bertram at 4pm on Wednesday, 20th September. Booking is required at stivesseptemberfestival.co.uk.

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