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Potfest in the Pens

The Potfest in the Pens

Potfest in the pens, is the original pottery market in Penrith Cumbria. Pottery ceramics and many more crafts all at the Skirsgill Auction Mart.

Potfest in the Pens, We have visited several times while living in the North West of England. There are some great artists here and suppliers of art materials., like Northern Kilns a supplier of everything you need to make pottery and ceramic pieces. See the work of the well-established alongside the up-and-coming, in an exciting mix of the sophisticated and the raw power of the next generation, combined in a bustling marketplace.

The Original Potters market in the UK established in 1994 Potfest in the Pens

No art hype, no gallery glitz, just potters and public mixing in a down-to-earth setting. Held under cover to save us from the inclement Cumbrian weather at Skirsgill Auction Mart, Penrith.

Since 1994, the bond between potters and the public has thrived, thanks to the pioneering efforts of Geoff and Christine Cox. Their inspiration sparked during a visit to the International Ceramics Festival in Eindhoven, Holland, back in 1990. Witnessing internationally acclaimed potters engaging with the community, away from the confines of galleries, was a revelation. This vibrant interaction begged the question – why wasn’t such an event happening in the UK?

Realizing the potential, Geoff and Christine took matters into their own hands. They organized the inaugural event in early June 1994, christened Potfest in the Pens, held at a spacious undercover cattle market in Penrith. This marked a significant milestone, being the UK’s first substantial potters market.

Building on this success, Potfest Scotland emerged in 1997, transforming Perth, the ancient capital where the Highlands meet the Lowlands. Drawing inspiration from the Potfest in the Pens model, the event gathered over 80 talented potters, who breathed life into the town’s vast cattle market. The result was a dynamic three-day ceramics extravaganza, further cementing the bond between artisans and art enthusiasts.

Skirsgill Auction Mart
Penrith, Cumbria
CA11 0DN
(Junction 40 of the M6)

31st July – 2nd August, 2020
Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday
10 am – 5 pm daily.

Adults £4.50
Seniors £4.00
Accompanied children free.
Free parking.
Refreshments on site.
Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome.

Website Link


Accommodation in Penrith

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