Friday, 23 October 2009

Whichford Pottery Visit (Part 1)

On Wednesday Anita and I made the 100+ mile visit to Whichford Pottery in Warwickshire to meet all the pottery staff we have come to know and call our friends during the 13 years I have been working at the Wisley Plant Centre. Under the ownership of Jim Keeling the pottery which he founded in 1976 together with his wife Dominique has grown from strength to strength. During every visit I have made over the years, whether on business or for personal reasons, the friendly atmosphere and hospitality is second to none.
Within moments of our arrival we are greeted by Jane & Paula and the offer of refreshments is gladly accepted. We joined many of the staff at their 'tea break' where Anita's homemade shortbread definitely got the thumbs up. As usual I start my tour of the production areas in the 'mould room' for a chat with Linda but this is soon interrupted by a request from Jim for me to join everyone upstairs in the 'throwing loft'. Surrounded by all the staff Paula (Production Manager) thanks me (I'm affectionately known as 'UNCLE' Frank) for my support and involvement in championing their products and then they unveiled two large handmade pots which have recently been thrown and specially decorated just for me.
Here is a close up of the decoration...a flying Pigeon or a Skylark according to Jim!
Well....stunned....I was nearly speechless but managed to thank them for their generosity. It will take around three weeks for the pots to dry and then fired before they are ready for delivery. All I have to do now is to find the right location in our small garden and decide what to plant in them.
A few of our many pottery friends. (Click to enlarge)

THANK YOU Whichford Pottery. FAB


  1. What a neat thing and thoughtful surprise, Frank!

  2. Frank, these are absolutely beautiful. A lot of talent and skill went into throwing those pots! I'm also a potter and throw every Thursday evening at the pottery studio, but my goodness, I don't think I'd ever be able to throw anything that big. The imprint is gorgeous too...

  3. Wow, a great post, and what a lovely surprise for you! The pots are just gorgeous, and the bird imprint is wonderful. Lucky you!

  4. That's a delightful story Uncle Frank. Beautiful pots.

  5. Wow Franck! This is wonderful!
    The whole thing is magnificent, surprise and gift!
    I know too well how precious are theses gifts. My sister is potter too, and god I love this atmosphere...

    You lucky Uncle Franck!

    well deserved.


  6. Wilma. Yes, the pottery staff are such thoughtful people.

    Kelly. I'm always inspired when I watch a potter throwing 56lb of clay...years & years of talent. I just wish I lived closer then I could get my hands dirty every day!

    Mona. I was totally 'gobsmacked'.

    Roy. Well at least 'Uncle' is more endearing than 'Frank from the Bank'!

    Val. Some friends wonder why I have visited so often but the atmosphere is always inspiring. Watching the potters hands mould the clay into useful works of art. I will treasure these pots for ever.

  7. Well done Frank. Lovely pots!

  8. Thanks Angie. Can't wait for the pots to arrive.

  9. Such nice works of art, made just for you! What a nice tributec to you..and something that will last for many a decade..
    I am, also, impressed with the relief on the side of the pot..was that also hand crafted or a sprig mold. It is gorgeous and so well done.
    I taught handbuilding and wheel pottery (no molds) for 25 years at our local high school. I loved teaching teens about clay and glazes and can understand how proud you must be with these trophies that were made just for you.
    Can't wait to see what you put in them.

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I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.


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