An Introduction to the Craft Potters Association of Great Britain

01 Jan 2006

The Craft Potters Association was formed in 1958 to promote the work of its members and to increase public awareness of contemporary studio pottery. Over the past forty years the Association has grown considerably and now offers a wide range of services to its members and to the public and has two wholly owned operating Companies: Craftsmen Potters Trading Company Ltd (CPT) and Ceramic Review Publishing Ltd (CRP).

Contemporary Ceramics
Contemporary Ceramics, the CPA shop and gallery in the heart of London's West End is operated by CPT and is now established as a national centre for the best in British ceramics. A wide range of work of Fellows and Professional members of the Association is always on display and throughout the year a series of solo and Showcase exhibitions are arranged in the gallery. Contemporary Ceramics represents a unique national showcase for British studio ceramics which are sold to collectors worldwide.

Ceramic Review
Ceramic Review, the internationally acclaimed, bimonthly magazine of studio pottery, is published for the Association by Ceramic Review Publishing Ltd. CRP also publishes a number of books on ceramics including Potters, an illustrated directory of members and their work, currently in its 12th edition.

There are three categories of membership of the Association:
Associate Member,
Professional Member
and Fellow.
Anyone with an interest in ceramics may apply for Associate membership, but Professional members and Fellows are selected by the CPA Council. Fellows include many potters of national and international standing. Members receive CPA News, a bimonthly newsletter of the Association, containing a variety of articles, notices, reviews, advertisements and members' letters. Members also receive advance information, priority booking and reduced fees for events, invitations to private views of CPA exhibitions and discounts in Contemporary Ceramics.

The Council
Members 2004/5

Elected Members

Victoria Bryan (2005)
Emmanuel Cooper (2005)
Margaret Frith (2006)
Simon Hulbert (2006)
Ruthanne Tudball (2007)
Peter Clough (2005)
Jack Doherty (2007)
Lisa Hammond (2006)
Phil Rogers (2007)

Editor of CPA News

Liz Gale (till January 2005)
Kathy Niblet (from January 2005)

Professionals & Associates Representatives

Elizabeth Smith
Isabel Denyer

Association Administrator

Tony Ainsworth

The CPA's governing body, the Council, has nine members who each serve for three years and are individually elected by Fellows and Professional members. Honorary officers, including Chair, Vice Chair, Exhibitions Officer and Secretary, are appointed by Council and each serve for one year. Associate members are represented at Council Meetings but have no voting rights. The Council is responsible for all the activities of the Association and its companies through their respective Boards of Directors.

The CPA Council is also supported by a Members and Associates Advisory Committee (the MAAC) which organises seminars, lectures, workshops and other activities. It is mainly composed of volunteer Associate Members but can include Fellows and Professional Members.

Educational Activities
In 1991 the CPA set up the Craft Pottery Charitable Trust to support educational activities. Trustees include a member of the Crafts Council and current and former officials of the CPA. Funding for the Charitable Trust comes from donations from the CPA operating Companies and from funds raised by a tombola of pieces of work donated by members.

Each year, at Contemporary Ceramics, the CPA organises a "Setting Out" exhibition, which is designed to launch new graduates on their ceramics careers. Colleges are invited to submit the work of two students for selection for the exhibition. Entrants may also apply to the Charitable Trust for a bursary to enable them to carry out individual projects. Normally two bursaries are awarded each year.

A Council member is appointed with specific responsibility for liaison with students and their colleges and a student representative also serves on the MAAC Committee. Students are also supported through a substantial reduction in the membership fee and subsidised attendance at workshops, lectures and demonstrations organised by the Association.

Each year the CPA holds a potters' market, "Earth & Fire", at Rufford Country Park, Ollerton, Nottinghamshire where over seventy potters display their work. Spaces are also set aside at Earth & Fire for selected potters from the Setting Out exhibition. In recent years a second potters' market has been held in the Oxford area in the pre-Christmas period which is open to applications for selection from Associate members as well as Fellows and Professional Members. In addition, throughout the year a series of specialist exhibitions of members' work are arranged throughout the country.

More recently, in collaboration with Nottinghamshire County Council, the Association opened the CPA Shop of the North at Rufford Country Park. Proceeds from this shop are used to fund a residency programme at Rufford Craft Centre in which UK based and international potters are encouraged to explore new ideas in developing their craft.

This introduction is designed to answer general enquiries about the Craft Potters Association. Historical information about the CPA, including minutes of major committees and annual accounts, is contained in the CPA archives held at Aberystwyth Arts Centre, University College of Wales. More detailed information about the Association and the work of current Fellows and Professional members can be obtained through the latest edition of Potters.

For specific enquiries about the Association and its activities please contact;
Tony Ainsworth, CPA Administrator
25 Foubert's Place,
London W1F 7QF
Telephone: 020-7437-6781
Fax: 020-7287-9964

Reprinted from the CPA News No. 78 July/August 2001 with kind permission from the Craft Potters Association. Copyright vests in the CPA and this article may not be reproduced without their explicit permission.

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