A CELEBRATION of the work of local potters and ceramic artists is taking place in York.

‘Falling in Love with Clay’ is the brainchild of local collective Back Lane Pottery and takes place at Southlands Church in Bishopthorpe Road on December 9.

More than 20 artists are taking part in the ceramic fair including one of the co-founders of the group, Sylvia Schroer.

York Press: 'Falling in Love with Clay' will take place at Southlands Church in Bishopthorpe Road'Falling in Love with Clay' will take place at Southlands Church in Bishopthorpe Road (Image: Sylvia Schroer)

Sylvia said: “I founded the collective with a group of neighbours, including Katie Hill.

“Katie has a studio at Southlands and also helps organise the upkeep of the beautiful church garden.

“My own pottery journey began in January last year when I did an evening class at York College.

“My teacher was Francesca King and she was brilliant at inspiring and supporting us.”

York Press: Sylvia is co-founder of the collective behind 'Falling in Love with Clay'Sylvia is co-founder of the collective behind 'Falling in Love with Clay' (Image: Sylvia Schroer)

Sylvia said Francesca will be submitting work to the fair herself, and potters from Bish Bash Pot in Walmgate and Creative Studio York are also participating.

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Sylvia Schroer described how making ceramics makes the potter slow down and make a connection with the earth and the tactile nature of the material.

She said: “The creative process requires concentration and focus, such that troubles seem to fade away.

“I love making sculptures, having never done anything artistically creative before being accepted for York Open Studios and having a sculpture in the 2023 Open Exhibition at Ferens Art Gallery in Hull in less than two years.”

York Press: This red bowl is an example of the work of local pottersThis red bowl is an example of the work of local potters (Image: Kath Cox)

Sylvia’s work featured in The Press last year – a bust of her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was fired in memory of her late brother, the film director Felix Schroer.

As well as works in the ceramic art fair there will be a silent auction – this usually means instead of an auctioneer shouting out bids and banging a hammer down to signal the victor, bids are submitted on paper before or during an event.

Proceeds from the silent auction are going to Refugee Action York (RAY), the charity which works with refugees, asylum seekers and migrants from within and around the city.

York Press: The work of Maggie Baker - another local potterThe work of Maggie Baker - another local potter (Image: Maggie Baker)

Sylvia said: “Katie Hill and I planned to organise a ceramic fair in 2024 originally but I thought we should start at Christmas.

“We chose RAY for the silent auction because this is absolutely a time of year to remember and support refugees.”

The ceramic fair is missing just one thing and Back Lane Pottery is sending out a call-to-arms.

They are hoping to find someone, or a group, who is trained in food hygiene who would be willing to take on the refreshments on the day, which Sylvia said would also go towards supporting RAY.

Anyone who is interested in attending or would like to know more about getting involved can look at the event Facebook page here.