Known for its pebbly beach, Victorian pier and anything goes attitude, Brighton, on England’s south coast, is a place that loves juxtaposing the traditional with the new. One of best things to emerge here recently is Pottery and Pints, a pop-up craft event for anyone who fancies a go at throwing a pot while sipping a craft beer or cider.
The three pottery enthusiasts behind the pop-up started their venture in January 2018.
“We wanted to incorporate the fun and skill of a pottery workshop while maintaining the professionalism and attention to detail,” says potter Ally Guindi. “We hold our pottery sessions in pubs so that our customers feel relaxed and comfortable in the environment they are in. It enables them to make very lovely pieces of art.”
It doesn’t matter if you’re new to a potter’s wheel; once you’ve got your pint in hand, the friendly team guide you through everything you need to know to create a bespoke pot or bowl.
Sessions start with a demonstration of the throwing process and how to form certain shapes in the clay. Then, one at a time, attendees sit at the wheel to have a go for themselves.
With your creation finished and safely removed from the wheel, you choose the glaze that you want it to be covered with. Then, you’re free to chill out with fellow first-time potters or make another souvenir. A few weeks later, your pot is dry, glazed and ready for you to pick up and take to its new home.
During the summer, sessions are held at The Tempest Inn on the seafront. With the sun blazing down and the sea just metres in front of you, it’s the ideal spot for a gentle and creative activity like pottery.
“We’re lucky enough to hold our workshops outside, meaning lots of people who aren’t booked onto our classes can overlook the goings on and ask questions,” says Ally. “One night, I’d turned my back to the wheel for five seconds to speak to a potential customer and a little doggy who’d been eagerly watching the session popped onto the stool as if to have his turn!”
Throughout autumn and winter, Pottery and Pints will keep working closely with independent venues in and around Brighton to bring more people to the wheel, and there’s the possibility of some pop-ups in London near Christmas.
By Amy Pay