Withy pot makers pass on skills to younger generation

Posted on: 11th March 2024 No Comments

Following on from the first Withy Lore event, which saw withy pot makers from around the South-West come together to share and make, we were delighted to welcome a younger generation to the project.

Passing on skills

In the past withy pot makers would have passed the skill of pot making down the generations. It is not a skill learnt from books or diagrams, but one hard won through doing, listening and adapting. As part of the Withy Lore project it felt important to us to provide opportunities for young people to get a taste for this skill.

Adding to the ‘Withy Pot Barnacles’ installation

Over the course of a day, kindly hosted by the Royal Cornwall Museum, experienced pot makers spent time with an enthusiastic group of local young people. With expert guidance, each participant made their own withy pot top, which will now become part of the ‘withy pot barnacles’ installation.

Inspired by an archive photograph where clusters of withy pots appear like barnacles along the coastline, this installation will consist of lots of pot tops, or ‘withy pot barnacles,’ connected together. Our plan is to photograph this artwork on the coast, before it is displayed as part of the Withy Lore exhibition at the Royal Cornwall Museum from 10th March – 22nd June 2025. This will showcase different pot styles, raise awareness of this special craft and ignite conversations about our relationship with the environment.

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As well as intergenerational making, we had several other withy pot makers and enthusiasts drop in over the course of the day. This led to some wonderful exchanges, connections and ideas. It’s these small, immeasurable connections that remind us of how important story-sharing is to our work.

Thanks to..

Particular thanks goes to Tom Chambers and Aaron Grigg for their excellent guidance and support. Thank you to the Royal Cornwall Museum for hosting this event. This project has been made possible with thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, FEAST Cornwall, Cornwall Community Foundation, the St.Aubyn Foundation and the Fishmongers Company.

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