Issue 215
Winter 2020/2021

The Artwork Logo

Apr 14, 2021

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ArtWork Newspaper Issue 215
Winter 2020/2021 (6.82MB)

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Potters' Kelso half century

FIFTY YEARS AGO this year, a young couple, at an invitation from Kelso Council in the Scottish Borders, went to visit old empty gas workers' houses in Kelso town with a view to living and working there.

Ian and Elizabeth Hird were both students in Edinburgh when a representative from the Scottish Development Agency visited Edinburgh College of Art looking for craftspeople to come and work in Kelso. It was the late 1960s and Kelso Town Council was expanding the town's industries. After the gas workers' house was refurbished, the Hirds, who had both studied at Edinburgh College of Art, moved in, and between 1968 and 70, set up Kelso Pottery.

Ian and Elizabeth at the Gas House in 1965

Soon Kelso ware was being sold wholesale to shops all over Scotland and Northern England. Over the years trips to Portugal, Malta, Morocco, Cyprus, Pompeii and Japan, have all inspired and influenced their choice of kiln, and their techniques and designs.

Ian's range of domestic stoneware includes mugs, jugs, bowls, plates, vases and baking dishes. They are richly decorated with impressions of the ever-changing colours and light of the Border Landscape. Elizabeth's work combines throwing and hand-building techniques to create animals, birds and figures.

Ian cleaning 'feelies' and 'Time Tablets'

The year 2020 marks Kelso Pottery's 50th anniversary and to celebrate the Hirds are exhibiting a selection of their standard ware made over the last two years.

"It's a celebration of 50 years' production of useful and decorative pottery and a 'thank you' to our local customer base in Kelso," says Ian Hird.

The history of where Ian and Elizabeth get their inspiration, the people they've met along the way and the beautiful pieces they've created, and are selling, are all on display in this anniversary show at Kelso Pottery.

Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition/Sale, Kelso Pottery, The Knowes, Kelso, TD5 7BH
Tel:01573 224027



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