Art Fair takes over the Devonshire Dome

Kathryn Watson's garden sculptures

The three latest recruits to the ranks of the Peak District Artisans may all be from the same discipline – ceramics – but their work could not be more diverse.

All of them will be at the organisations annual Great Dome Art and Design Fair in Buxton this month so make sure you go along and check them out for yourselves.

Black is the theme running through Marie McGowan-Griffin’s work. She says she loves hand building with clay and the integration of black in the Raku process fits her style, although she equally loves to explore larger sculptural stoneware pieces.

Out of the Blue Pottery in Ipstones, Audrey and Rob Ebrey make hand-thrown ceramics with contemporary designs. Their latest collection looks to nature for ideas, gathering plants and seed heads to create contemporary surface pattern design.

Kathryn Watson’s studio looks out over her garden which provides the inspiration for many of her sculptures. It has become an outdoor gallery where the finished pieces can return. The sculptures become an integral part of the garden, nestling in herbaceous borders, resting on a stone wall or raised on an old tree stump.

There is also a pottery theme to one of the weekend’s live events as Penny Withers will be demonstrating throwing altered and flattened forms on Saturday from noon to 12.45pm.

The fair, in The Devonshire Dome, is part of the Buxton Festival Fringe. It is open from July 19-21 and will see more than 40 members of the group exhibiting their original artwork, handmade products and unique gifts. Among them will be felt artist Suzy Shackleton, whose picture entitled Moonface and Lavender is our front cover for the July/August print edition.

PDA chair and member, Sue Prince said: “The Great Dome Art Fair is the most popular event in our exhibition calendar, offering visitors a huge range of locally-designed and created work with prices ranging from £25, up to £2,000.” 

Throughout the weekend, visitors are invited to watch live demonstrations of artists at work. For the first time this year, in a live participation feature, people will be able to contribute to a community folk art painting.

Sue, who specialises in creating and leading community folk art projects, explains: “We’re giving visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in the creative atmosphere and capture the event. People will be invited to personalise and paint themselves onto a canvas using basic pre-prepared sketched outlines, they’ll also have the opportunity to add their names to the artwork.”

Other live talks and demonstrations in the programme over the weekend include an illustrated talk by Brett Payne entitled What I Make and How I Make It; a printing demonstration by Joanna Allen; a painting demonstration by Lin Cheung and a painting workshop creating Fabulous Flowers with Pam Smart.

In addition to the timetabled talks and demonstrations in the Lecture Theatre and Classroom, there will be an additional 10 members doing demonstrations taking place throughout the weekend at their stands in the Dome.

The exhibition is open from 10am–5pm on the Saturday and Sunday and from 6.30–8.30pm on the Friday evening preview. 

Admission is £2 per person. For more information go to