High Quality Craftwork
Statement by Maxine Symons
I started Crowan Crafts because I became disillusioned with the lack of quality and originality in a great deal of craftwork. Today, many so-called craftsmen seem to take their inspiration from a desire to ape what is mass-produced. To re-produce, under the name of craftwork, that which is machine-made.
Not only does this show a lack of original thought, but also a lack of what lies at the very root of the work of the genuine ‘artisans’ – individual, human expression.
Imagination, creativity, and beauty have been scorned by our throwaway society. We surround ourselves with the insanely functional and deny the importance of beauty in our daily lives.
I live near the hamlet of Crowan where Harry and May Davis ran Crowan Pottery from 1946-1962. They had both ‘worked’ previously at St Ives with Bernard Leach. Pottery from Crowan was extremely beautiful and supremely functional. Harry and May lived simply and were anti-elitist.
It is these aspects of high quality and approachability that I wanted to emulate with Crowan Crafts.
The introduction to Harry Davis’ book – The Potters Alternative – outlines his feelings regarding the ‘fine art’ bandwagon of the Studio Pottery movement. It is well worth reading. Just click the image.
Crowan Crafts is a travelling group, setting up exhibitions throughout Cornwall. At our exhibitions each artist is present alongside his work, counteracting the ever-increasing elitism that tends to separate the artist from the public.
Our first show was in Nancegollan in July 2004. In December 2004 we were invited to Cury, and in April 2005 our exhibition at Perranwell included a ‘Focus on Potters’ and an ‘Exhibition of Crowan Pottery’.
Part of Crowan Crafts exhibition of Harry and May Davis pottery
In July 2005 we went to Paul, near Newlyn. The next was at Trevarno Estate and Gardens in October 2005. Our Christmas Exhibition was held for 2 days inside Godolphin House in December 2005 and 2006. Christmas 2007 saw us at Scorrier House, near Redruth. Since Christmas 2008 we have used the Crowan Parish Vestry Room for this event.
Check the EVENTS page for future information.
We always have a tearoom – tea and cake being an essential part of the day. (We also include home made cakes and locally produced cheeses amongst our craftwork.)
On this site you will find details of all our artists with their individual contact details. We also have great pleasure in presenting an extensive site dedicated to Crowan Pottery and Harry and May Davis.
Many thanks to the following:
Colleen and Ted Lay
Both Jill Williams and Dick Smitham – for their memories
Gwenny Davis – Harry and May’s daughter – for her help from far-off New Zealand.
If you would like Crowan Crafts to come to your village/town,
please contact Maxine Symons at: