Christmas Decorations!

It is the last week of November and we finally managed to remember where we had  put the Christmas decorations last January!  June & Betty  had a very busy day  sorting everything out  and we are now as festive as the proverbial Christmas robin. As usual the moment we started to dismantle the previous window display we had a a run of customers  all wanting to buy  something fron the things we were carefully putting away. This  had been a seaside theme, using our various  donkey figures with or without riders, along with The Netmenders and The Fisherman’s Tale.

To add a little scale to the nautical scene, we had included some very nice nesting boxes made from reclaimed wood and modelled on the iconic  Hastings  black timber fishing sheds, which  are sold by our son Josh via  his on line shop  and suddenly from no sales of the boxes in 2 months we found we had sold  all five of  them  as we tried to pack them  away!

With our  windows now shining and twinkling we are all set for Rye’s Christmas Festival which starts on December 3rd with  the switching on of the Lights and the High Street Christmas Tree followed by a firework display.

More about the Rye Christmas Festival plans next week.

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Rye’s weekend of classic cars



Every November Rye hosts a spectacular Classic Car event.

This year in warm sunshine, the  carefully preserved and polished cars with drivers and passengers similarly shining and glowing, processed around the town before lining up to be judged by the Mayor of Rye, the winners receiving a hand painted Rye Pottery plate to mark the occasion.







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Potting as pain or pleasure

Listening to the Today programme this morning while  potter/ author Edmund De Waal was being interviewed, we were delighted to hear him describe potting as “A tremendous art which we should all take seriously.”  It is always amazing and indeed rather off putting to be told by a customer looking at a one-off hand painted pot or tile ” Ooh that is very expensive”  while telling you of the lovely “art print” they have just  bought for a much larger sum of money! We have always felt that not only is a pot just as beautiful as a painting,  it often has the additional advantage that you can use it as well as look at it.

Here at Rye Pottery we produce a considerable number of one offs at, what we think, are remarkably low prices, especially when you have just opened the kiln to find that 3 or 4 pieces have decided to shatter during the firing cycle.  The flip side of the coin is the joy and excitement that opening a good kiln brings to all of us. Better than Christmas – is how Wally Cole used to describe handling a newly fired perfect pot which had come through its ordeal of  fire with the final result excelling anything you could have possibly imagined.  De Waal perhaps should have added this morning, that Potting is also a disease for which there seems to be no known immunisation!

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A Mid-Century Rye Pottey Cassic – Miss Simplicity

Miss-Simplicity-bottles-b-w-Small-150x200We’ve been looking on the web and spotted there’s one of our popular Mid-Century Classics for sale on ebay – a vintage MISS SIMPLICITY bottle. These bottles in 2 sizes were originally used for Oil and Vinegar.

They were designed by Wally’s brother Jack Cole in the early-mid 1950’s, not as stated in the text for the one for sale on ebay, by Marjorie Cole. Marjorie was Jack’s wife and she produced some very collectable Pottery dolls in the 50’s – just not this one!

A very, very few were made and production had stopped by the early 60s, but we have traced about 20 of these very charming one-offs. Sadly Marjorie in later years destroyed any she could lay her hands on. Miss Simplicity Sm Rye Pottery 2011Jack did not really like his Miss Simplicity, (we have this in a letter on file in the archive) but despite his artistic misgivings she was without doubt a very popular piece at the time and still with collectors today.

We recently rediscovered the long-forgotten moulds for Miss S while trawling through our Mid-Century archives. We’ve been working on plans to revitalise and refresh some of our classic pieces and designs from this period, and Miss Simplicity is such a favourite for us that she’s certain to be part of that. So far, we’ve decided she will be reborn in the 21st Century with a fixed head that faces in a different direction! Next up is the decoration development stage. To the right you can see some samples we’ve been working on – absolute one-offs that a handful of collectors have been lucky enough to snap up in our shop in Rye.

But there are lots more decoration ideas we’re working on, so watch this space, because her outfit’s not finalised yet. When we decide on the first design to officially enter production we’ll be sure to let you know here.

If you want to be one of the first to find out when Miss Simplicity is available to buy, visit our shop in Rye every, single day … or alternatively just sign up for our newsletter at the top right corner of the site.

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