This weekend, in the Normansfield Theatre, London Potters Local (“LPL”)and the Down’s syndrome Association (“DSA”) hosted an event to raise money for people with Down’s syndrome and to showcase amateur potters. Twenty two members of London Potters Local set up stalls and sold their work inside the wonderfully maintained theatre and the Association provided refreshments in another room.
The DSA is the only charity in England, Wales and Northern-Ireland which focuses solely on supporting people with Down’s syndrome and helping them to live rewarding lives. It was established in 1970 and since then significant advances have been made in the lives of people with Down’s syndrome and their families. The LPL is a voluntary organisation and charity which promotes a wider interest in ceramics. It was formed in 1988 to unite Londoners who shared a love of ceramics.
The Normansfield Theatre was built in 1877 and is currently a grade 11* listed theatre. It was built by Dr John Langdon Down as part of a hospital to provide entertainment and lessons for long term patients and students. The theatre is 60 foot by 30 foot and can seat 300 people, which back then was surprisingly large. Today it still hosts a variety of events and performances.
One of the organisers and member of London Potters local, Carmela Kantorowicz, said “today’s event is a great and inexpensive way for our amateur potters to make money and for all of us to support a good cause.” Many of the potters there were amateurs and only did pottery as a hobby. Being a ceramicist full time is very hard unless you work for a gallery which is why for the potters this was a great opportunity. There were a variety of types of ceramics on display from beautiful thrown pots to slab built vessels. The quality of most of the work was very impressive, in particular some of the glazed porcelain pieces of a ceramicist by the name of Leslie Parrott whose glazes ranged in colour from deep red and purples to beautiful turquoise celadons. LPL organises events like this throughout the year and throughout London, and the Normansfield theatre will be hosting a variety of performances in the upcoming months.