Cambridge Ceramics Gallery is the UK’s newest online gallery specialising in studio pottery and ceramic art. Cambridge Ceramics is not a gallery in the traditional sense, we don’t have bricks and mortar. Our Gallery is purely web-based. What makes it special is when you buy a pot, you do so from the potter – from the artists’ studio direct to your home. There are no middlemen, so the potter keeps the vast majority of the sale with just a small deduction for advertising and website maintenance.
The idea for Cambridge Ceramics came from Peter Ward who founded the Online Ceramics Gallery in 2010. Peter had been considering establishing a new potters’ led platform for some time. But his Online Ceramics website was flourishing and so entering into a new venture was not a priority. Then the global pandemic occurred. Ceramic Art London was cancelled shortly followed by a number of other major ceramic shows such as Art in Clay, Earth and Fire and Pot Fest in the Park. These are long established international shows where hundreds of potters sell their work directly to thousands of people.
Things worsen when the UK Government announced a lockdown. Galleries had to close their doors meaning exhibitions, months in the planning had to be cancelled. Potters do not earn very much at the best of times and were desperate to find alternative ways to sell their work. That is when Peter Ward decided to pursue his idea for a new website. He talked it through with a number of potters, all of whom thought it was a great idea. They were attracted by the concept of a ‘gallery’ whereby the potters kept the majority of the sale.
Peter then had discussions with Andy Donovan, a Director of Jigowatt Ltd, the web company who designed the Online Ceramics Gallery. He subsequently commissioned Jigowatt to design the new website.
The concept for Cambridge Ceramics Gallery is simple; the potter make the pots, photographs the pots and uploads them to the website. When they are sold, the potter ships the work directly to the customer. Cambridge Ceramics provides a fast, safe and secure platform, a small amount of marketing and a payment facility through PayPal.
Peter Ward founder of Cambridge Ceramics Ltd said, ‘This is a terrible time for all self-employed people and small businesses. Potters spend the winter months making work for the various shows throughout the year and fulfilling orders for galleries. The shows have been cancelled and the galleries are shut. Being a potter is never an easy way of making a living. Covid-19 has made it much harder – if not impossible. The doors of many galleries will never open again. This is the time for potters to look at alternatives and I believe Cambridge Ceramics provides that opportunity. It is a step change enabling potters fully embrace the opportunities open to them through the Internet. They may even find customers in parts of the world who would never have visited shows and galleries.’