Ford and Etal pottery business on the move

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Keith Webster, owner of Ravn Clay Pottery, has been overwhelmed by the support he has received when fundraising to expand his business.

The pottery business has been open since August 2021 in a repurposed timber loft in Heatherslaw, and although the studio has been a safe haven for many, it couldn’t be enjoyed year-round.

The loft had no heating, no hot water and no insulation, so Keith made the decision to move his kit almost one-mile away to the Old Reading Rooms in Ford.

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Opening on June 11, the new site offers a bigger, more comfortable space that Keith hopes to fill with new equipment.

Keith Webster, owner of Ravn Clay Pottery.Keith Webster, owner of Ravn Clay Pottery.
Keith Webster, owner of Ravn Clay Pottery.

He said: “I’m hoping that the new space will be a more comfortable space and that it will allow me to run classes successfully all 12 months of the year so it’s not just visitors that come but local people too.

“I always wanted it to be an open studio in the sense that I found it difficult to find somewhere that I could learn and practice, so that is how I want this place to be.”

While looking to expand Keith started a fundraiser to raise cash for new equipment and to make the business more accessible for children, those with mobility issues and people with mental health problems.

In just shy of four weeks, Keith raised an amazing £4,693.

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Speaking about the support, Keith said: “The money hopefully means that we can do some amazing things in the future.

"I am immensely grateful for the support and hopefully it means that more people can come and try pottery.

“I really believe that it has such an important role to play in well-being and mental health issues as its very therapeutic.

“The support means I’m encouraged and I feel a responsibility to make it work now, so yeah onwards and upwards.”

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Ravn Clay Pottery offers a range of hand building pottery classes, suitable for both children and adults at the beginner stage or those looking to practice and perfect their skills.

In the last 12 months, Ravn Clay has worked with more than 700 people in workshop, not including schools, youth groups and warm hubs in the hopes of tackling rural isolation and building a community.

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