European Ceramics

Maggie’s collection of ceramics, acquired during her various residencies and whilst travelling between the UK and Europe, was eventually shown privately in 1992 to a group of interested collectors, and was enthusiastically received. Their interest and genuine desire to buy such work affirmed that the time had come to re-connect with the broader ceramics community, so, encouraged by that positive response, she rented space on the upper floor of an old stone building in one of Knaresborough’s historic yards.

Following a journey to collect carefully selected ceramics from mainland Europe, and an intensive period of internal restoration work, the launch was advertised, signage prepared and placed, invitations printed and posted, and the European Ceramics Gallery was finally opened to the public in May 1993.

Encouraged by British makers, buyers, and collectors, including Bill Ismay & Henry Rothschild, the business rapidly gained a reputation for high quality ceramics, attracting visitors from the Continent, the USA, Australia and Japan. The bizarre setting, far from being a deterrent, proved to be an asset, and ‘the gallery in a scrap yard’ became firmly established as a centre of excellence in the North Yorkshire market town. Secure and well-established connections on mainland Europe ensured a steady supply of the very best of contemporary ceramics from across the North Sea and raised awareness of European makers in the UK.