Porcelain Artist and Master Craftsman


Courtmacsherry Ceramics Gallery


Co. Cork


  • Born 1944
  • Nationality British
  • Qualifications
    • Sheffield College of Art.
    • 1961-1963 Intermediate Course in Art & Design
    • 1963-1966 Diploma in Art & Design, 2.1(B.A. Hons) Sculpture, Painting and Ceramics
    • 1966-1967 Art Teachers Diploma
  • Teaching Experience
    • 1967-1973 Lecturer in CERAMICS and 3D Design at Rochdale College of Art : Foundation Course. During this period ALL of my students who chose 3D Design gained places on Degree courses.
  • Organiser
    • 1968-1973 Secretary and Organiser of the Rochdale Sculptors
      • A group of artists who took Art to the People, by taking it out of the gallery and on to the streets. Our Street Sculpture Exhibitions toured NW England in many town centres. Supported by the NW Art Association, our exhibitions were a huge success with catalogue runs of 50,000. By 1970 we were advisers to the Arts Council of Great Britain, on how to successfully mount Street Exhibitions which didn’t attract vandalism.
    • 1975-1982 Big involvement in the Cork Craftsmans Guild, which became a craft retail outlet for over 330 Irish Craftworkers, and by 1982 had a retail turnover of IR£250,000 per annum. 1980-82 Chairman of the selection committee for new applications of Guild membership.
    • 1980’s Member and Organiser with the Society of Cork Potters.
    • 1982 Member of the organising committee of the International Ceramics Symposium, in Carrigaline.
    • 1983 Organiser of the World Crafts Council Ceramics Workshop in Courtmacsherry.
    • 1987 Workshop Co-ordinator for the Crafts Council’s Burren 4 Workshop and Exhibition.
  • Awards
    • 1971 Equal First Prize Winner of the Daily Telegraph ‘Young Sculptor of the Year’, Royal Academy, London.
    • 1972 Overall First Prize, Manchester Academy of Fine Arts.
  • Commissions
    • 1979 Commissioned by Mrs. J Lynch to make 2 ‘Brendan Jars’ for presentation on State visit to U.S.A. One of these jars to be given to Mrs. Mondale, who collected Ceramics.
    • 1985 Commissioned by the Irish Red Cross to make a Special edition of my Cork 800 Stemmed Bowl for Presentation to President Hillary.
    • I have had my work presented to 3 Irish Presidents !
  • Artist
    • In 1981 I was selected by the Arts Council as the first Ceramic Artist/Craftsman in Ireland to be awarded tax free exemption on my entire production.
  • Master Craftsman
    • I started making pottery in 1961, I built my first wood fired kiln in 1963. I lectured in Ceramics for 6+ years. I established Courtmacsherry Designs with Jane Forrester in 1973, and Courtmacsherry Ceramics with my wife Fran in 1978. I have produced Stoneware Tableware from 1974-1980, and Porcelain Tableware and Art Pieces from 1980-2010.
    • My work is now permanently on show at my gallery: Courtmacsherry Ceramics Gallery, Courtmacsherry, West Cork. Open by appointment, or during summer exhibitions. Tel: 0872204841. Selling my Own Work and Personal Statement. I have always been involved at the core of the selling operation. With the Cork Craftsman’s Guild and the Cork Potters. I am strong willed and have beliefs based in a Strong ‘European Ethic’ of tradition and design. I have always striven to be in control of my own destiny, And it gives both Fran and myself great satisfaction to be able to sell the majority of our yearly production from our own showroom in Courtmacsherry. My functional work consists of simple functional shapes, made of porcelain, and extremely strong and hard wearing: easy to clean and hygienic. They are decorated like all my work from original designs, inspired by our life in Courtmacsherry Bay, our garden, the bird life of the estuary and bay, the fish we catch and eat. Our pots are “a taste” of West Cork, and strongly reflect the place where they are made. We are sure our customers enjoy using them and after all these years we are very proud of them. I feel there is a genuine integrity about our work and it is easy to see the love and care which has gone into its production. Every firing in our kiln has something ‘new’ in it, but our pots are much the same as they were years ago. In 1999 we took a policy decision to never again make, special requests, commissions, etc., we will make only the pots we want to make from now on, and we know they will sell. My non-functional pieces are truly subjective statements and I could not start to explain them in words, sometimes they hardly exist as a saleable commodity. Nevertheless each piece which I feel is important to me is catalogued. Eg. pw 06.4.12. : year 2006, month April, and number of piece that month 12. My work is in many civic and private collections throughout Europe and America.
  • 2010
    • Since 2010 I have been working more on Paintings, IPad Paintings and Ink Drawings for giclee fine art prints. Much of my time is spent at Mizen, painting and Birdwatching.
    • My current paintings are on Facebook – peterwolstenholmeartist.