festival 2017

Whitegold Programme 30th Sep 2017 : 11.00 – 16.30

The Whitegold Festival, a free celebration of China Clay, returns to St Austell on Saturday September 30, 2017. Tim Smit from the Eden Project says: “We’re really pleased to be bringing the Whitegold Festival back to St Austell this year. Our town was built on the china clay industry and it’s a really important part of life here. There are reminders of our china clay heritage everywhere, from the Sky Tip that towers over St Austell to the Eden Project, which is built in a former china clay pit. Whitegold will celebrate this unique heritage and the arts and culture that it has inspired.”


11.00   Festival opens

CRAFT stalls are open all day  |  Locations vary (follow signs)

EXHIBITION open all day | White River Place Gallery

EXHIBITION open all day |  WRP Festival Hall

Wheal Martyn display open all day | WRP Plaza

WORKSHOP by artist Jenny Beaven |  WRP Festival Hall

WORKSHOP by artist Paul Jackson | WRP Festival Hall

Cornishware stall (T G Green and Co.) |  WRP Plaza

Imerys display | WRP Plaza

St Austell Brewery – free samples available | WRP Plaza

Raku ceramics for sale by Andy Sheppard  | 13 High Cross Street

12.00   WELCOME by Emma Bridgwater and Sir Tim Smit  | WRP Main Stage

12.15   TALK by designer Emma Bridgwater | WRP Festival Hall

12.30   COOKING in the Turkish clay oven | WRP Plaza

13.00   Music from Radio St Austell Bay | WRP Main Stage

14.00   Raku firing at Afternoon Gallery with Andy Sheppard | 13 High Cross Street

15.00   Music from Radio St Austell Bay | WRP Main Stage

16.00   Festival closes

It will be opened by renowned ceramics designer Emma Bridgwater with a welcome by Tim Smit from the Eden Project. Emma will also give a talk about her own contemporary ceramics designs and her inspiration. The festival is a day of hands-on art and craft workshops for all ages, ceramics stalls, exhibitions and displays inspired by the unique material that has shaped the landscape and culture around St Austell.

Artichoke Plate Emma BridgewaterEmma Bridgewater and Matthew Banner





Jenny Beavan, a local ceramicist specialising in china clay, will be returning to the Whitegold Festival. Jenny will be running a workshop where visitors can learn to create something called Treasure Bowls – porcelain with china clay and glass on top of clay waves, symbolising the journey of Cornish china clay to far off shores.

Jenny Beavan Treasure Bowl Paul Jackson Font Project
Another local ceramicist, Paul Jackson, will be inviting people to make clay flowers and fonts based on his current project which re-interprets the medieval carved fonts of churches around the Clay Country and the eucryphia trees of Holy Trinty Church St Austell. Paul will also be exhibiting three large contemporary bowls from this project.

Ceramic artist Andy Sheppard joins us at this year’s Whitegold Festival having set up the new Afternoon Gallery recently in High Cross St, St Austell. Andy will be literally playing with fire, showing the spectacular art of Raku firing, an old Japanese technique, where combustibles like sawdust and flame combine to create ravishing colour on ceramics.

Andy Sheppard Raku Andy Sheppard Raku Andy Sheppard Raku
We are also very pleased to welcome for the first time the manufacturers of Cornishware TG Green and Co who will be showing the pottery design that was created in the 1920’s and inspired by the Cornish coast. Their master potters will be doing wheel throwing demonstrations and hand decorating plates

CornishwareCornishware Mug

Over August Turkish ceramicist Betűl Katigӧz has been making a Turkish clay oven with the help of visitors and staff at Wheal Martyn Museum which we hope to fire up on the day of the festival to create wonderful food.

Turkish Oven

There will be an exhibition by Cornwall College at White River Place including stunning photography from the china clay area Plymouth University photographer Oli Udy and beautiful ceramics by Cornwall College alumni Sarah Cooling and well as other artists and ceramicists.

Oliver Udy Sarah Cooling








A great display of some of the amazing crafts people and artists from across Cornwall selling their wares. An opportunity to possess your own fantastic piece of Cornish creativity. Details coming soon..

Come and meet people from China Clay past – Wheal Martyn Museum and China Clay future – Imerys.

Restormal Arts performers will also be entertaining the crowds and St Austell Community Radio will be broadcasting live from the festival…

St Austell Brewery will be there allowing us to take a sample of the local stuff !

The Whitegold project is an initiative of the St Austell Bay Economic Forum with financial support kindly offered by St Austell BID, St Austell Town Council and FEAST. It has been further supported by Cornwall County Councillors Richard Pears Sally-Anne Saunders and Sandra Heyward. Further In-kind support has been provided by St Austell Brewery, Imerys, the Eden Project, Cornwall College, Plymouth University, Wheal Martyn museum, White River Place, Restormal Arts, St Austell Printing Co and local artists.