Meet the Makers: Crail Pottery
Crail Pottery is tucked away in a tiny back street of our neighbouring village. If you didn't know it was there you might struggle to find it, but people have been seeking this place out since Stephen and Carol Grieve it opened in 1965. The pottery is a proper family business, a cooperative run by Carol and Stephen along with their son and daughter Ben and Sarah and grandson Timothy (seven other grandchildren work their too!). Each potter has their own studio space around a small shared courtyard and exhibit in the upstairs showroom and shop.
And if this isn't quite enough of an idyll, Stephen owns an amazing organic vegetable garden overlooking the North sea and spends the summer months fishing for lobsters and crabs in his tiny fishing boat.
We currently sell the Cooking Pots range, a beautifully simple and practical collection of stoneware that has been hand thrown at Crail Pottery since the 1960s. We took a tour of the studios and spoke to Ben about working with family, his inspirations and design heroes and favourite local hide-outs.
Can you tell us a bit about Crail Pottery and your workspace?
Crail Pottery was started in 1965 by my parents and is now run with my wife Jane and sister. My parents still work here as well. Recently our son Timothy has joined the business.
Why do you do what you do?
We make pots to make a living but also it's very satisfying too.
What is the most important lesson that you’ve learnt (through work or life!)?
Spending most of the working day in a small workshop it's important to get along with each other and be nice to customers.
Who are your craft and design heroes?
Bernard Leach, John Calver and Kate Malone.
What is your most treasured possession?
My most treasured possession would be a large jug made by my dad.
Where is your favourite place in the East Neuk?
I have so many favourite places in the East Neuk.... Crail Harbour, the coastal path, Coast coffee shop, kayaking from Elie to Crail, but I think the Isle of May is maybe my favourite place.