Collection and Exhibitions

Sharpe's Pottery Museum | Collection and Exhibitions

Object of the Month


"Faux" Bretby Planter

Our latest display features a hexagonal "Faux" Bretby Planter, which is currently on loan from the Magic Attic Archives. As with many "Dutch Themed" pieces that were produced by Bretby Art Pottery, the main colour scheme consists of muted tones; particularly when looking at the inanimate background scenes/objects. This is in contrast to the sailors who also feature and whose uniforms have been made to stand out through the use of a bright, navy blue glaze.

So why has it been labelled as "Faux"?

Firstly it is without a Bretby backstamp. Secondly whilst the "mid 1920's mould" that was used to create it is of official Bretby status, the piece itself cannot be classed as such due to the fact that it was not made onsite at the Bretby Art Pottery; Woodville. Instead, it was made by potter Sandra Rogers who was based in a studio at "Tunnicliffs Old Bakery" in Newhall. She acquired the mould from Tony Barnes - formerly of Bretby Brick and Stone - whom she also rented her studio from. As such, the piece has been classed as "Burton Ware" which was in production at this time. The notion that "things are not always what they seem" thus seems very apt in this instance.


If you're planning on visiting the museum whilst our newest donation is out on display and you know anything else about this particular piece; or a similar object, we would love to hear from you.


Temporary Exhibitions

We have several exciting Temporary Exhibitions being hosted by Sharpe’s Pottery Museum this Autumn including:


Lower Gallery Exhibition - March 2018

"Rewind: Staunton Harold Hall" is the latest temporary exhibition to take up residence in our lower gallery and has been installed by the Leonard Cheshire Disability Archive. A mixture of photographic and literary pieces have been used to explore the history of "Staunton Harold Cheshire Home", as well as it's successor "Newlands Home" in Netherseal. You can even learn a thing or two about the homes founder; Group Captain Leonard Cheshire VC. In addition, a fun family trail and a period video playing in our kiln also add to this informative and touching display. If you fancy stopping by, then the museum and lower gallery are free to enter between 10am - 4:30pm; Monday to Saturday, with last admissions at 4pm.


Featured Artists in the Museum Cafe - March 2018

Our latest cafe exhibition has been compiled by the members of the "Ashby Photography Club" and includes a number of original photographic pieces. Entry to the cafe is free from Monday to Saturday; between 10am - 4pm, with last orders ar 3:30pm.


Featured Artists in the Museum Gift Shop - Winter 2018

We have a selection of temporary exhibitions currently on display within our gift shop, with all items available to purchase from the museum reception desk. The original works of artist Kay Smith can be seen in the "Calke Abbey Collection" that is on display alongside the printed works of Barry Phillips Smith, which depict local heritage features within the surrounding landscape; such as Moira Furnace, the Tramway Arch at Ticknall and of course Sharpe's Pottery Museum.

The "Ceramic Creations" of Jayne Proctor from "Sheepshead Pottery" are also being exhibited in our Gift Shop and are available to purchase from the reception desk. The main creations produced at the Sheepshead Pottery include quirky clay likenesses of a variety of animals, such as hares, field mice, owls and of course sheep. We are also currently exhibiting the works of Kathryn Borg from "Highly Crafted Ceramics", which include an array of ornamental dishes, plates and vases that have been inspired by the National Forest.

A small carpentry exhibition is on display in our gift shop, which has been set-up by local woodworker "Clem" and which includes various handcrafted items such as themed trinket boxes and tealight holders. Again all items on display are available to purchase from the museum reception desk.   

In addition to the colourful glass creations of Angela Ashton, we have recently added the works of Steve Allen "The Driftwood Artisan" to our display. Again all pieces are available to purchase from the museum reception desk.


A Toilet Story

The National Forest Gallery

The Museum joined forces with The National Forest, to create this interactive ‘hands on’ exhibition, telling the story of the local 'Swad' landscapes, damaged by the coal and clay industries and their more recent transformation into green open spaces, with increasing numbers of newly planted trees forming part of The National Forest.

South Derbyshire Potteries Gallery

The South Derbyshire Potteries Gallery includes a scale model of the Sharpe’s when it was a working pottery alongside many exhibits of domestic and decorative pieces produced by local potteries; these include Bretby Art Pottery, T.G. Green and  Moira Pottery.

If you are interested in learning more about our Collections Development Policy, then please follow the link provided to find out more ...


Collections Development Policy (front page for website)Sharpe's Collections Development Policy


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