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Community Projects
(Updated 07/06/23)

The Shelley Group is a collectors’ club with research and educational aims. We are a Registered Charity - No.1097547. and in support of this and our stated object of public education and promotion of the products of Wileman and Shelley Potteries, we engage in a variety of community activities.

The Ray Reynolds Memorial Award 2022

2022 Ray Reynolds Award presentation Each year the Shelley Group makes an annual award, in the form of a Bursary for £500, to a student of Ceramics at the University of Staffordshire. This is a splendid way of commemorating our great friend, Ray Reynolds, and linking him and us with the cutting-edge of UK Ceramics.
After all the problems caused by the Covid pandemic The Shelley Group was delighted to resume partnership with the 3D Design/Ceramics Department of the University of Staffordshire, led by Professor Tim Forrester. Chris Davenport and David Cox were invited on 10 June to meet 6 students in their final months of their course. Their wares were displayed splendidly as part of the Department’s end-of-year celebration. The standards of design and techniques were very high certainly the best that we have seen since the Award was created. As no Award had been possible in 2021, Committee had determined that this year we could make 2 Awards each of £500.

Francesca Harthill & Brian Woods
      The decisions were far from easy. Eventually we decided that 2 students were outstanding. Therefore the 2022 Memorial Awards were made to Serim Oh and Francesca Hartill. The other 4 students all received Commendations – Oliver Cox, Nicola Webster, Katie Baker and Brian Woods. Mindful of its charitable position Committee had also discussed the mounting financial pressures on students, especially the costs of materials. Annual tuition fees are currently £9500. In the case of Serim Oh, an international student from Malawi of Korean/American heritage, these fees are tripled! Committee had decided to offer help, in the form of a Shelley Bursary of £500. Having received written submissions from 3 students it was decided to divide the £500 between Katie Baker and Brian Woods, each thus receiving a Bursary.  The partnership with Tim Forrester, his team and students is strong. The Shelley Group is held in high regard for the level of its continuing support. We in The Group are delighted to continue the traditions of the Shelley Potteries – high quality of design and production, innovation, education and training.

We are proud to be able to assist students in this way and to share in enjoying their efforts.

Previous Years Awards

Conservation of Shelley Pattern Books

Following the successful bid by the Art Fund to purchase the Minton Archive in 2015, the Group has worked with Stoke City Archives to catalogue and digitise the Shelley Pattern Books which formed part of that collection. Many of the books are in a state of decay and in need of urgent work to stabilise them and prevent further deterioration. Three of the books which contained work done by Ray Reynolds (the last Decorating Manager of Shelleys), were selected by his daughters for restoration, and financed by donations made following Ray's death, specifically for that purpose. The remaining books have been examined by a conservator and a schedule of repairs agreed. It is considered that any work should be of a minimal nature to preserve as much of the original books as possible whilst improving their structural integrity and allow their further use for research. The cost of conserving these remaining books, which will run well into five figures, is being shared between the UK, USA, and Australian collecting groups.

Sue & Jill (Rey Reynolds daughters) with Chris Latimer of Stoke City ArchivesPhotos

Left: Sue and Jill (Ray Reynold's daughters) with Chris Latimer of Stoke City Archives

Below left: The extensive deterioration of some of the pattern books

Below centre: Books 13 and 17 after conservation. Book 13 has had sympathetic repairs to the spine whilst Book 17 has received a complete new cover

Below right: The dedication to Ray placed in some of the books.

photo montage of pattern book conservation