The Weekend

Join us for a celebration of ceramics, including a weekend workshop at Redbrae's Pottery with guests Jono Smart & Emily Stephen and Frances Priest who will share their practice. No previous knowledge or experience of ceramics is required,

We have planned a weekend which will delight fellow ceramicists along with supporters of traditional crafts, artists, collectors and makers. 

Along with learning about this ancient craft you will have the opportunity to relax, unwind and be inspired in the comfort and splendour of Marchmont House, the recently restored 'Grade A' listed Palladian mansion awarded the Historic Houses/Sotheby's Award in 2018. 

Guests can stay in a State Bedroom at Marchmont House

This is an intimate 'house party' offering two nights stay with dinner, breakfast, lunch and drinks included in the booking price. Weekend guests will also be taken on a guided tour of the house, giving insight into a collection which spans over 500 years of art history, and a special outdoor walk in the grounds with Marchmont director, Hugo Burge.


Arrive on the Friday afternoon in time for tea and cakes, followed by an opportunity to tour the Marchmont Art Collection with one of our expert guides, taking in the peace and quiet of the Berwickshire countryside from the Terrace for drinks, before sitting round the table in the Old Kitchen Gallery for an informal dinner.

Marchmont House in Berwickshire

After a 'Full Marchmont' breakfast on Saturday we will hear from some inspirational makers about their own journey into ceramics and the techniques which are key to their practice. A seasonal buffet lunch will be served in our Old Kitchen Gallery, home to our collection of Scottish Colourist paintings. The afternoon will take us to Redbraes Pottery on the edge of the Marchmont Estate to a private workshop giving a three hour 'hands on' Introduction to Ceramics and demonstrations from our guest Makers.

Saturday evening begins with drinks in our Saloon with its incredibly restored plasterwork by Thomas Clayton, followed by a three course dinner in the beautiful Lorimer Dining Room.

The Lorimer Dining Room at Marchmont House

Programme Timings

Friday 21st April

Arrival from 3:30pm at Marchmont House (transfers from Berwick-upon-Tweed station available)

  • 5:30pm Private tour of Marchmont House with our Curator
  • 7:00pm Pre dinner drinks in the Saloon
  • 8:00pm Casual supper in our Old Kitchen Gallery
Saturday 22nd April

Breakfast from 8:30am in our Old Kitchen Gallery

  • 10:00am Welcome and introduction to Marchmont
  • 10:20am Frances Priest on her inspiration as a ceramic artist and pattern obsessive including a 'Show & Tell' of works
  • 11:00am Coffee break
  • 11:30am Jono Smart on the Seven Stages of becoming a Potter including a Q&A
  • 12:15pm Briefing from Heather Wilson and Nicholas Stenhouse of Redbraes Pottery to prepare for afternoon ceramics workshop
  • 12:30pm Lunch in the Old Kitchen Gallery
  • 1:30pm Travel to Redbraes Pottery
  • 2:00pm Start of private three hour ceramic workshop with added demonstration by Jono Smart
  • 5:00pm Return to Marchmont House
  • 7:30pm Champagne reception in the Saloon
  • 8:00pm Dinner in the Lorimer Dining Room
  • 9:30pm Nightcap in the Drawing Room or Billiard Room games
Sunday 23rd April

The morning will include a walk around the gardens with owner, Hugo Burge followed by Sunday lunch in our Old Kitchen Gallery. Guests depart from 2:30pm

Work by Antony Gormley on the roof of Marchmont House

Guest Makers

Frances Priest

Frances describes herself as a pattern obsessive and lover of colour, exploring cultural histories and narratives of ornament through studio ceramics and installations in the built environment. Central to her work is an interest in pattern books as a means of documenting and disseminating languages of ornament, reflecting upon the ever-changing interpretations of ornamental motifs as they move between drawing and material form.

Frances Priest at SSA exhibition. Photo credit Alex Mcintosh

Over the past twenty years, she has developed an internationally recognised practice, with work represented in private collections across the globe and UK public collections, including The Fitzwilliam Museum, The Victoria & Albert Museum, and The National Museum of Scotland.

Public commissions include The Tiled Corridor for Edinburgh & Lothians Health Foundation and Patterns of Flora for Atlas Arts. Her work has featured in biennials and awards including, European Ceramic Context, The Wesley Barrell Craft Award, The British Ceramics Biennale,  Arts & Business Scotland Award, Homo Faber, and The John Smedley Craft Prize. She is a Homo Faber selected maker and a QEST Scholar.

Jono Smart & Emily Stephen

Jono Smart and Emily Stephen are a Scottish based couple who live and work together. Jono works as a potter and Emily as a woodturner. They also combine efforts to make sculptural works and installations.

Ceramics by Jono Smart and Emily Stephen

Their studio is a showcase of the things they make and design, their home and the landscape they live in. Both of them have always worked closely with nature. Emily, while working as an architect, designed simple timber buildings, that sat quietly in their landscape. Jono worked as a garden designer using trees, hedges, water, stone and flowers to create structured spaces. In their current work as a potter and a woodturner they depend upon nature for their material. They try to impose as little as possible upon their pieces, allowing the natural surfaces of wood and clay to be at the forefront of all they do.

Introduction to Ceramics

Run by Nicholas Stenhouse and Heather Wilson, Redbraes is a production pottery studio and creative clay space. Based in a former disused garage in the nearby town of Greenlaw, Redbraes is the latest in a series of ‘Creative Spaces’ being developed by Marchmont to provide affordable studios and workshops for makers and creators.

Heather and Nick will show you how to construct, coil, pinch, join, and shape hand-built pottery. You will be working by hand with clay to create playful pieces (forms could include mugs, bowls, jugs, vessels, dishes & tiles), adding colour by painting with clay slips and decorating with texture tools. There will be an opportunity to learn the steps needed to make a pot on the wheel, and have a go at making a bowl.

Using the wheel

By the end of the weekend you will have experience with a range of different pottery techniques and have a small collection of pottery pieces to be glazed and fired ready for you to take home (we can arrange to have these items delivered if you are unable to collect them).

Good to know

This is a relaxed weekend with casual clothing. We recommend a pair of outdoor shoes/boots and a waterproof coat. Saturday night dinner is served in our Lorimer Dining Room with the requirement of jackets (but no ties) for men.

Working with clay can be very messy, we will supply aprons but suggest wearing clothes that you don’t mind getting mucky. We also recommend that you remove jewellery and tie long hair back. Tea and coffee will be available throughout the afternoon.

After booking you will be asked to contact us with any access or dietary requirements.

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Cancellation and Refund Policy

Our cancellation period is 14 days in advance.

We will happily offer a refund or a credit for a later date before then, please do get in touch.

Should we cancel the event for any reason you will receive a complete refund.

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