A fundraising appeal to refurbish the Allen Gallery in Alton is being supported by 318 Ceramics and West Street Potters in  Farnham.

They are taking part in the gallery’s ceramic leaf fundraising appeal where leaves made at the workshops can be donated by the local community and hung on a painted tree, designed by local artist Andrew Sviridov, at the Allen Gallery. 

The gallery is going through a development phase funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in which it is researching its collection of nationally and internationally important ceramics to display them in the most effective way.

The fundraising appeal, due to be launched later this month, is aimed at paying for refurbishing  the exhibition space, café and shop as well as the gallery.

The Allen Gallery, managed by Hampshire Cultural Trust, approached 318 Ceramics to help support the appeal in which 300 ceramic leaves, inspired by the blue and white pieces on display at the gallery,will be made with the support of Hampshire Cultural Trust staff and volunteers.

The leaf shapes will be created by each maker tracing the outline of their hand, and, inspired by willow patterns found on many ceramics in the Allen Gallery,  they will then design their own artwork. 

Each leaf will also be stamped with a maker’s mark and an Allen Gallery stamp, creating a unique piece. 

Katherine Mason from 318 Ceramics said: ‘We are delighted to support this initiative using our studio at Coxbridge Farm. As well as providing regular classes for ceramicists we welcome the opportunity to support the community.”

Stacey Court-Martin, fundraising manager for Hampshire Cultural Trust said: “It’s been an absolute joy to be able to work with Katherine on this exciting fundraising appeal.

‘‘The development phase of our project is all about building new and existing relationships with our community, ensuring their voices are included in our ambitious plans for refurbishing the Allen Gallery. We know Alton has a long history of exceptionally-skilled ceramicists, and I couldn’t be happier to showcase our local makers in this new phase of Alton’s history.”

More information on the fundraising appeal is available at the Allen Gallery in Church Street, Alton, which is open Tuesdays to Sundays, by visiting hampshireculture.org.uk/allen-gallery and on the Allen Gallery and 318 Ceramics social media channels. 

The not-for-profit 318 Ceramics is celebrating its one-year anniversary at Coxbridge Farm, having moved premises from Farnham Pottery in Wrecclesham.