CERAMIC artists in Llangollen are championing a new campaign persuading people to shop locally this Christmas.

Potters Charmain Poole and Jacqui Atkin of Gwalia Ceramics, Oak Street are taking part in Denbighshire County Council’s #LoveLiveLocal campaign in a bid to promote the diverse and vibrant shopping experience available on the county’s high streets.

The project is centred on the busy run-up to Christmas and Charmain and Jacqui and other retailers across the county are featured on a series of videos on social media telling shoppers about the variety of shops in Denbighshire.

Jacqui, from St Martin's, near Oswestry, is the editor of ceramics magazine Clay Craft and the author of several books on pottery-making, has taught ceramics and worked in the NHS using ceramics as therapy for mental health patients.

She said: “None of what we have here in the shop is mass-produced, it is all individually made by artists in their studios and much of it is made locally.”

Charmian, from Cynwyd near Corwen, met Jacqui 18 months ago at a ceramics class, and the pair now share duties running the shop, taking turns to run the business on alternating weeks to give them time to focus on their work.

Charmain said: “Llangollen is such a lovely town with so many interesting shops and lots of visitors and it’s midway between our homes so it’s been ideal.

“Our business model is very simple – we welcome ceramic artists whose work we like and appreciate.

“It’s nice to deal with good people and we like to promote them and particularly those who live and work in the area.”

Jacqui’s work often features birds while that of Charmain, who spent a few years sailing the Mediterranean with her late husband, makes use of fish but other artists they sell have also been inspired by the natural world.

The foxes of Anna-Mercedes Wear, who died recently from cancer, feature prominently and so do the hares and weasels by Julie Shaw, part of a colourful and ever-changing display in shop and gallery.

Cllr Hugh Evans OBE, Leader of Denbighshire County Council, said: “Llangollen is a great example of the high-quality, unique shopping offer evident in high streets across Denbighshire.

“Small businesses like Gwalia Ceramics provide great customer service, going that extra mile to help their customers. As well the fantastic range of goods available in the county, shopping locally helps support Denbighshire’s economy.”

As part of the #LoveLiveLocal campaign, shoppers can support independent businesses by using the hashtag on Twitter and Facebook to share good experiences they’ve had as well as promote products and services from the area they have ‘loved’.

The council is offering more support to local businesses with free car parking in all Denbighshire County Council town centre car parks after 3pm between November 21 and December 31.

For more on #lovelivelocal go to visit denbighshire.gov.uk/en/business/business-support-and-advice/love-live-local-caru-busnesau-lleol.aspx as well as on Facebook and Twitter.