A PAIR of Denbigh potters in their 70s who have exhibited their work in London, Tokyo and many cities in between are celebrating their 55th year in business – with an exhibition a little closer to home.

David and Margaret Ffrith, aged 75 and 74, have run the Brookhouse Pottery in a renovated woollen mill at the foot of the Clwydian Range since 1976 and at one time employed seven apprentices.

Having worked with pottery since they were teenagers, meeting at Stoke-on-Trent College of Art and moving to North Wales three years before they married in 1964, the Ffrith’s will still be found in the workshop every day - though at a slower pace than they used to - because they can’t imagine life without clay in hand.

Inspired by Chinese and Japanese tradition, Margaret, who specialises in ceramics, and David in stonemasonry, have exhibited their work in galleries such as Ceramic Art London, the Krempl in Munich, Amphora in Holland, Du Don in France and Shun in Tokyo.

"The thought of being without clay in one hand is not nice," said Margaret (pictured), making a porcelain pot.

David, a former Denbigh Rotary Club president, received a forklift for his birthday – not a typical present for someone then approaching 70 – and waded through the Ystrad at 4am during the 2012 floods, while he and Margaret continue to welcome students to their workshop from across the world who want to learn more about the craft.

Second nature: David making a jug. Picture: Geoff Abbot

But Margaret does not consider them different for that reason and says there’s no intention to retire from their lifelong pursuit any time soon.

She said: “I wouldn’t say we’re particularly remarkable for our age. We’re very lucky that we’re still healthy and, though maybe we’re a bit slower than we used to, we don’t have any pressure.

"We’re happy and live in a lovely area which inspires us to make nice things – we hope to carry on for another 10 years. Pottery is a long learning curve and we always want to do better.

“The thought of being without clay in one hand is not nice; of course one day we’ll have to stop but we want to continue for a long time.”

The pottery’s work has been on exhibition in Ruthin Craft Centre since November, which will conclude on January 27, with a talk by Margaret and David to follow in February.

Philip Hughes, director of Ruthin Craft Centre, said: “Running a Pottery for 55 years is quite a feat and David and Margaret are an amazing phenomena; their longevity springs from a dynamic combination of talent and hard work.

David's jug takes form. Picture: Geoff Abbott

“They have exhibited all over the world and their work is in many major collections. Teaching courses from their studio in Denbigh to ceramic students and recreational potters from far and wide has brought much business to North Wales.

“This exhibition showcases their work: their enthusiasm for life and art is an inspiration to us all.”

For more information visit the Brookhouse Pottery or Ruthin Craft Centre websites.