Adam Partridge, the Cheshire-based antiques expert who has appeared on TV programmes including Flog It! and Bargain Hunt, will host a significant auction of ceramic art to raise funds for charity FiredUp4 at his Macclesfield auction house at 7pm on October 19 and anticipates an eager response from art lovers and specialist collectors.

‘We’re one of the few auction houses to specialise in studio ceramics, making us an obvious choice for this event. FiredUp4 sources all the pieces for auction and we have the buyers. We have a specialist ceramics sale three times a year so are already known as experts in this growing market,' he says.

‘This is slightly different as it’s a rare example of us offering pieces at auction where there are no comparables or records to go by, as opposed to antiques and paintings. The auction estimates are therefore based on feeling and trend and what they might command in a gallery. Studio ceramics is quite a small community and there are very few auction houses that specialise in it, but it’s very much an emerging market and I anticipate a great night.’

Great British Life: Kate Malone and Johnny Vegas, champions of FiredUp4. (c) FiredUp4 Kate Malone and Johnny Vegas, champions of FiredUp4. (c) FiredUp4

All the pieces for sale come from artists or celebrities who have some connection to the world of ceramics, from sought-after names such as Sir Grayson Perry, to stars including Johnny Vegas, who studied pottery at university, where one of his tutors was famed ceramicist Kate Malone. Kate, a judge on the first two series of The Great Pottery Throwdown, has played a major role in the fundraising for FiredUp4 since its inception in 2020.

The October auction is aiming to raise £150,000 to install ceramics studios at Youth Zones in Manchester, Blackburn and Darwin, and Croydon, in partnership with OnSide, a charity that believes all young people deserve to live fulfilling lives, and supports this through the provision of access to spaces such as YouthZones, and exceptional youth work.

Kate says: ‘Working with clay is deeply therapeutic. It can be a way to express emotions and it helps with the development of fine motor skills and creative problem-solving. It can also be used in enterprise projects, to give young people real-life experience of running a creative business.

‘The studios reach young people who don’t usually have access to ceramic studios, providing them with opportunities to enhance their mental health and well-being and achieve their potential.

'We are very grateful to the ceramic community and leading ceramic artists who have generously donated their work and helped to fundraise. We’re delighted to collaborate with OnSide to create meaningful and lasting change – with focused impact – using clay.’

Great British Life: Platinum Jubilee II, by Sir Grayson Perry. Photo courtesy the artist and Victoria MiroPlatinum Jubilee II, by Sir Grayson Perry. Photo courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro

There are some exciting pieces coming to auction this month, says Jason Wood, specialist consultant in Studio Ceramics at Adam Partridge Auctioneers & Valuers. Not least of these is a glazed ceramic charger by Sir Grayson Perry, titled Platinum Jubilee II and made in 2023, which has a sale estimate of £30,000-£35,000.

‘There are almost 90 lots in the auction and any one of them I'd be happy to take home,’ Jason says. ‘There are three truly special lots, though. Grayson Perry's work rarely comes to auction and the charger he has donated is just a stunner. It’s timely too as this summer saw the opening in Edinburgh of a major retrospective of his work.

‘The piece by (Wirral-based sculptor) Emma Rodgers derives inspiration from a Japanese folktale – a narrative work like this draws you in to deeper meanings behind an artwork. I love the delicacy of her work and the use of non-ceramic elements in combination with clay. The auction estimate for this is £2,500-£3,000.

Great British Life: Transformation The Crane Wife, by Emma Rodgers. Photo Loura WhithamTransformation The Crane Wife, by Emma Rodgers. Photo Loura Whitham


‘And it’s very exciting to see an Edmund de Waal piece for sale. Again, his contemporary work is a rarity at auction as he tends to focus on installations of groups of pots, mostly in response to site-specific requirements. To have a single pot with its bespoke stand is therefore uncommon and it is sure to attract the interest of collectors.’

Also supporting the 2023 auction are Keith Brymer Jones, Rich Miller, Alison Britton and Barnaby Barford together with sculptor Andrew Logan and interior designer Nina Campbell. Prices achieved from previous auctions ranged from £300 to £12,000, making it the ideal opportunity to investigate, and possibly invest in, this growing market while making an impactful donation to charity.

Jamie Masraff, OnSide chief executive, says: ‘FiredUp4 will help to provide hundreds of young people from across the OnSide Network with the chance to try ceramic art, something they might otherwise never get to experience, this could ignite new passions, improve wellbeing and nurture the ceramic artists of tomorrow.’

To bid for lots in the auction, you will need to register for an account with Adam Partridge Auctioneers, at

Great British Life: Johnny Vegas, back row second left and Kate Malone, fourth left, with young people benefitting from the OnSide project. OnSideJohnny Vegas, back row second left and Kate Malone, fourth left, with young people benefitting from the OnSide project. OnSide

Jason Wood's lots of choice

Great British Life: Hand to Hand, by Edmund de Waal. Photo Loura WhithamHand to Hand, by Edmund de Waal. Photo Loura Whitham

EDMUND DE WAAL (born 1964)

Hand to Hand, a small porcelain vessel covered in metallic grey glaze, impressed mark (glaze filled), made 2022, height 6.5cm, diameter 5cm, on an aluminium stand/wall bracket with silver clip, stand 15.5 x 8 x 8cm.

Estimate: £7,000-£9,000

Edmund says: 'Making has been part of my life since I first put my hands into clay as a very young child. Material objects carry so much – narrative, emotion, history – and creativity is an essential part of human expression.–– This work comes from my hands into the hands of young people; creativity is being passed on ‘hand to hand’.'

EMMA RODGERS (born 1974)

Transformation: The Crane Wife, a porcelain and mixed media sculpture, signed and dated 2019, 70.5 x 60.5cm, framed and glazed using art glass.

Estimate: £2,500-3,000

Emma says: 'This is inspired by an old Japanese folktale Crane Wife. This piece represents the part of the tale of the crane shot by the silver arrow transcends through the sky transforming into a woman, her feathers now woven silk gowns billowing through the clouds as she descends to earth. Elements of the landscapes and poems from the fable are woven throughout the piece, to tell the story of love, relationships and transformation.'

GRAYSON PERRY (born 1960)

Platinum Jubilee II, a glazed ceramic charger, made 2023, diameter 56.5cm, height 4cm.

Estimate: £25,000-£30,000