THE FINAL creations of a celebrated Thornbury potter who died last year are set to go on sale to the public.
Chris Zair, known to many as ‘Chris Pot’, ran a popular pottery on Grovesend Road in Thornbury for almost 40 years, having moved to the area in the mid-70s.
A well-known character in the community, he spent much of his time between the pottery and working at the Anchor Inn pub in Oldbury, before he passed away on November 14 2016, aged 66, following a brief fight with cancer.
“Chris just loved the art of pottery,” said sister Julie. “I think it was just the creativity of it that inspired him so much, having come from an artistic family where we were was always actively involved in something exciting.
“He was very much an individual and immersed himself in his pottery, an activity he could really sink into and remove himself from the rest of the world.
“He was an eccentric, which is what I think people loved most about him. He could have gone without selling anything for a few weeks and would still be content to create something new whilst drifting off to his favourite classical music.”
Having learned the art of pottery in Devises, he sought to learn more all his life, even travelling to Japan to further his knowledge.
As well as selling pots for personal use, with customers coming from all over the region, Chris also made ashtrays for a number of businesses including Thornbury Castle – a regular task as many would be taken as souvenirs by guests.
He was also a big supporter of Thornbury in Bloom, who have tended to the pottery's garden since his passing.
More than 1,500 pots and other pieces will be available for purchase at the special event, which is also being used to celebrate his life, with his family having announced that a £500 donation will be made to Thornbury in Bloom over five years, as well as funding a special prize for the group’s annual competition.
The pottery will be open to guests on Saturday, May 20, from 11am to 4pm, and on Sunday, May 21, from 11am to 3pm.
“We want the local people who knew him to have a chance to buy his work one last time,” said Julie.
“He would have loved nothing more than to see the pottery full of people enjoying themselves and we would really love for as many people to come down for a glass of wine, chat about their memories of Chris, and maybe to take away something to remember him.
“It is the end of an era, the last pieces of Chris’ work.”