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Council to Honour Rio Hero with Commemorative Coffee Set

Matthew wilcock olympic gift
FULL OF BEANS – Top potter Matt Wilcock throws a commemorative coffee set for Ribble Valley Olympian Jon Schofield.
Published Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Ribble Valley kayak ace Jon Schofield, who surged his way to success at the Rio Olympics, is to be honoured with a specially commissioned coffee set thrown by top potter Matt Wilcock.

The set will be presented by Ribble Valley Mayor Joyce Holgate on Friday (31 March) at the council’s 2017 sports and arts excellence grants ceremony.

Jon, who was supported by Ribble Valley Borough Council throughout his early career, secured second place in the kayak pairs 200m sprint at the Lagoa Stadium. Jon and kayak partner Liam Heath took silver after beating Lithuanian duo Aurimas Lankas and Edvinas Ramanauskas in a split-second photo-finish.

Robert Thompson said: “We are immensely proud to have supported Jon over the years and thrilled with his success.

“For him to have won bronze at London 2012 was fantastic enough, but to have topped that with a silver at Rio is outstanding.

“We know Jon likes a good cup of coffee, so we asked Matt Wilcock to produce a special commemorative coffee set.

“We are delighted that Jon and Matt have taken time out of their busy international schedules to join us at this year’s sports and arts excellent grants ceremony and present the awards.”

Clay ace Matt, who won last year’s surprise TV hit the Great Pottery Throw Down, marries technical ability with astonishing artistry and recently exhibited at the Platform Gallery in Clitheroe.

The set comprises four mugs and a cafetiere featuring the Olympic rings on a circular tray. The set is thrown from stone wear clay on a traditional potters’ wheel and bisque-fired for three days at 980 degrees, before being glazed and fired again for two days at 1,285 degrees. 

The set has been glazed with Leach celadon, named after its inventor, renowned British potter Michael Leach, which comprises Cornish stone, China clay, whiting, flint and a touch of iron, and is a distinctive jade green colour.

Matt, who is soon to take up a post as a lecturer in ceramics at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, said: “The Rio Olympics was extremely vibrant and gave me plenty of inspiration for Jon’s coffee set, which I am delighted to have produced using some of my favourite materials and techniques.”

The Ribble Valley sports and arts excellence grants ceremony will take place in the Ribble Valley Borough Council Chamber in Church Street, Clitheroe, on Friday evening.

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