Peter Ellery was born in Penzance, the son of signwriter and occasional artist Angus ELLERY and his wife. Always interested in art and especially in painting, he took classes first at the Penzance School of Art. His father noticed his talents and ensured that Peter, after a five year apprenticeship in signwriting, took up a place at the Bath Academy of Art at Corsham. Though his main interest remained with painting - and he took it up again in retirement, leaving a substantial collection behind him at his relatively early death - it was pottery that seemed to offer a future living. From his ceramist tutors at Corsham came the inspiration for Tremaen Pottery, which he and his father together with his sister Brenda Wootten, the Cornish folk singer, set up in Marazion, Cornwall in 1965.
In 1967 the pottery moved on to Newlyn with an increased work force, but within a decade the business had closed. Peter then took over a gallery space in the centre of Penzance (Tremaen's) which traded in arts and crafts of the area, and continued to sell pots there and at the Sloop Craft Market in St Ives.
Peter was an avid supporter of NAG, serving on the committee for many years, and then being chosen to the first elected Council of Management of the Newlyn Orion Company in 1977. He was always helpful, providing elegant decorations for arts club balls, or serving on sales committees when funds were low (frequently), and encouraging and inspiring greater achievements and co-operation within a sometime fractious group of artists. Twice he served as Chairman of the management council: 1979-85, and from 1993-94. By the time he died, he proved to be the longest serving member of both the Committee (from the Original in 1895 to 1974) and the Council (from 1974 to the present), having begun his association with the Gallery in the early 1950s. His widow, Mary continued this service for a number of years, acting as the Secretary to the Council in honour of his long association.
Pottery, designer, painter
works and access
NAG: Chairman, management committees 1950s ff-1996; 1972-3 (Fellow's Representative on Committee)
Digital Museum of Cornish Ceramics
Hardie (1995) 100 Years in Newlyn, Diary of a Gallery (photo likeness)
McLeod, Alister (1973) Newlyn Society of Artists 1895-1973 (12-page brochure)