A LEADING potter has proved a hit even before his exhibition opens to the public.

Works by Ivar Mackay, of Alnwick, Northumberland, are on display from today to Sunday, August 31, at the Oriental Museum, Elvet Hill, Durham City.

The exhibition, called Sky After Rain, features contemporary hand-thrown studio porcelain and received funding from The Arts Council North-East.

On Thursday, a private viewing attracted more than 200 people and resulted in 50 of the 58 pieces being sold for between £30 and £400. They will be collected at the exhibition's end.

Francesca Wedel, Mr Mackay's collaborator at the Shire Pottery Gallery and Studio, in Alnwick, said: "The night was a great success and was nearly a sell-out.''

Mr Mackay hopes the exhibition will raise his profile and highlight the craft at a time when the teaching of skills in schools and colleges is declining.

He works in the traditional way and has been influenced by the Chinese and Korean throwers of the early dynasties, whose work features in the museum's collections of ancient ceramics.

For opening times and other details about the exhibition call the museum on 0191-334 5694.