Friday 31st March
11.30am Stephanie Buttle
In conversation with Duncan Hooson, BA Ceramic Design, Central Saint Martins
Steph's new work reflects her search for an aliveness and performative experience within her ceramic practice. The working title, Position 6 describes a 6th ballet position that in classical ballet training does not exist. The sculptural work takes on an abstract figurative representation, offering a narrative around the politics of intimacy and the complexities of relationship. Steph will be showing a video presentation of her performances during Central Saint Martin's 2017 exhibition Craftsmanship Alone Is not Enough.
Steph is an artist and maker who uses diverse approaches within her ceramic practice influenced by her former professional experiences within dance, performance and lens-based media.
12.30pm Professional Development: A guide for early career ceramists
Like the material itself, ceramics is constantly being remoulded and remodelled to find its place within a changing world. Despite starting from a constant medium, the directions one can take for a career in ceramics are as wide-ranging as its applications and uses. Stuart will give a glimpse into the market, offering advice and guidelines for the professional development of early career ceramists. Drawing on his experience as both student and mentor, and using his own achievements and failures, along with those of many people he has met along the way, he will open avenues of discussion and shed some light on successful paths being carved today.
Stuart is a potter and Co-Director of The Kiln Rooms ceramics studio, Peckham, London
Rob Kesseler in conversation with ceramic artists Tessa Eastman and Ikuko Iwamoto
Artists, artisans and especially potters have long drawn inspiration from the natural world, but recent developments in microscopy and the rise in collaborations between artists and scientists has opened up a whole new world of spectacular patterns and structures too small to be seen by the naked eye. Micro-organics brings together three people who draw inspiration from this world in their work.
Rob is an artist, author, Professor at Central Saint Martins and Chair of Arts, Design and Science at University of the Arts, London.
3pm In Search of Happiness
Barnaby will discuss the inspiration and driving force behind his work. From ‘The Seven Deadly Sins’ to his monumental ‘The Tower of Babel’ at the V&A, to his latest acclaimed exhibition ‘Me Want Now’ at the David Gill Gallery. He will outline how and why he wants to investigate the aspirations of our society.
Barnaby is a ceramic artist, recently awarded the 2016 h.Club 100 Award for Art, Craft and Design, hosted by the Hospital Club in partnership with the Creative Industries Council, the annual awards that celebrate influential and innovative people who have made an impact on the creative industries over the past year
4pm Moving, Flowing, Running…
Kate Malone in conversation with makers Anna Barlow and Helen Evans (Planet Ceramics)
Moving around the world gathering inspiration, flowing glazes over form, running a workshop – all part of Kate’s multitasking life as a potter. Kate will give an insight into her work and will provide access to all areas from glaze testing, pot making to architectural projects. Joining Kate will be ceramic makers Anna Barlow and Helen Evans who, as well as being practicing artists in their own right, also work collaboratively with, and for Kate. They will speak about the common ground that they all share; that is, a love of glazes within their own work.
Kate is a ceramic artist, ceramic stoneware glaze research expert and judge on BBC2’s The Great Pottery Throw Down and is represented by Adrian Sassoon.
Saturday 1st April
11.30am Tommaso Corvi-Mora
Making and exhibiting contemporary ceramics and contemporary art: a personal view
Tommaso has been actively involved in contemporary art since the late 1980s, first as a curator and writer in Milan, then working in commercial galleries. In 2000, Tommaso opened Corvi-Mora and in the last 15 years the gallery has hosted more than 100 exhibitions. Since 2012, the gallery has been showcasing many potters and artists working in clay, such as Adam Buick, Walter Keeler, Julian Stair, James & Tilla Waters and Sophie Wiltshire. Tommaso has recently presented his own ceramics as part of ‘Making and Unmaking’ at Camden Arts Centre.
Tommaso is a curator, writer, ceramist and London based gallery owner
12.30pm Tony Ainsworth memorial lecture
The Ceramic Continuum
Paul has been constructing a history of Western ceramic due to published as a book later this year, which focuses on what ceramic is in history, and how this has come to affect its role as a practice in the modern world. He is concerned with the structure of the ceramic world, and its unfolding through time. Arguing that while ceramic obviously relates to other forms of practice, there is an inner logic, and an ongoing discourse, which is peculiar to it, and which makes it different, and that ceramic has played a highly significant role in the construction of civilization.
Paul is Director of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich
2pm Gaye Blake Roberts
The Father of English Potters
Josiah Wedgwood – potter, pioneer, and philanthropist – was deservedly called ‘Father of English Potters’ by the then Prime Minister, William Gladstone. Wedgwood was born in Burslem, the mother town of ‘The Potteries’, in Staffordshire at one of the most exciting eras in English History, a period of change and development dominated by the Industrial Revolution. This lecture will explore the influence of fashion, taste, commerce and culture on Wedgwood ceramics of the 18th century. It will examine his pioneering endeavours to improve pottery manufacturing technology and the development of his ceramic bodies including his unique invention, Jasper and will look at Wedgwood as scientist and his role within the most influential group of men living in the Midlands, the Lunar Society.
Gaye is director of the Wedgwood Museum, Stoke-on-Trent
3pm Rod Bamford
The Machine in the Garden
Each technological turn is a disruption accompanied by reaction…of fear, excitement, protest, opportunity. How do contemporary disturbances effect the interpretation of ceramics, its provenance and practice? This presentation explores the topic by drawing on examples of work that illustrate aspects of current technological convergence, a resurgent interest in craft from 'the outside’, and ideas associated with a 'new materialism’ that empowers a language of objects.
Rob is head of Ceramics and Glass, Royal College of Art, London
4pm Clare Twomey
Skill: a word in the making
Clare is interested in how, as a community of makers, we hold and share knowledge. Research began during her 2011 residency at the V&A, leading to projects such as Time Present and Time Past at the William Morris Gallery 2016 and Manifest: 10,000 Hours at York Art Gallery 2015 . For the latter, prompted by the ceramics collection and an investigation into making in her own ceramic practice, she focused on the questions of making, skills and shared knowledge. The project works with the idea of making as a conversation: a process of making in one generation becomes a point of leadership for the next generation.
Clare is an artist and researcher working in performance, serial production and site-specific installation.
Sunday 2nd April
11.30am Giorgio Salani
The making of British tableware pottery
What stages in the making of a pot are responsible for the qualities we appreciate in handmade tableware? What narratives can be associated with gestures, materials, machinery and tools? Through ethnographic research and extensive interviews with practitioners, Giorgio's doctoral research explores the richness and variety of British contemporary tableware pottery practices. The talk will include videos of making processes and excerpts from interviews, comparing the different approaches in well-known potteries.
Giorgio is a ceramic maker and doctoral researcher at Central Saint Martins specializing in the intersection between traditional crafts and design
12.30pm Roy Stephenson
London ceramics in a century of dramatic change
Seventeenth century London is a fascinating time for ceramics in London, with a whole host of big narratives: the rise of popular literacy, civil war, war, plague, regicide, fire and restoration, but pottery supply to the capital carried on. Excavation has provided a great insight into the range and types of vessels of the time due to the indestructability of ceramics, revealing four main areas of supply into London: London tin-glazed ware sometimes called ‘Delftware’; utilitarian Redwares from the local clay; white firing Surrey/Hampshire Borderware and a tantalising range of imported wares.
Roy is Head of Archaeological Collections and Archive, Museum of London
2pm Iain Cartwright
British Ceramics Biennial – 2009 2011 2013 2015 2017 2019 2021
The six week-long festival of exhibitions, events and activities embraces the heritage of the Potteries as the home of British ceramics, and celebrates Stoke-on-Trent’s creative edge as an international centre for excellence in contemporary ceramics. As preparations are underway for the fifth iteration of the British Ceramics Biennial, 24 September – 5 November this year, Iain will reflect on the BCB experience to date and set out ambitions for the next five years and three more biennial festivals.
Iain is Executive Director British Ceramics Biennial (BCB), Stoke-on-Trent
3pm Simeon Featherstone
The Social Value of Clay
During a prolonged period of austerity and a diminishing welfare state, artists and makers continue to push participatory and collaborative practice to establish and connect with the world around them and increase access to the arts. Using clay as currency, Simeon will talk about his practice Parasite Ceramics and how he develops social capital through acts of participation, exchange and legitimacy.
Simeon is co-founder Parasite Ceramics, a versatile ceramic practice based in East London with experience in the fields of graphics, ceramics, product design, and community engagement.
4pm Jonathan Keep
Digital techniques in studio ceramics
Jonathan, who initiated the widely popular ‘Make Your Own Ceramic 3D Printer’ project, will present an overview of the current state of ceramic 3D printing and the use of digital techniques in studio ceramics and examine his own use of these innovative techniques. Her generates the shapes of his pots with computer code, a working process born out of an interest in the way code can mimic natural patterns and growth structures.
An independent practising artist potter based in Saxmundham, his ceramics are recognizable for a strong sculptural quality and emphasis on form. A graduate of the Royal College of Art, he exhibits and teaches internationally.