Ceramics In Architecture: Art In Every Detail

Friday 19th April 11:00 am

Ceramics have a long relationship with people and cities. Placed in the public realm and integrated into buildings, ceramic art introduces texture, colour and craft qualities to architecture.

Architectural ceramics, such as tiles, bricks, terracotta and faience cladding and decorative elements, have been integrated into buildings and spaces for millennia bringing vibrancy, telling narratives and expressing cultural identity. This panel discussion, led by Maria Gasparian, a ceramic artist, designer and architect, will focus on the creation and integration of ceramics in buildings and public spaces. Maria is joined by artist Clare Twomey MBE and Jon Wilson, director of Darwen Terracotta architectural ceramics manufacturers. Each of the panellists will offer their unique perspectives on the creation of ceramics for public spaces and the challenges connected with ceramic craft making and manufacturing in the context of their recent projects. The speakers will reflect on the topic from their experience in their respective practices as artist, designer, architect, and manufacturer.

Maria Gasparian
Maria Gasparian is an award winning ceramic artist, designer and architect based in London. Originally trained as an architect in Armenia and London she holds an MA and a PhD in ceramics from Central Saint Martins, University of Arts London. In 2016 Maria was awarded Winston Churchill Fellowship to research global manufacturing and applications of architectural ceramics. Maria is a founder of Maria Gasparian Studio – a multidisciplinary practice that combines ceramic art, architecture, and design.

Clare Twomey
Clare Twomey is a British artist and a research fellow at the University of Westminster who works with clay in large-scale installations, Sculpture and site-specific works. Over the past 10 years she has exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate, Crafts Council, Museum of Modern Art Kyoto Japan, the Eden Project and the Royal Academy of Arts. Within these works Twomey has maintained her concerns with materials, craft practice and historic and social context.

Jon Wilson
Founder and partner of Darwen Terracotta. From an early career in architecture, Jon joined ceramic manufacturer Shaws of Darwen in 1980, up until the owners decided to sell the fireclay sink business in 2015. This resulted in the unexpected closure of Shaws Terracotta, Jon being made redundant along with thirty eight skilled craftspeople. With now business partner Steve Allen, the decision was made to set up a factory to re-employ and maintain the skills, nine years later resulting in a workforce of fifty five. Work continues in restoration for the UK, North American and Australian markets, along with the handmade architectural ceramics in both new build construction and ceramic art installations.