Beyond Preservation

Endangered Ceramic Skills Symposium

Saturday 16 October 2021, 9am to 5pm
Potteries Museum & Art Gallery

Bethesda Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 3DW

Beyond Preservation: re-evaluating Intangible Cultural Heritage in the UK Ceramic Industry

Global economics and advances in automation technology have radically
transformed the landscape of the UK’s ceramic industry in recent decades.
Whilst these transitions have facilitated greater productivity, once
commonplace skills associated with ceramic manufacture have now been
displaced, threatening the continuation of much traditional knowledge.
Should such practices, deemed outmoded or economically unviable for
contemporary ceramic production be simply relegated to history or the
trails of heritage tourism? What value is there in safeguarding this
knowledge for the future? How can traditional practices be revived through
new modes of thinking and creativity in a digital age?


This symposium builds upon these questions, and highlights specialist
skills at significant risk of being lost from the industry, surveyed through
recent research for the Heritage Craft Association’s Red List of Endangered
Crafts. Making particular reference to North Staffordshire’s intangible
cultural heritage*, scholars together with former employees and current
representatives from the ceramics industry, will explore a variety of
perspectives concerning a re-evaluation of the industrial crafts and their
revitalisation through contemporary exchange and adaptation.


Although the symposium will be taking place within a cultural event, it will
discuss ways to connect with the local community beyond cultural
institutions, so that they can develop, engage and participate in ‘their’
intangible heritage. It is hoped that this event will introduce new ways of
valuing industrial ceramics skills that are not influenced by the immutable
heritage discourse of experts, by facilitating those that were and are still
involved in the industry to articulate the value of their own heritage.

More details at https://blogs.staffs.ac.uk/c3centre/files/2021/10/Beyond-Preservation-programme-v1.5.pdf

 

 

Staffordshire University artists at the British Ceramics Biennial 2021

BCB returns to the Potteries from 11 September to 17 October 2021 and includes an ambitious programme of exhibitions, installations, events and hands-on activities.

A showcase of work by recent Staffordshire University MA Ceramics and BA (Hons) 3D Designer Maker graduates takes place in the main festival hub at The Goods Yard.

Research staff from the C3 Centre exhibiting include Professor Neil Brownsword and Associate Professor Anna.

Associate Professor Anna said about the BCB: “As always, this important biennial activates the streets and buildings of our city, providing an opportunity to discuss the heritage and future of our relationships with ceramics.”

Our University Press release can be found here.

The British Ceramics Biennial 2021 takes place from 11 September to 17 October. See the full programme of events and plan your visit https://www.britishceramicsbiennial.com/

Professor of Ceramics exhibits new work in home of china clay

Whitegold winner Professor Neil Brownsword is joining makers across the world to exhibit his work in St Austell.

In these artworks Neil explores the entangled histories of St Austell and the Potteries of North Staffordshire, bound together by the mining of china clay and its transformation into ceramics.

‘Relic’ is the culmination of five-years of research during which Neil has archived the incredible hand skills of Stoke-on-Trent china flower maker Rita Floyd. He has captured every stage of the hand modelling involved in mass producing the many types of flower that Rita has in her repertoire, and enshrined them in a series of porcelain fragments.

A full press release can be read at https://www.staffs.ac.uk/news/2020/09/professor-of-ceramics-exhibits-new-work-in-home-of-china-clay