I’m really excited for the British Ceramics Biennial (BCB), running from 28th September – 10th November at the original Spode factory in Stoke-on-Trent. With new exhibitions to be seen and special events to be experienced I cannot wait to celebrate the City’s history and culture. I think it looks like a great opportunity for the whole family to get involved in creating our own ceramics, apparently there will be sessions running where you will be expected to get clay in your finger nails!! I have never thrown a pot before but have seen people doing it at Wedgwood Visitor Centre and Gladstone Pottery Museum and this will be a great opportunity to make my own masterpiece. Also during the exhibition there will be amazing ceramics created from around the world from China, France and Norway. There will be huge pavilions housing really major pieces of work from all kinds of artists. The “new traditions of Spode” will be interesting, as we can see how ceramics mix with contemporary art. I have always wanted to see the production of ceramics in the studio and this Autumn I will be able to not only see this, but also join an artist in the Interactive Laboratory to help with a project that looks like it will be fun, messy, and free with no booking required. The ‘Burslem weekender’ is one of the events I am most looking forward to as I will be able to celebrate ceramics in the town where the potteries started.
I’m wondering who will win the 2013 AWARD (the Biennial’s major survey exhibition of current ceramic practice in the UK) which will be on show at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery. 22 artists have been selected for the AWARD and the winner receives an amazing £10,000 prize.
‘Exploring Spode’ will offer a great chance to see the Original Spode Factory in different perspectives through artists adding their own personal touches, I especially want to view the large installation based on Spode plate design made by the winner of the award prize in 2011, Phoebe Cummings. And admission is free!!
The large China Halls on the original Spode site will house a PieMinster for those very important refreshments after a session of pot making and there will be opportunities to buy items for your own collection as a memento to your visit here. I think I will book an afternoon tea experience in a unique setting of a teacup factory, getting the chance to use the some of the finest Staffordshire tableware.
If you want to see the people who are going to be working in the ceramics industry in the future the FRESH exhibition will do exactly that, as it showcases the best of the current ceramics graduates. The graduates will participate in studio pottery, tableware, industrial design, installation, and figurative and abstract culture.
For those interested in the business side of ceramicists and the ceramics industry, the BCB is running a conference from 17th – 18th October with presentations by keynote speakers giving us the chance to understand issues and concerns, such as artists working with clay and globalisation