British Ceramics Biennial Festival

I took a trip to Stoke-on-Trent today to visit part of the ceramics festival. Stoke has been the centre of the British pottery industry since the 17th century (and is home to the factories of Royal Doulton, Spode and Wedgewood, amongst others). I went to the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery to see the Award exhibition, featuring the work of 20 or so contemporary ceramics designers, competing for a £10,000 prize. The exhibition runs until December 11th.

I really liked a lot of the work on show, but these pieces by Merete Rasmussen I thought especially beautiful: like 3-D calligraphy. A group from a university had travelled from London to see the exhibition, and listening in to the tutors, I learnt that these shapes are really difficult to create from a technical point of view. (There is the risk of the clay collapsing or drying out before completion.)

The second piece that particularly caught my eye was by Katharine Morling. This looked like a 3-D sketch. It was apparently inspired by memories of her optician grandfather.

If you’re in the area, the exhibition (and the rest of the museum) is well worth a visit. The winner of the Award competition should be announced next week, I believe.


4 thoughts on “British Ceramics Biennial Festival

  1. Hello Sue,
    I’ve written about the BCB festival on my site too: – I thought that you might like to take a look.
    My posted images were taken at the Spode factory site in Stoke ( the town, rather than the city centre) … I have more to come. I posted some on 11th October and will be going back to the site agin this weekend.
    I work for an arts company in Stoke on Trent called ‘b arts’ and we were running a workshop on Sunday 9th, so I tried to get around the site but it really needed some time – so much to see.
    I went again yesterday to do a radio interview plus I’m back on site this Saturday and Sunday (15/16th) for more ceramics workshops, so I’m hoping I’ll get a chance to see it all by then. The cafe is a bit expensive but gorgeous!
    I agree that the standard of work is fantastic and I’m hoping to get a chance to see the Potteries Museum site and the Airspace site too in he next week. Your photo has given me a sneaky peek and I really must go.
    I’m so pleased that Stoke on Trent has been able to host this event, it makes me proud that people are visiting our city and seeing really positive things that they want to blog about and share.
    Thanks for spreading the word and hope you can find 5 minutes to see my images and maybe follow my blog too.
    All the best
    Deborah – DappledSky

    • Hi Deborah – thanks for stopping by. Looks like you are doing some interesting work with b arts – I just Googled the organisation. Good luck with the workshops, and I think I need a return visit to look at the Spode site 🙂

  2. what a lovely exhibition, I would have loved to have visited the biennale as well, I’ve been following all the coverage and blogs in order to soak up some of the atmosphere from the events, thanks for sharing your experience.


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