Event Reviews

Ceramics in the City 22nd September – 25th September 2012

Ceramics in the City is an excellent ceramics fair and grows from strength to strength each year. This year Clare Crouchman was kind enough to take some pictures for me to share on studiopottery.co.uk – Thank you Clare

“I love the Geffrye Museum as I remember visiting it as a child.  The 50s and 60s room takes me straight back to my childhood.  With its stylish extension, which opened in 1998, it creates the perfect setting for ‘Ceramics in the City’.

Now in its 11th year the firmly established show has grown in popularity and yet remains a warm and intimate show.  Over 50 ceramicists showed their work and there really was something for everyone.  The work is always of a really high standard and the variety of work is astounding.  Each exhibitor has the same size table and I really enjoy the contrast of colours and textures that makes up the show as a whole.”

 

“It is a friendly show for the visitors as well as the ceramicists and the cosy, relaxed environment allows for everyone to meet the makers and browse or buy the ceramics and have a look at the museum.

If you have never been before it is definitely worth a visit so come along next year!” (I can certainly endorse that – put a note in your diary to check late next september… Stephen Dee, Editor)

Maggie Barnes: Arts Council Research & Development Grant: 2010 – 2012

In the spring of 2010 Maggie Barnes was awarded an Arts Council Research & Development Grant. The intention was to mark 30 years of practice by re-visiting a technique she’d experimented with 20 years earlier whilst living and working in Germany.

Beyond the research period, a body of work is to be developed to complement her well-established white porcelain production, and move studio practice forward into a fourth decade of development.

The process is NERIKOMI, a Japanese technique involving the lamination of stained porcelain slabs to create intricately patterned blocks and sheets of clay which are then cut and re-assembled to form decorative vessels. Although the process is historic, the nature of assembly means that the maker is able to produce his/her unique interpretations.

It’s important to note that the emphasis of this experimental work is on process; with faults, failures, and downright disasters shown alongside early successes. Maggie believes that to fail is a necessary part of the learning experience, and that lasting skills are acquired through hard work, long hours, and many disappointments.

The various outcomes from this intensive period of exploration are to be showcased in September 2012 at the Mercer Art Gallery, Swan Road, Harrogate, where Maggie will give an illustrated talk later in the autumn. (see events listings)

Preview September 21st. A small publication recording this period of Research & Development can be ordered direct from Maggie priced £5 postage free or from the Gallery shop.

  

Argilla 2012: 31 August to 2 September 2012 – Review

John Townsend attended this event at Faenza and was kind enough to give us a flavour of it. I do hope more members (and non-members) will consider it for 2014.

Faenza, Italy, hosted the third Argilla on 31 August to 2 September.

This biennial event in the city famous since the renaissance for it’s majolica ware (’faience’) has developed into a high energy phenomenon combining an international ceramic fair, multiple demonstrations and a whole city celebrating it’s passion for high quality ceramics.

170 ceramists from 15 countries were spread out in the gaily decorated streets of the historic centre which were thronged with many thousands of locals, visitors from other Italian cities and tourists from the rest of the world. There was a special display from this year’s invited country – Finland

Two kilns were built and fired in the main piazza and lectures, demonstrations and social events crowded the busy weekend. An excellent organizing team with many enthusiastic volunteers ensured the success of the event.

The organizers have worked hard since 2005 to create a network of common interest in the ceramic communities of Italy and the rest of Europe and are keen to widen the circle to include the UK.

I enjoyed being part of this major event and hope more British ceramists will be at the next edition in 2014!

John Townsend

1. Happy customer. 2. Outside the International Ceramic Museum. 3. More Happy Customers. 4.In the historic centre. 5. Enthusiastic Volunteer

 

The Potters annual “Heaven on Earth” The International Ceramic Fair – Oldenburg

The Potters annual “Heaven on Earth”  The International Ceramic Fair – Oldenburg has – once again – been a great success.

Although the forecast predicted rain and showers over northern Germany the International Ceramic Fair took place on the beautifully renewed Chateau square untroubled by any bad weather last weekend. There is hardly any other place in Germany where one can marvel at this material transformed into a diversity of crafted and artistic forms at such a high level. 120 ceramists from all over Germany, 10 from other European countries and also from Japan showed an excellent overview of contemporary ceramics. Once again about 60.000 connoisseurs, enthusiasts, experts and laymen from near and far took the opportunity to visit this open air gallery offering a huge variety of beautiful pieces made of clay.

 

The one day opening session – the “Ceramic Portrait“ a lecture and demonstration – presented two outstanding international ceramic artists –John Higgins from Great Britain and Rafa Pérez from Spain. 36 participants booked this singular exciting event.

 

About 1600 visitors viewed the special exhibitions in the in the Oldenburg County Museum for Art and Cultural History:

 

These were the solo exhibition of last year’s winners of the NEW CERAMICS-Award, Martin Möhwald and Nicole Toss, and the theme exhibition/competition where the fairs participants demonstrated their skill and creativity to the ambiguous topic of “ipot”. The winners of this competition were, Chiharu Koda from Japan (3. prize 250 €), to Aire Goutt-Allikmets from France (2. prize 500 €) and to Haneke Engel from the Netherlands (1. prize 1000 €).

Ute Großmann from Dresden in Germany won the Public Prize.

 

The jury of the NEW CERAMICS-Award – Dr. Michael Reinbold (Landesmuseum for Art and Cultural History Oldenburg), Dr. Josef Straßer (Die Neue Sammlung, Munich), Marta Donaghey (Contemporary Ceramics London/Craft Potters Association), ceramist Martin McWilliam (Chairman of the Werkschule) and Bernd Pfannkuche (Publisher of the magazine NEUE KERAMIK/NEW CERAMICS) – also had no easy choice. This highly regarded award comes with 1000 € prize money donated by Bernd Pfannkuche and goes to Let de Kok from the Netherland. We are looking forward to her exhibition in the Landesmuseum for Art and Cultural History – Oldenburg next year!

 

Beate Anneken, Künstlerische Leiterin

WERKSCHULE – WERKSTATT FÜR KUNST UND KULTURARBEIT e.V., Hochheider Weg 169, 26125 Oldenburg, Tel.: 0441/382930, Fax: 0441/382742 www.werkschule.de, E-Mail anneken@werkschule.de

 

David and Margaret Frith win the 2012 Studiopottery Excellence Award at Art in Clay, Hatfield

Art in Clay at Hatfield had to cope with poor weather, Friday wasn’t good and Saturday was worse, and the (pleasant) disruption of the Olympic Torch passing through Hatfield. However it was still a great show – the quality of work was as good, if not better than in previous years and although visitors were down because of the weather, i am told that sales were actually up over the whole show, with some excellent high value single sales taking place.

Sadly this will be the 8th and last year of the Studiopottery.co.uk sponsorship of the Excellence Award and after award winners who included:

Deirdre Burnett, Eddie Curtis, Ian Rylatt, Geoffrey Swindell, Chris Lewis and Barry Guppy and Richard Godfrey

This year the Award was made the David and Margaret Frith and there could not have been more worthy winners. Both have contributed enormously to British studio pottery over many years and their work is of fantastic quality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We extend our congratulations to them both. – Stephen Dee, Studiopottery.co.uk

 

Ashraf & Sue Hanna – Rufford Craft Gallery 22-June- 15 July 2012

This is an exhibition that charts the development of their work over the last four years since their last exhibition at Rufford. Sue will be showing new work exploring the figure in the abstract and a series of wall panels inspired by the geometric symbols and rhythmic designs of the Kuba people of the Congo. Ashraf will be showing  a body of work that represents new directions after his time out to do an MA at the RCA as well as a select group of his original Raku work.

Exhibition opens at 10am Friday 22nd. Ashraf & Sue Hanna will be at the Gallery throughout the opening weekend.

Out of the Earth – Chris Carter & Martin Green: until 14 January 2012

Renowned potter Chris Carter and archaeologist Martin Green share their fascination with the prehistoric past of Cranborne Chase.  Through art and artefact, they reveal a story of the humans that occupied the landscape before history was written.

Out of the Earth explores a dialogue between artist and archaeologist as they respond to the objects excavated from flint-rich soils of Cranborne Chase.  Artefacts from Martin’s own museum, which displays the finds he has discovered over the years, will be on display alongside Chris’s artwork and objects from Salisbury Museum and Wiltshire Heritage Museum.  Together, the objects describe and uncover the imprints left by farming, community and ritual activities in the past.

Chris and Martin describe themselves as ‘sons of the soil’, both having been raised on farms in the countrysides of Warwickshire and Dorset.  They met following a BBC4 radio show ‘Open Country’ which featured Down Farm on Cranborne Chase.  Martin had been excavating there since he inherited it in 1979 and Chris’s interest in the Chase landscape soon developed into a passion for exploring it through his art.

The exhibition shows new developments in Chris’s work and is itself a testimony to the continuing influence of prehistoric people on us today as their artistry, communities and ritual activities are re-discovered through archaeology.  Chris describes the way he searches for his pots in the clay as akin to the archaeologist’s search for an object in the earth.  Cranborne Chase has encouraged his art to take new routes which have seen him sculpting from flint and creating 2D collage works.  A deep-seated influence of the landscape and farming is apparent in his work; his pots suggest the sinuous twist of the plough and the symmetry of the stone axe, whilst the surface textures reflect the processes of people and nature on the landscape.

Both pot and artefact have a power and contemplative quality that makes Out of the Earth an exhibition not to be missed.  Here, the passion for the Cranborne landscape and for the people who lived on and moulded it, is deep-seated, inherent and heartfelt.  The stories revealed are told by two people who know the landscape intimately, both inside and out, and can tell those stories with an authority and understanding that cannot be disputed.

At: salisbury Museum, The King’s House, 65, The Close, Salisbury, SP1 2EN

   

A Celebration of Ancient Pots – Kate Phillips recent work

In 2003 following contact with Paul Binns, a blacksmith who makes replica Viking armoury, Kate started researching historic pots. At first she concentrated on the Viking era in the UK but subsequently has widened her interest and knowledge to pots from the 6th to the 16th centuries. Kate’s pots are shipped all over the
world and are used by re-enactors of various periods.

Latterly her expertise has been recognised by museum services in East Anglia where she has run demonstration and activity days and has welcomed commissions to reproduce historical pots for handling or display. Her recent exhibition at Greyfriars Art Space  – ‘A Celebration of Historical Pots’  featured many of the different types of pots she makes. It will opens daily 10am to 4.30pm until 30th October 2011.

Examples of her work is shown below for those who were unable to get to the exhibition.  See her pages on this website if you wish to contact her to talk about buying or displaying her work.

Ashraf Hanna, “Line, Volume and Space” Contemporary Ceramics Centre 8.9.2011 -1.10.2011

Following Ashraf’s completion of his MA at the Royal College of Art, he offers this body of new work at the ‘triple C’ in Russell Street in London.  Ashraf comments on his new work: “My work is concerned with exploring form through scale, colour, texture and material…..” Having seen his new work at the RCA Degree show, I can confirm that it is well worth a visit to see this new show. Some examples of his new work are below:

 

8/9/2011 – saw the show last night -confirmed my earlier thoughts, well worth a visit, also chance to visit the British Museum opposite – and a coffee in Ruskin’s in Museum Street is good!

17th Art in Clay Hatfield – August 2011

A good show as always, with a vast range of top quality work to view. The studiopottery award (a free stand in next years show) went to Richard Godfrey this year. This is the 7th year this award has been made with previous awards going to: Deirdre Burnett, Eddie and Margaret Curtis, Ian Rylatt, Geoffrey Swindell, Chris Lewis and Barry Guppy. I cannot really highlight particular favourites as there is so much. For me it is always a pleasure to meet and chat with old friends and to meet new ones.  To see how different ceramicists work is developing and to experience the excitement of finding new work by makers i have not seen before. A bonus this year was the Henry Moore exhibition at Hatfield House. (pictures, left to right, top to bottom. Richard Godfrey receiving his award – left Andy McInnes, Art in Clay, right Stephen Dee, Studiopottery.co.uk; Work by Ross Emerson, Richard Godfrey – traditional work, scuptural recent work; Ostinelli and Priest; Helen Rondell )