iStyle: Smashing crockery: The home of British pottery is hosting a gathering of 150 of the world’s most original ceramic artists and designers.

 

The third British Ceramics Biennial opens in Stoke-on- Trent this week, with a series of exhibitions, installations and events featuring the work of more than 150 artists and designers.

The third British Ceramics Biennial opens in Stoke-on- Trent this week, with a series of exhibitions, installations and events featuring the work of more than 150 artists and designers.

The centrepiece of the biennial, which runs until 10 November (britishceramicsbiennial.com), takes place in the main hall of the former Spode factory.

Designed in the 1930s, this hangar-sized space with vaulted ceilings is worth a visit if only to absorb a slice of British industrial heritage. During the biennial, it hosts a series of artistic events and social projects alongside Fresh, an exhibition of the work of 34 young ceramicists; a gallery shop selling work by the designers taking part; and workshops for visitors.

The event also gives visitors the chance to explore the Spode factory site in more depth. A group of 30 researchers and artists from the Bergen Academy of Art and Design in Norway have created installations and performance pieces in buildings previously closed to the public, including the original boardroom and design studios.

The biennial offers an award prize of £10,000 and the city’s Potteries Museum (stokemuseums.org.uk) hosts the award exhibition, featuring new work by the 22 ceramicists shortlisted for the prize.

Shortlisted artists include Christie Brown, Tamsin Van Essen and the surreal but beautiful work of Malene Hartmann Rasmussen.

For those who cannot make it to Stoke-on-Trent for the biennial, keep an eye out in stores for pieces by designers such as Emma Bridgewater (emmabridgewater.co.uk), Reiko Kaneko (reikokaneko.co.uk) and Welovekaoru (welovekaoru.com), all of whom still manufacture their ceramics in the city.

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