Friday, 21 December 2012

Advance Notice: Spode Training Day

This is an advance notice of a free training day we will be running in February 2013.
Booking forms will be available in the new year.

Ceramics Network Spode Training Day: Monday 25th February 2013 at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery and Stoke-on-Trent City Archives

10.00-10.30: Registration & coffee Potteries Museum
10.45-12.15: Session 1: The Spode Archive (includes questions) Stoke-on-Trent City Archives
12.45-1.45: Lunch: Potteries Museum
2.00-3.30: Session 2: Spode Pots (includes questions) Potteries Museum Ceramics Store
3.30-4.00: Tea, feedback, id session
4.00-5.00: Free time in museum galleries

This is a unique opportunity to see both the Spode archive and the ceramics produced by the Spode factory. The session at the Stoke-on-Trent City Archives is an introduction to a huge collection of Spode papers, dating from c1760 to 2008, which help to tell the story of a famous business.

In the afternoon, there will be a guided handling session, at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, to look at the products of the factory, and link them back to the material in the Spode archive.

Worldwide, Spode supplied kings and princes as well as kitchens and pantries, tableware and toilet ware, ceramics for steamships, railways and airlines and ornamental wares from miniatures to monumental pieces. Although this session focuses on the Spode factory, the techniques and issues discussed are applicable across British ceramics in general and the session will be delivered with both the relative ceramics beginner and the more experienced ceramics curator in mind.

Pam Woolliscroft with a Spode pattern book
The sessions will be led by Pam Woolliscroft, who works freelance in the museum and arts world as museum consultant, art cataloguer, lecturer and Spode specialist. After many years working in North Staffordshire museums she now works for a number of different organisations. She writes a regular blog about Spode history and speaks on various aspects of the Spode company history. Curator of the Spode Museum Trust in Stoke-on-Trent until 2008, she has also worked at Gladstone Pottery Museum, Chatterley Whitfield Mining Museum, and Ford Green Hall where she was resident curator.

Pam also does specialist volunteering at a number of museums and archives.

Spaces will be limited to 12 so please keep the date free and once the booking form is circulated in the new year, return it as soon as you can to ensure you get a place. 

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible there!

Covered sugar box, New Oval shape, c1804
Potteries Museum & Art Gallery

Aesthetic  style teapot with metal lid, 1870s
Potteries Museum & Art Gallery

Teapot, Royal College shape, Apollo, c1958
Potteries Museum & Art Gallery

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Interpreting Ceramics: Issue 14 2012

Issue 14 of Interpreting Ceramics is now published online. Please click here.

In this issue Interpreting Ceramics is pleased to publish papers presented at the Ceramics and Sculpture: Different Disciplines and Shared Concerns conference which was held at Amgueddfa Cymru/National Museum Wales, Cardiff, on 5th July 2012.

The conference was convened jointly by Cardiff School of Art and Design and the Museum. For some time relationships between ceramics and sculpture have been a focus for research at Cardiff School of Art and Design. This research has demonstrated that the interests of ceramicists and sculptors in Britain have either overlapped or have come into particularly sharp focus at certain periods. Both ceramics and sculpture now have to make a case for their survival as discrete disciplines within higher education and increasingly categories are blurred. Against this background the conference sought to illuminate shared concerns by examining points of formal, conceptual, theoretical and material convergences between the two disciplines, while also addressing key points of difference.

The first six papers published in issue 14 of Interpreting Ceramics are those that were presented on the day of the conference after being chosen from a particularly strong response to a Call for Papers. The seventh paper, by Wilma Cruise, was accepted for publication although the author was unable to attend the conference.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Day Symposium: 26 January 2013


This one-day symposium, timed to accompany the exhibition DreamWork by artist and researcher Christie Brown, will consider the relationship between ceramic art practice and museum collections within the broader context of contemporary visual culture. The symposium will address key areas of inspiration for artists within this context, by focussing on the dialogue between the concept, the collection and the specific nature of the site. Papers will feature a subjective response to Freud’s archaic figurative collection, the uncanny notion of the inner life in inanimate objects and the private house as museum, broadening out to raise curatorial and theoretical questions around the nature of this art practice within post modern culture and ideology.

Speakers include:
Dr Glenn Adamson, Head of Research at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Christie Brown, Professor of Ceramics at the University of Westminster.
Andrew Renton, Curator of Applied Art at the National Museum of Wales
Esther Leslie, Professor of Political Aesthetics at Birkbeck College, London.
Janice West, writer and curator.

Calum Storrie, writer and exhibition designer.

Researchers Christie Brown, Julian Stair and Clare Twomey and PhD student Laura Breen form the team for this project and the exhibition DreamWork is a key element in the dissemination of the outcomes. The major objective of the project is to investigate the ways in which contemporary ceramic artists have used ceramic practice to initiate new ways of working and new dialogues within the context of museums.

The symposium forms part of the research project Ceramics in the Expanded Field funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council through the University of Westminster in London. For conference details click here.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

A New Resource

New Resource: click firstBASE to explore this online searchable database of useful resources relating to a whole range of subjects, themes and objects dealt with by those who work with local and social history collections.