40 BRI­TAIN’S POT TAL­ENT

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Style The Britlist -

Our na­tion has al­ready pro­duced ce­ramic greats – from Josiah Wedg­wood’s china teacups to Ed­mund de Waal’s porce­lain ves­sels. But be­hind closed stu­dio doors, the na­tion’s pot­tery wheels keep turn­ing. We cel­e­brate the state of the craft to­day

The Bri­tish Ce­ram­ics Bi­en­nial is re­turn­ing to Stoke-on-trent, the home of Bri­tish ce­ramic man­u­fac­tur­ing, for its fifth edi­tion this month. The Stafford­shire town’s brick bot­tle kilns have been pro­duc­ing iconic de­signs – in­clud­ing Wedg­wood’s jasper­ware, Port­meirion’s chunky mugs and, more re­cently, Emma Bridge­wa­ter’s charm­ing coun­try-style bowls – since the 17th cen­tury, and the for­mer fac­tory of stoneware com­pany Spode is the heart of this fes­ti­val held in the craft’s hon­our. Its airy ware­house will dis­play work sub­mit­ted to Award – a com­pe­ti­tion with a £5,000 prize – by ten artists, in­clud­ing Matthew Raw, whose col­lab­o­ra­tion with ar­chi­tec­tural col­lec­tive Assem­ble is soon to ap­pear at Seven Sis­ters tube sta­tion in Lon­don. Visit mak­ers at their wheels dur­ing the six weeks of open stu­dios, have a go at raku fir­ing (an an­cient Ja­panese tech­nique in which pots are taken from the kiln still red hot, then placed in a flammable ma­te­rial), or build­ing your own bowl in The Clay Pit. Plus, don’t miss a re-imag­in­ing of the ‘Brown Betty’, Bri­tain’s ar­che­typal teapot. Young cre­ative Ian Mcin­tyre – an in­stal­la­tion artist who also makes home­ware for craft fur­ni­ture brand An­other Coun­try – has been tasked with re-en­gi­neer­ing the iconic de­sign to fit the aes­thetic of the con­tem­po­rary Bri­tish kitchen (23 Septem­ber –5 Novem­ber; britishce­ram­ics­bi­en­nial.com).

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