Ceramics2/3

Sessions specifically for ceramics in art and design are difficult to organize in your current timetable and therefore have to be approached on an ad-hoc basis. Please be pro-active and get in touch when you can spare an hour or two to talk about your work in the ceramics studio. Let’s keep as many options open as possible.

Ceramics Programme

Basic vocabulary for studio and industrial ceramics.

Visit Adrien Dubouché National Ceramics Museum. Download a question sheet and glossary of useful ceramic terms here.

Download this second questionnaire about technical aspects of exhibits in the museum and expand your vocabulary.

Come and discuss afterwards.

Basic Techniques

Some reading to do. An introduction to ceramic types and techniques in manufacturing and studio practice. Just ask for a copy.

Advanced and Experimental Techniques

For more detailed information and tips from experienced ceramicists the Digital Fire website is hard to beat. Here, for example is their section on the amazing process of deflocculation. Learn how to control the specific gravity and viscosity of slip and how these two parameters interact with different types of deflocculant. You will soon be wanting to make your own experimental mixes !

Cutting-Edge Ceramics

Fifteen years later, this book may not be as fresh as it once was but I still recommend it as a useful introduction to stimulating styles and quirky corners of Planet Ceramics. I've extracted a list of ceramic artists that are featured in it, all doing work that is unusual, exciting or just enjoyable.


CFile blog provides weekly newsletters reviewing ceramic art and design from around the globe. Based in the USA, it naturally has a bias towards American artists but an international team of editors brings plenty of news from many countries and they have a dependable eye for variety and innovative practices. Put your name on the mailing list free of charge.

Writing a CV

Keiko Matsui is a successful porcelain artist working in Australia. Her CV includes a “Bio” and an artist’s statement.

Ceramics designer Fay de Winter has worked in so many different capacities that her work experience section is probably too long. But it illustrates how any activity implying responsibility or personal initiative is the best form of qualification.

On a general note, here are some guidelines for types of categories you might want to include in your CV. The advice comes from the College Art Association, an international cooperative for visual artists.

Oriental Inspiration

From Raku to anagama kilns, from Shigaraki to yunomi, brush up on definitions of Japanese pottery and the terms for tools to make it. Ask for a copy.


Max Lamb’s approach to design mixes labour intensive traditional craftwork and the latest in hi-tech. However, his three-legged pewter stool can be made from start to finish on a bed of sand with just a camping stove, ingots of pewter and a saucepan to melt them in. Max Lambs likes to let objects tell their own stories of how they were made, the processes involved and materials used. This is illustrated in recent ceramics designs he made for fine china cups, bowls and milk jugs. See the interview here.

Swedish artist and designer Hilda Hellström creates amazing ceramic vessels that look like ancient stone urns. Her techniques literally transform porcelain into another unidentifiable material. Here she is, talking about her Sedimentation Series of urns and vessels that she makes in her East London studio and revealing how she mixes chance discovery with hi-tech CNC milling and traditional craft techniques.

Maureen Burns Bowie; Waves - Eternal Return

Lockdown Ceramics

Claymaking during the current Covid crisis became a solace or an impossible dream for many artists. Here are the reactions of a few ceramicists and work they produced for Connections, a virtual exhibition hosted by The New York Clay Center in 2020.


Reinvented; Exploring Space Between Craft + Technology

Adam Chau curated Reinvented (September 23 – November 11, 2017) at the Clay Art Center in New York. By including artists that use CNC mills, 3D printers, computer generated surface decor, digital decals and more, Chau gives us a snap-shot of the ever-evolving grey space between craft and technology.

“Reinvented was first conceived as a way to cross-pollinate ideas between industrial designers and artists. My frustration with design stemmed from the lack of emotive and gestural qualities coming from industrial products, while at the same time ceramic artists seem to be technologically behind production methods of the industry. My research into the subject of digital craft, which started in 2012, opened up a new world to me that turned out not be a new discussion.” -Adam Chau

Participating artists included Andy Brayman, Jeremy Brooks, Dr. Katie Bunnell, Brian Caponi, Bryan Czibesz/Shawn Spangler, Sharan Elran, Brett Freund, Chris Gustin , Mia Mulvey, Megumi Naitoh, Paul Scott and Joey Watson.