Postgraduate Symposium 2013
Postgraduate Studies – What’s the Point?
Led by Ceramic Review editor Bonnie Kemske, this fascinating symposium will investigate the value – or otherwise – of further education in ceramics and contribute to a discussion on the future direction of ceramics education overall. The contributors will include Ceramics Students from both UK and International Educational Institutions.
Confirmed student presenters include:
June Raby Practice based PhD in Ceramics, University for the Creative Arts Farnham
After graduation from The University of Wolverhampton with a First in Ceramics, I was offered a two year residency at South Hill Park Arts Centre, and awarded a Crafts Council Setting Up Grant in 1982.
I have practiced and exhibited consistently since with several solo, touring and group exhibitions including at Winchester Gallery, The Minories, Laing Gallery, Arnolfini and Talbot Rice.
The importance of digital media became apparent and I extended my skills through a Masters in 3D digital media, concurrently teaching drawing at the Design School in London and in Chile, as well as making ceramics.
Digital skill has been invaluable in extending the potential of my ideas in ceramics, and enabling more ambitious work in an extended field of through and realisation. Subsequently I set up a design business but found that concentrating on business did not utilise my talents effectively. I returned to education in 2008 after a seven year break, lecturing in contextual studies. To update my knowledge in this area, I enrolled on an MA at Goldsmiths in the Management of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, leaving on completion of the PgC to commence PhD Research at Farnham UCA, integrating my extensive creative experience again within ceramics and focussing on the vessel.
o University for the Creative Arts, Farnham: PhD Research Student (current)
o Goldsmiths, University of London: PgC in the Management of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
o Westminster University: MA in Computer Imaging for Architecture
o Middlesex University: MA History of Design
o University of Wolverhampton: First Class Honours Degree in Ceramics
Lecturing includes: the Arts University at Bournemouth in ceramics and contextual studies, Chelsea College of Art, UCA Rochester and Canterbury, head of 3D Design (foundation) University of Bedford, BA contextual studies, Bradford College.
Allen Richards and Emily Waugh
Allen Richards and Emily Waugh are currently studying the Applied Arts Ceramics MA at Wolverhampton University, having first studied their BA there. Despite attending different schools and growing up in different parts of the country, they both were introduced to clay at secondary level and later decided to concentrate on that medium in higher education, meeting at the start of their undergraduate degree. During their third year, they discovered they were both trying to develop a copper red glaze and teamed up, and have been working collaboratively on glazes and artworks ever since, even travelling together to Tokyo to give a research paper and talk at an international ceramics symposium there. Allen, also being passionate about faith, chemistry and mathematics, is heavily inspired by alchemy and Gothic cathedral architecture in his work. Meanwhile Emily is much more intuitive and fascinated by Japanese culture, creating pieces inspired by the tea ceremony and colours of Japan, and the fluid properties of porcelain. Collaboratively, Allen lends a structured and refined appearance to the work, balanced out by Emily’s wilder and more organic elements. After graduating they hope to set up a studio together and continue their collaborative work and research into glazes, with the hope of publishing a book and travelling to other ceramic centres around the world.
Sarah closed a freelance management consultancy one August and started a B.A. in Glass and Ceramics at the University of Sunderland a month later. Having attended vocational pottery classes at her local FE college for several years prior to retirement, she felt the need for a more structured and focused approach to ceramics.
Fortuitously there was an Undergraduate Open Day at her local university. Guided by great advice from the then Team Leader (Ceramics) in Sunderland, the BA (undertaken on a part-time basis) proved a great next step, enabling improvement of technical skills and project management, but most importantly, a realisation of a latent and unexpected interest in artistic expression.
One of the surprises (maybe a shock too!) of the B.A. was the satisfaction of researching and completing the dissertation: and through this the seeds of a desire to progress from the B.A. via postgraduate research were sown. The decision to submit a research proposal also built on the skills and knowledge gained through her first degree – B.A.Hons. in English and Philosophy (Keele) – and also her Executive MBA (Leeds), with its strong project management focus.
Sarah graduated with first class honours in June 2009, and commenced her Ph.D. in August the same year. Now in the midst of Year 4 of her part-time research programme, her current exploration of artistic expression through clay builds on earlier experimentation with unstable ceramic materials, destructive processes and exposure of work to external forces, as means for exploring issues of loss, memory, witness and relationships through site-sensitive and performative installation work.
Cathy Franzi is currently in her second year as a PhD candidate at the Australian National University (ANU) School of Art. She is investigating through practice-led research the representation of flora on ceramic objects as a reflection of the Australian botanical narrative and environmental culture. This topic includes historical research into ceramic objects and the evolving understanding both scientifically and culturally of the Australian environment since British settlement. Her approach is informed by a degree in science, making her well place to research topics such as plant morphology, endangered species and climate change. She has developed a distinctive relief printmaking style of carving the clay surface that references botanical illustration.
Franzi has a Master of Visual Arts and holds an Australian Postgraduate Award, a three year full-time scholarship. She is a sessional lecturer in the Ceramics Department at the ANU. In 2012 Franzi presented a paper at the Australian Ceramics Triennale titled ‘Australian Flora and Ceramic Decoration, from Nationalism to Environmentalism’. Her work is held in the Canberra Museum and Gallery collection and she has won a number of awards including the Doug Alexander Memorial Award.
Franzi has worked with a range of arts organisations teaching
ceramics and was President of the Canberra Potters’ Society. Her throwing skills were honed while working as a production thrower at the Jam Factory Craft and Design Centre, Adelaide and for Bison Homewares, Canberra.
She has travelled extensively through SE Asia, EU, UK and N America with a focus on ceramics, including working with potters in Ireland and England. For eighteen months she was resident potter at a Camphill Community in Ireland.
Franzi is currently working on a Canberra Centenary exhibition, based on the original plan by architect Walter Burley Griffin to ‘Paint the Hills’ of Canberra with Australian native plantings in single colour schemes.
I am currently in the final year of a practice-based PhD with Falmouth University’s Autonomatic Research Group and the Leach Pottery, St Ives. As part of the research, I have become familiar with the use and exploration of various digital design technologies like Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) equipment and Computer Aided Design (CAD).
My interest in pottery began with a chance encounter with a Lowerdown Pottery bowl; I then started collecting pottery and continue to enjoy the work of potters like William Marshall and the old vernacular pots of Korea, China, Southeast Asia, and Europe. I soon started to make pots and rushed evening classes at the local College developed into a studio in my home town of Penistone and then a Master’s in Ceramics from Cardiff Metropolitan University.
I then established a studio on the periphery of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, for two years, to further develop my practice in a full-time context; being keen to continue exploring landscapes and their appropriation through clay. During this period I developed a Seasons Collection and a porcelain range called Sea and Sky.
Mella Shaw is due to graduate with an MA in Ceramics and Glass from the Royal College of Art in July 2013. In her current practice she is exploring tipping points, thresholds and edges, and is interested in the playful tension present at moments of transition. Mella utilises a broad variety of ceramic processes both traditional and digital – and is always engaged with and excited by the inherent versatility and richness of opportunity provided by ceramics as a material.
Mella originally studied for a BA in Anthropology at Durham University, where she obtained a First Class degree, specialising in anthropology of art, critical theory and material culture. After a period making documentary films, Mella moved to London to pursue a career in museums and galleries. Having worked in various curatorial and exhibitions roles, including in the exhibitions department at the V&A, Mella was latterly Head of Exhibitions at Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, where she managed the exhibitions department and was responsible for the delivery of an acclaimed programme of changing international exhibitions.
In 2009 Mella went part-time at Dulwich Picture Gallery in order to pursue her interest in ceramics, studying for a two year Diploma in Ceramics at City Lit, London, and sharing a studio at Vanguard Court, Camberwell, before applying to the Royal College of Art in 2011.
I am currently on a 3 year post-graduate ceramics course at The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
The program at UMass is committed to supporting students not only in their conceptual development but also to their technical understanding of ceramic materials. We are encouraged to experiment with the limitations and definition of ceramics. In my current work, I am exploring the intensity of human connection through the manipulation of domestic and architectural space.
Post-graduate studies have also been an opportunity for me to gain more skills and experience for the professional world. I had a very thorough undergraduate education in the technical aspects of the material. I have used this time to study grant writing, contemporary museum operations, and gain teaching and leadership experience all in addition to developing my personal artwork.
Rebecca Hutchinson, Professor, teaches Undergraduate and Graduate Ceramics at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. Her installation work engages concerns for ecosystem dynamics. Recent installations have been built at the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design, Bracciano Museum, Italy, Islip Museum of Art, Holter Museum of Art, Blue Star Contemporary Arts Center, Skidmore College, Fuller Craft Museum, Lowe Museum of Art, Northern Clay Center, and Manchester Crafts Guild.
Rebecca Hutchinson has been awarded grants and fellowships from: The Pollock Krasner Foundation, Virginia Cultural Commission, UMass Dartmouth, Society of Arts and Crafts, and the North Carolina Arts Council, and has curated and juried exhibitions and participated in residencies including the Archie Bray Foundation. She has taught Large Scale and Paper Clay workshops internationally and at Anderson Ranch, Mendocino Art Center, Appalachian Craft Center, Clay Art Center, Southwest Craft Center, Peters Valley Art Center, Northern Clay Center, and Mudflat Ceramics, amongst others.
Timetable for Postgraduate Symposium 2013
|1- 1:15pm||Bonnie Kemske||The Future for Ceramics|
|1:15- 1:30pm||TBC||The Current Situation for Ceramics Education in the UK|
|1:30- 1:45pm||Rebecca Hutchinson||The Current Situation for Ceramics Education in the USA|
|1:45- 2:00pm||–||Short Break|
|2:00- 3:15pm||June Raby||Student Presentation (10 mins) Practice Based PhD in Ceramics, University for the Creative Arts Farnham|
|–||Emily Waugh & Allen Richards||Student Presentation (10 mins) Applied Arts Ceramics MA, Wolverhampton University|
|–||Cathryn Franzi||Student Presentation (10 mins) PhD, School of Art, Australian National University|
|–||Sarah Gee||Student Presentation (10 mins) Practice Based PhD in Ceramics, University of Sunderland|
|–||Matthew Tyas||Student Presentation (10 mins) Practice Based PhD , Falmouth University and Practice Based PhD with Falmouth University and Leach Pottery, St. Ives|
|–||Mella Shaw||Student Presentation (10 mins) MA in Ceramics and Glass, Royal College of Art|
|–||Leslie Macklin||Student Presentation (10 mins) MFA, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, USA|
|3:15- 3:45pm||Open Panel Discussion||Postgraduate Studies – What’s the point?|