From the 28th-30th June the International Ceramics Festival will be returning to the mid-Wales coast, at Aberystwyth University. Since it first began some 26 years ago, the three-day festival has now become the UK’s leading ceramics event offering teachers, students, artists and collectors to meet and discuss the work of some of the finest ceramicist and potters in the world.
Alongside lectures and selling exhibitions will be practical demonstrations by leading artists keen to show their skills and techniques to audiences from their personal work spaces – encouraging spectators to ask questions and discuss. And because we’re definitely pro curiosity, we thought we’d take a look at some of the artists who’ll be taking part at the festival. Visit the International Ceramics Festival for more.
Keiko is currently the V&A’s resident Japanese ceramics artist and has always found great inspiration in historical decorative Asian ceramics and cultural tradition. Most of her works have a strong sense of heritage, while also serving as functional objects. ‘Castle Pot’ is an example of the way in which Keiko combines the vessel and decorative motif, subverting the traditional in such a way that the motif becomes the form, and the vessel the decoration.
©Keiko Masumoto Castle Pot
Watch Keiko practice the techniques used in her Motif series at the festival, and also catch her at the V&A where she opens her studio weekly to visitors, and runs a programme of ceramic workshops, including a weekly ceramics workshop for families during the summer holidays and a clay hand-building workshop series for blind and partially sighted visitors. Find out more here.
Beth Cavener Stichter
Currently a full-time studio artist in Washington, Beth is known for creating dynamic, emotionally charged animal and human figures to reveal hidden patterns in behavior and inner struggles. She investigates the “primitive animal instincts lurking in our own depth.” ‘The Golden Netted Hare’ for example, seems at first just a feral animal suspended, and yet as part of her collection embodies “the impacts of aggression, territorial desires, isolation, and pack mentality.”
©Beth Cavener Stichter The Golden Netted Hare
A ceramics artist and president of the International Ceramics Symposium “Porcelain Another Way”, Monika is committed to emphasising the shift from creative process to the final object. She describes her work as being about, “slip casting, chasing accidents, always checking what is through the looking glass.”
©Monika Patuszynska Chinese Stories 2010 from the series Transforms
Watch her at the festival where she’ll be sawing a mould into parts, reassembling the broken parts, casting the mould and then revealing the creation.
Takeshi trained at the Daisei-Gama Pottery in Mashiko, where he opened his first studio. His work in celadon-glazed porcelain takes great influence from the strongest force on Earth: gravity. Rather than fight against it, Takeshi embraces the force, his ‘Unfolding’ series features collapsed forms which have been hung upside down to stretch them back as they dry, and for his ‘Folding’ series he allowed the forms to slump while being fired in the kiln.
With a modest but growing international profile, Conor is currently focusing on the process of making and the value of skill, leading to his research into making, writing and the sites at which such processes occur. He looks at the poetic approach to material and language, and his playful pieces explore the ongoing concern of making a living in an unequal and over-exploited world.
©Conor Wilson Monkey Chipp