Interpreting Ceramics was launched with a symposium at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, on Friday 22nd September, 2000.
Six speakers from varied backgrounds were asked to give their responses to the title Interpreting Ceramics. The texts of their presentations will be posted here as they become available, along with any comments from those present at the symposium. If you wish to join in the debate you can use the form on the Feedback page to send us your own comments on what the speakers had to say, or give us your response to the title Interpreting Ceramics
Some brief information about the six speakers is given below. Click on the underlined names to find out more about their presentations. We will be adding more links on this page when the material is available.
Dr. Margaret Carney is a ceramics historian holding a Ph.D. in Asian ceramic history. She teaches the history of world ceramics as a course at Alfred University, USA, but her primary job is as ceramics historian for the College of Ceramics at Alfred and as Director of the Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic art. Her undergraduate work was in archaeology and she has also been a ceramic maker.
Dr. Katie Bunnell is Reader in Design Research and Lecturer in 3D Design at Falmouth College of Arts. In 1998 she completed a practice-based PhD thesis entitled The Integration of New Technology into Ceramic Designer-Maker Practice, created and published on CD ROM by The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. She is interested in the creative use of new technologies as tools within the' hands on' process of 'designing through making' and the potential for this to allow craft based practitioners to move into new contexts, particularly those that involve social, environmental and economic issues.
Richard Carlton is an archaeologist based in the department of archaeology, University of Newcastle where he is involved in teaching and contract archaeology. His main research interests are in ceramic ethnography and ethnoarchaeology, particularly in the western Balkans, principally Bosnia-Hercegovina and Croatia. He has also carried out fieldwork with potters in Spain, Portugal, Tunisia, Greece and Turkey. He is particularly interested in using ethnography and experimental trials to shed light upon the archaeological interpretation of ceramics.
Dr. Nigel Barley is an assistant keeper in ethnography and has written on social and cultural symbolism of technology. A special interest is pottery and its relationship with the imagination of the human form in Africa.
Gabi Dewald is a journalist and author in the field of art, craft and design. Since 1994 she has been editor of the bilingual (German / English) KeramikMagazin/ CeramicsMagazine, which is now in its 21st year. She is interested in watching the progress of the new electronic journal 'Interpreting Ceramics' and also in contributing in some way to its development. She says that she feels there is little point in repeating in electronic format what is already available in print format. Her interest and aim is that something new should be created which fulfils a real need and which supplements and complements existing publications.
Edmund de Waal completed his apprenticeship as a potter with Geoffrey Whiting. He later went up to Cambridge to read for a degree in English. He spent the years 1991-1993 in Japan on a Daiwa Foundation Japanese Scholarship. Since returning to Britain he has established himself both as a maker in porcelain and as a writer on studio ceramics.