Interpreting Ceramics contents

About this Journal


Readers of Issue 5 of Interpreting Ceramics may agree or disagree with Edmund De Waal’s comment that ‘Ceramics is an art whose practitioners have become peculiarly suited to silence’. From this premise De Waal develops a provocative argument in which makers are encouraged to shape the discourse through which their work is understood. ‘Speak for Yourself’ is the challenge that he lays down. De Waal’s text, which is republished here, sets a theme which is taken up by other authors. Jeffrey Jones’ article constructs theoretical contexts for various understandings of silence as they relate to ceramics. He offers reflections on the different kinds of strategies involved in ‘keeping quiet and finding a voice’.

Geraint Roberts focuses on the silence at the heart of the work of Claudi Casanovas. Through looking closely at the work shown in the exhibition Twenty Blocks, Roberts examines Casanovas’ claim that ‘each piece is a silence’. His essay implicitly raises questions about the extent to which the writer can speak on behalf of the maker, especially the silent maker and their silent work. Meanwhile Babette Martini’s article on the work of Christie Brown is not concerned specifically with the theme of silence, but it does indicate that a sympathetic writer can give voice to the concerns of a maker in a way that remains true to their intentions.

If you would like to respond to any of the ideas discussed in the articles then you can do this through the registration and feedback page or by e-mailing us at Your contribution will not appear immediately on the site but we will publish suitable contributions as soon as we are able. If you are a maker then we invite you to write something about your work and submit it for consideration for inclusion in a future issue of Interpreting Ceramics. Details are available through the Speak for Yourself button on the contents page.

Interpreting Ceramics is an initiative of a group of academic staff in the UK who have joined together under the title of Interpreting Ceramics: Research Collaboration (ICRC). Our collaboration has come about through shared research interests in recording, interrogating, interpreting and communicating the practice and history of ceramics.

The members of ICRC are committed to exploring ways in which collaborative effort, on both a national and international level, can lead to broader and more interdisciplinary research into all those categories of human activity which are indicated by the term 'ceramics'. ICRC has an interest in any practice or mode of inquiry which brings a social and cultural awareness to bear on the manufacture and consumption of objects made from ceramic materials. The fields covered would therefore include studio, industrial, architectural, traditional, sculptural and figurative ceramics as well as the relevant branches of anthropology, archaeology, material culture studies, museum studies, archiving etc.

The journal Interpreting Ceramics is the first outcome of the collaborative work of ICRC. It is the first refereed, electronic journal for ceramics and in publishing on the Internet the journal allows contributors to exploit the possibilities of new digital media as well as offering more traditional text based approaches. The journal is freely accessible, without charge. We aim to establish and maintain the highest scholarly standards for the content of the articles published. Four institutions have joint proprietorship of the journal and they are the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, the University of the West of England, Bristol and Bath Spa University College.

Editorial responsibility for Interpreting Ceramics lies with the ICRC committee, which currently consists of the members of the editorial team who are listed above. The editorial advisory board consists of thirty individuals, drawn from different disciplines, who together provide a wide range of expertise on ceramics in all its guises. A list of members of the board is provided on the web site.


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The journal Interpreting Ceramics is the first outcome of the collaborative work of ICRC (Interpreting Ceramics: Research Collaboration).

ISSN 1471-146X

Issue 5, 2004

Editorial Team

Jeffrey Jones
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff

Michael Hose
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff

Moira Vincentelli
University of Wales, Aberystwyth

Matthew Partington
University of the West of England, Bristol

Jo Dahn
Bath Spa University College and University of Wales, Aberystwyth
(submissions editor and
joint reviews editor)

Nicholas Lees
Bath Spa University College
(joint reviews editor)

Graham McLaren
Staffordshire University
(live debate editor)


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About this Journal • Issue 5