Issue 11 • 2009
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About this Journal


Welcome to Issue 11 of Interpreting Ceramics. The articles in this issue once again cover a range of subjects and interests although all of them are concerned in some way to locate our understanding of Ceramics within social, cultural and political contexts. Jo Dahn offers a fascinating insight into the world of ceramics production and consumption in the West Midlands in England during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. She argues that Abolitionism and Quakerism were key factors in the way that members of the Plymley family understood, appreciated and used ceramic artefacts in their everyday lives. In his discussion of the post-war British ceramics industry, Graham McLaren identifies the notion of Britishness as an important defining factor in the search for an appropriate aesthetic which would drive forward the reconstruction of the industry in a period of rapid economic and institutional change. Ozioma Onuzulike uses the example of his mixed media project ‘Suyascape’ to provide an insight into the kind of technical and conceptual transformations currently taking place in the contemporary Nigerian ceramic art scene. The article raises important questions about the potential for Ceramics to deal with challenging cultural issues alongside aesthetic concerns. Jane Webb reflects on her conversations with Stephen Dixon after his three month residency as part of an exchange scheme at the JamFactory in Adelaide, Australia. The aim of the exchange scheme was to challenge makers by the culture shock of being dislocated not only from their familiar cultural surroundings, but from the routines that make up home. The author considers how this experience impacted on the artist’s practice as a satirist, allowing him to shift his work beyond established patterns of working into new territories and old material areas. In this issue we also have a review of the book Studio Pottery in Britain 1900 – 2005 by Jeffrey Jones and a review of the 2009 Zelli Porcelain Prize.

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.

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

ISSN 1471-146X

Issue 11, 2009

Editorial Team

Jeffrey Jones
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, editor

Natasho Mayo
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, reviews editor

Kathy Talbot
Aberystwyth University, editorial secretary

Moira Vincentelli
Aberystwyth University

Matthew Partington
University of the West of England, Bristol

Jo Dahn
Bath Spa University, submissions editor


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About this Journal • Issue 11

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