Ceramic Review issue 292 July/August 2018

Hello and welcome to the July/August issue of Ceramic Review. Fairy tales are a traditional part of childhood, with favourite bedtime stories a ritual that we all remember fondly. Raised in a rural part of Denmark, our cover star Malene Hartmann Rasmussen grew up with characters from a different type of fairy tale: from trolls who steal babies, to a lake-dwelling creature that sings people to their doom! No wonder Malene creates her strange enchanted worlds out of clay. An apprentice to Dutch artist Carolein Smit (whose solo show at the V&A we also review), they both have a fascination with the darker side of life that is evident in their work. Ceramics with a strong message are also key to the success of Ardmore Ceramics, a collective of 70 artists based in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, which saw the collective lose many of its artists, led to the group expressing their experiences through clay. From the AIDS Plates series by Wonderboy Nxumalo who used the metaphor of the monkey to tell his story of living with the disease, to the satirical AIDS Monster sculpture by Sfiso Mvelase and Roux Gwala, Ardmore unwittingly came to play its part in the genre of activist art. If you’ve always wanted to express yourself through clay or wish to develop further as a maker, take a look at our ceramics education article. Featuring diplomas from City Lit and Clay College Stoke, BA courses at Central Saint Martins and Cardiff Metropolitan University, and a Ceramic Skills & Design Course in Ireland, we hear first-hand from students who have attended each institution in order to build their futures as successful ceramists.

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Featured Articles

Student at Thomastown, Kilkenny. Photo Design and Crafts Council of Ireland
Ceramics qualifications – the options

Ceramics qualifications – the options

What are the higher education options available for those wishing to further their career as a maker? We explore some of the courses on offer.

Malene Hartmann Rasmussen - Nøkkerosen. Photo Sylvain Deleu
Folkloric fantasies

Folkloric fantasies

We learn more about cover star Malene Hartmann Rasmussen, who creates ceramic sculptures inspired by science fiction and fairy tales.

Work by Angus Suttie. Photo Dewi Tannatt Lloyd
Review: Angus Suttie

Review: Angus Suttie

We visit a retrospective at the Ruthin Craft Centre in Wales that puts irreverent ceramics by the late potter Angus Suttie in the spotlight.

Plates by Sue Paraskeva. Photo Tanya Goodwin
 Ask the experts

Ask the experts

How do you make sure your tableware is food-safe – and doesn’t break the law? A glaze technology tutor answers a readers’ question.

Stories

English ceramics advocate in Europe

As German gallerist and lover of British ceramics Marianne Heller celebrates Galerie Heller’s 40th anniversary, artist Sandy Brown tells Marianne’s story

Masterclass

Sasha Wardell take us step-by-step through the mould-making process she uses to make her slip-cast china bowls

Sculpting humanity

Joanna Bird discusses ceramic artist Halima Cassell, whose ambitious project Virtues of Unity involves collecting clay from every country in the world

Potters on pots

Paul Young explains how his own whimsical slipware figurines pay tribute to the potters of the past who crafted traditional Staffordshire wares

Review: Carolein Smit

More Brothers Grimm than Disney: we report on Dutch ceramic artist Carolein Smit’s solo show of fairy tale-inspired sculptures at the V&A

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Ceramic Review
Pick of the shows

Lucie Rie: Ceramics & Buttons
22 June 2018 – 12 May 2019
Centre of Ceramic Art, York

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