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Ceramic Review issue 292 July/August 2018

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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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