Artist into Industry

Emma Bridgewater

The National Summer School - ‘Artist into Industry’ workshop lead by the British Ceramics Biennial and Emma Bridgewater is an opportunity that hopes to give future ceramic makers, artists and designers the chance to interact with and be inspired by the current ceramic industry and produce a body of work during a 5 day workshop/residency opportunity onsite at the Emma Bridgewater Factory in Stoke-On-Trent.

Emma Bridgewater began in 1985, after Emma tried and failed to find a birthday present for her mum. “I was looking for a really special cup and saucer, but everything was either too formal or too clunky. That was my eureka moment. I realised there was a gap in the market for pottery that was beautiful and practical – pottery for a relaxed, colourful, mismatched life.”

Today Emma Bridgewater Ltd is run by Emma and her husband Matthew Rice, and all the designs come from both of them. We’re very much a family business and a lot of our ideas come from Emma and Matthew’s everyday life with their four children. All the pottery is made in their own factory in Stoke-on-Trent, the traditional home of British pottery

Whilst the participants develop a body of experimental work at Emma Bridgewater they will be integrated into the workforce and given technical support by technical and specialist skills staff. Participants will work in the Emma Bridgewater factory and given the opportunity of developing a deeper understanding of the production and processes used in the factory through a variety of creative sessions, talks and demonstrations with staff members including specialists and mangers within design, production, business, marketing and decorating and BCB Resident Artist Rhiannon Ewing-James.

This is an opportunity that is most suitable for all level of ceramic practitioners who want to develop a further understanding of ceramic production methods and making, this is an opportunity also suited for current students and recent graduates to delve into the skills and processes currently practised within the ceramic industry and those processes and techniques that are specific and special to Emma Bridgewater.

Workshop/residency participants should expect to develop a body of work in Emma Bridgewater using factory materials (moulds, slip, decorating materials/sponges, pigments, glaze and firing). It is essential that workshop participants must have project plan prior to the workshop, the project plan should be what you would like to explore and test during the workshop. The project will be discussed prior to the workshop and communicated to the factory in preparation of the workshop.

Work created by participants in the workshop will have the opportunity of being exhibited as part of the British Ceramics Biennial 2017 at the BBC Radio Stoke head quarters and a further venue to be confirmed.