The Team

Barney Hare Duke


Iain Cartwright
Executive Director

Iain trained as a Design Historian during which time he studied the history of both Spode and Wedgwood as well as taking a practical wood, metal and ceramics module. Thereafter he embarked on a career in arts and heritage management, working across a range of organisations from national museums to small, independent arts organisations; for local authorities and large charities; in both the private and public sectors, in the UK, Northern Ireland, Holland and France.  Iain worked for both local authorities in a variety of arts development capacities (latterly as Head of Arts at Warwickshire County Council) and for arts organisations including Same Sky in Brighton, for the V&A and in Higher Education (London Institute). Iain has long experience of managing arts charities and a breadth of expertise having also worked as Fundraising Team manager for Help the Aged, with particular expertise around statutory funding having secured significant funding from local and central government, from trusts and foundations and from Europe. Prior to working for BCB Iain worked as a Senior Consultant for DCA, Birmingham, a private sector arts and regeneration consultancy, specialising in producing feasibility studies and business plans for cultural organisations and in particular development capital projects for clients across the UK. Iain also has an MSc in Sustainable Architecture.  


Andrew Palmer
Joint Head of Marketing
Andrew has worked with the culture, heritage and tourism sectors for 15 years before establishing Palmer Squared in 2005 with his sister Helen. Prior to consultancy, Andrew led the marketing and research teams at the National Museums Liverpool during its £35m redevelopment programme. He also developed and delivered the launch marketing strategy for the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television (now National Media Museum) resulting in over one million visits to the museum in its first year re-opened. He has mentored marketing and audience development staff at numerous museums and galleries, and currently Visits Unlimited, a social enterprise dedicated to accessible tourism, especially for families.


Helen Palmer
Joint Head of Marketing
Helen’s background was originally in theatre marketing and PR. Helen became a consultant in 1999, before creating Palmer Squared in 2005 with her twin brother Andrew. Helen has a track record of being part of the founding management teams for major new projects, developing the strategic marketing functions and leading the delivery of the marketing and audience development plans, including the British Ceramics Biennal, Manchester International Festival, Asia Triennial Manchester, Cultureshock and The Lowry. Helen previously led Marketing Manchester’s Marketing Coordination Unit as the Director of Strategic Marketing, and is one of the Directors of Creative Tourist providing strategic advice and tactical support for cultural tourism initiatives.


Dena Bagi
Community and Education Programme Manager 

Prior to working with BCB, Dena held learning management positions at Manchester Craft and Design Centre and Manchester Museum, among others. She has worked with communities to unlock the benefits of creativity for 10 years and has been with BCB for 3. Dena also works as a freelance artist, delivering ceramic projects within community and education settings and comes from a glass/ceramic practice background. She has a BA in Glass, Architectural Glass and Ceramics from the University of Sunderland and a Masters in Contemporary Curating form Manchester Metropolitan University.


Katie Leonard
Education Programme & Special Project Manager
Katie is a freelance artist and educator with over 15 years experience working in Birmingham, Cheshire and Stoke on Trent  within variety of settings including Primary, Secondary,  Higher Education Colleges and Museums. Her role in the BCB team connects young people with an early experience of clay. She is responsible for developing the Sparks programme for schools enabling artists to share skills with students in the classroom. Katie is inspired by the rich heritage of Stoke and Staffordshire by project managing  special projects and events that connect people to their locality.


Nikki Patel 
Marketing & Communications Manager


Joanne Ayre
Studio Manager
Jo is a maker, educator and writer, introduced to ceramics at school and through a weekend job at the Wedgwood Visitor Centre; she pursued her education in the field, first specialising in ceramics at Newcastle-under-Lyme college, then completing a BA (Hons) Ceramics in Cardiff. Returning home during the holidays, Jo enjoyed working as part of the team at Gladstone Pottery Museum, which became a more regular role before heading to London to begin an MA at the Royal College of Art. She graduated from the Ceramics and Glass department there in 2008. Following completion of a PGCE in secondary education in 2011, Jo has been teaching art, craft and design to 7 – 18 year olds. Being appointed as Studio Assistant for the BCB 2015 is a fantastic opportunity for her to share her passion for ceramics and education, facilitating making with clay, from a one-off encounter to a lifetime pursuit.



Rhiannon Ewing-James 
Creative Producer 

Rhiannon is a maker, freelance designer and a writer graduated with a degree in Contemporary Applied Arts from Ulster University, Belfast. Ceramics has been, is and will always be a part of her life, with interests in ceramics that ranges from pottery and production working as an Intern at the Leach Pottery Studio, St. Ives, working with artists, curating and creating programmes as the Studio Coordinator at Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Centre, Denmark and as the Project Officer at Craft Northern Ireland. As the Creative Producer Rhiannon will be the main point of contact for artists that work with the BCB through exhibitions, projects and commissions helping to put ideas into action and she supports the Creative Director Barney Hare Duke in the curation of the British Ceramics Biennial Festival.




Images Top to Bottom:
Barney Hare Duke; Iain Cartwright;  Helen Palmer; Dena Bagi;  Katie Leonard, Jo Ayre, Andrew Palmer, Rhiannon Ewing-James;