Where will the next potters come from?

by LOUISE PSYLLIDES, The Sentinel

 

THE ceramics industry is facing a chronic skills shortage that could threaten its future, according to company bosses.

That was the verdict of an industry summit held last week and attended by the Lord Mayor of the City of London.

Representatives from firms across the city met at the Potters Club, in Stoke, when the Lord Mayor visited the Potteries to discuss the future of the sector.

He also visited Moorcroft Pottery, in Burslem, Middleport Pottery and Steelite International, also in Middleport.

Companies including Steelite, Wade Ceramics, Caverswall China and Endeka Ceramics pledged to work more closely together to tackle the skills shortage.

Etruria-based Wade's managing director Paul Farmer said: "We are struggling to find a talented pool of people with the traditional skills we need.

"Yes we are moving forward with technology but we have all got 50-something technical managers and nothing backing them up.

"There used to be a fantastic course at Staffordshire University for that but it isn't there anymore because of a lack of demand.

"It's incumbent on all of us in the industry to do something to work together and move forward."

Mr Farmer said he had recently met with the British Ceramic Confederation to discuss the possibility of setting up a skills academy.

Trevor Johnson, managing director of Caverswall China, in Fenton, said: "When I left school aged 16 I went to work for Crown Staffs China and there was a fantastic training board.

"The company used to employ 400 people and every year there would be 10 or 15 young girls and boys joining and supervisors employed to look after them.

"We just haven't got that anymore and I would like to see some support on skills."

Continue reading this article by LOUISE PSYLLIDES, The Sentinel

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A modern metalsmith/metal artist can be found working in traditional metals as well as in nontraditional materials. The designs can range from the classic to the extravagant, and the techniques can either be centuries old or decidedly current.

The wide range of expression preferences, design options, materials, and processes has lead within our field to unfavorable misconceptions, misunderstandings and in some cases even outright disdain between artists. Can the metal and jewelry field overcome its division and send out a much-needed signal?

We appreciate and respect our historical past and acknowledge that current materials have a rightful place in jewelry/object making!

Arriving at this message is the goal of this traveling exhibition opening at the SNAG conference in Boston 2015, Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, CA - Aug 19 - Sept 20, 2015, Equinox Gallery, San Antonio, TX - Oct 16 - Nov 15, 2015, Baltimore Jewelry Center, Baltimore, MD - Dec 11, 2015 - Jan 08, 2016, Brooklyn Metal Works, Brooklyn, NY - Feb 5 - Mar 4, 2016, Thomas Mann's Gallery I/O April 1 - June 25, 2016.

DETAILS on exhibition premise, call for artists, submission guidelines.....

OFF TO THE RACES:

Rachel and Brigitte got started on their own cooperation. Follow along and comment.

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