British Ceramics Biennial (BCB) is a prestigious project that embraces the heritage of the Potteries as the home of British ceramics; that stimulates creativity and innovation across the breadth of its practice and sharpens Stoke-on-Trent’s creative edge as an international center for excellence in contemporary ceramics.
BCB is based in Stoke-on-Trent. The biennial is a six-week festival presenting work from the UK’s leading contemporary ceramicists alongside international clay artists, in exhibitions and special events across the city. The BCB is underpinned by a year-round program of artists’ commissions and education and community engagement projects.
Initiated in 2009, the BCB has grown to be the single largest ceramics event in the UK, a flagship cultural project for Stoke-on-Trent City Council, and a catalyst for regeneration. BCB has been successful in bringing great art, creative energy and critical attention to the city, and has facilitated meaningful new public engagement with local communities, visitors and cultural tourists.
In partnership with the Korea Ceramics Foundation (KOCEF), British Ceramics Biennial offers a Korean artists among artists selected at the International Competition of KICB2019 an opportunity to participate in its residency program.
The international residency program of ceramic artists exchange, builds the international perspective of the BCB program through developing cultural dialogue and exchange. The BCB and local partners Staffordshire University are partnering in facilitating periods of residence that can encourage and support a cultural exchange and the creation of experimental art works to be exhibited as part of the British Ceramics Biennial 2019 celebrations.
The international exchange and residency program is built with key international organizational partners who support a cooperative exchange between the UK and their home country. The artistic exchange between the UK and Korea will occur in August - September 2019, during which a UK artist/craftsperson will produce new work for the KICB in it’s 10th anniversary celebration which will be held in Icheon and a Korean ceramic artist/craftsperson will produce new work in Stoke-on-Trent with the British Ceramics Biennial in also celebrating its 10th Year anniversary.
As a hope to encourage connections with the community in Stoke-on-Trent the resident artist in invited to the British Ceramics Biennial’s bustling studio whereby community projects and local makers come to work together and independently at the former Spode production site.
As the fifth edition of the BCB draws to a close in November 2017, we are setting out plans for the next five years, and launching key new initiatives for 2018-2022, and supporting Stoke-on-Trent’s ambitions to be designated UK City of Culture 2021, including:
The British Ceramics Biennial works partners across the city of Stoke-on-Trent in a festival that celebrates the heritage of the Potteries as the home of British ceramics, that stimulates creativity and innovation across the breadth of contemporary ceramics practice. Through collaboration the British Ceramics Biennial’s program spills out from it’s established hub at Spode, with exhibitions and activities happening throughout Stoke-on-Trent, creating opportunities to make connections with new audiences and share in new spaces.
The AWARD exhibition is a prestigious exhibition that celebrates the vitality and standing of contemporary British ceramics and presented as the center-piece of the British Ceramics Biennial located within in the context long history of British ceramics in Stoke- on-Trent.
“AWARD is a showcase for ground-breaking and progressive practice, capturing the breadth and dynamism of artists engaging with clay today. It is an opportunity for ambition, and for new ideas to be explored and presented in a truly remarkable and historic location.”
- Alun Graves, Senior Curator, Ceramics and Glass, Victoria and Albert Museum
The acclaimed FRESH exhibition is a high profile exhibition that celebrates and promotes the emerging talent in contemporary British ceramics, it’s one of the main exhibitions at the British Ceramics Biennale.
“The FRESH exhibition is an exciting opportunity for recent graduates to showcase their professional development within the context of their extended community of practice. It acts as both a snapshot of the here and the now and a projection of the future of a subject. Graduates curious about establishing their practice within ceramics should consider selection an essential step in their development.”
- Anthony Quinn, Subject Leader for Ceramics & Course Leader, BA ceramic Design, Central Saint Martins
The BCB engagement team works alongside city-partners, community members and talented makers to form exciting clay projects throughout Stoke-On-Trent. The main aim of this work is to investigate how clay can have a positive impact on our lives. Working with talented artists on a number of projects within the community and education sector in Stoke-on-Trent. We are currently concentrating our work within changing communities in the City, testing how clay can communicate or help plan a period of transition or change. Find out more about how we're currently delivering this vision:
BCB works within the education sector to reignite the use of ceramics in the classroom. EYFS, Primary and Secondary have engaging hands on ceramic activity designed to support early experiences of using ceramics via Clay School-Ceramics Learning and Young People School Network. The objective of CLAY school is to advocate for the provision of ceramics within education. BCB's focused CLAY school network aims to engage with all Stoke-On-Trent schools by 2021.
At Staffordshire University: Plaster model and mould making facilities, slip casting and finishing facilities, glaze making, spray, dip and drying facilities, later engraver for ceramic and plaster, laser cutter for metals, plastics and wood, 3D printing and scanning facilities, electric and gas kilns.
The BCB Studio is a space to create based in the heart of Stoke on Trent at Spode Works. With three workshop areas the BCB Studio allow for group making activities, individual working and carrying out specific techniques such as slip casting and mould making. This studio also provides a hub for our community and education program - with community groups, teachers from near and far and pupils and students, all using the space to learn from working alongside ceramic artists.
With the support of resident artist and Studio Manager, Jo Ayre, the regulars at the studio have made an invaluable contribution to the shared space, where they work both individually and collaboratively.
Materials can be ordered through local suppliers and communicated prior to residency period.
Accommodation in Stoke-on-Trent, close by to the studio.