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Bound by Clay: remembering women’s contribution to the ceramics industry in Stoke-on-Trent

MCGARVEY, Vicki (2019) Bound by Clay: remembering women’s contribution to the ceramics industry in Stoke-on-Trent. In: Working Class Studies Association Conference, 3rd September - 6th September, University of Kent.

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Abstract or description

Stoke-on-Trent, known as the Potteries, was the centre of ceramic production in Britain from the 17th century to the late 1980s. The industry has experienced a rapid decline in the last thirty years, fracturing the working-class community and creating a cloud of mournful loss. It should be acknowledged that manufacturers such as Emma Bridgwater, Steelite and Churchill China, are thriving in these challenging times, and the people of Stoke-on-Trent are still proud of its industrial heritage. Many hope for a pottery renaissance and that manufacturers such as these will save a declining city, but it is unlikely that industrial ceramics in isolation will be the panacea. There is an urgency to preserve the knowledge and intangible skills of those that have worked in the pottery industry before it is too late, and to acknowledge the contribution of those unknown individuals, particularly women, who at the height of pottery production were 40% of the workforce. In 2019 the Stoke and North Staffs Women’s Network received funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, for a project Bound by Clay to produce a film, an educational resource and book to celebrate the contribution women have made to industrial ceramics within Stoke-on-Trent. This paper/presentation provides an overview of the challenges with respect to accurately documenting the contribution women have made within the industry and recording their memories. It will consider the issues around integrating gender within heritage outputs and the risk of nostalgia distorting the local collective memory.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Faculty: Student and Academic Services > Library Services
Event Title: Working Class Studies Association Conference
Event Location: University of Kent
Event Dates: 3rd September - 6th September
Depositing User: Vicki MCGARVEY
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2019 11:18
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2019 11:18
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/5870

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