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BROWNSWORD, Neil (2017) FACTORY. In: Ceramic Values: Can Ceramics make a difference? Ceramics and its Dimensions Congress, 5 -6 October 2017, Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Bethesda St, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 3DW. (Unpublished)

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Abstract or description

Brownsword was invited as keynote speaker for the Ceramic Values Congress where he shared insights on his research underpinning FACTORY, shown as part of Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale (GICB) 2017.

Partly funded by the European Commission in the ‘Creative Europe’ programme, Ceramics and its Dimensions brings museums, universities, and companies together to investigate the various aspects of the issue from all angles – culturally, academically, and industrially. The Congress ‘CERAMIC VALUES: Can Ceramics make a difference? ‘opens the debate about the value and roles of ceramics in society. It examined the relationship between historic centres of manufacture and contemporary centres of learning, production and consumption. Its presentations centred around the following themes: Skills: In an age of rapid developments in technologies, what role and significance have skills and tradition? Value: What do we deem to be important now in Ceramics? What contribution can ceramics really make to the broader society? Place: As our traditional centres of ceramics across Europe evolve what significance has place in Ceramics today? Can Ceramics make a difference to the idea of Place?

Representatives from all 19 of the Ceramics and its Dimensions partners contributed to the Congress proceedings, which coincided with the 5th British Ceramics Biennial in Stoke-on-Trent. Sessions focused on: Ceramics and Education; Place, Embodiment and Material Engagement; Analogue and Digital craft; Professionalism: Building a Career in Ceramics; Ceramics, Tradition and Heritage; Ceramics, Wellbeing and Museum Engagement; and Ceramics and Museum Collections.

Other Keynote speakers included, Claudia Casali Director of the International Museum of Ceramics in Faenza, Franz Chen, founder and CEO of Franz Porcelain and Jay Thakkar, Head of the Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre (DICRC) CEPT University, Ahmedabad.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)
Additional Information: From exhibition catalogue: Brownsword, N., Shales, E., Strangleman, T., FACTORY, Neil Brownsword, Icheon World Ceramic Centre, 2017. p.6 FACTORY is a performative installation that reflects upon notions of place, skill, people and material objects left behind following the process of industrial change. In Stoke-on-Trent, global outsourcing together with high yield production technologies, have substituted many of the people embodied skills that once sustained company leadership. Like many hand skills in the ceramic industry, dexterity is transmitted from generation to generation. As the tertiary or service sector has largely replaced traditional manufacturing, there now exists a significant skills gap, and with few apprenticeships a danger of specialist knowledge disappearing. Following the legacy of William Morris and the Arts and Craft Movement in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, much attention has been paid to the preservation of vernacular crafts. Since these neo-traditionalists remained diametrically opposed to industrialisation, they also marginalised the know-how of those employed in factories, albeit sometimes unintentionally. In 2003 UNESCO implemented a convention to safeguard intangible cultural heritage. 171 countries have now endorsed this convention, effectively making Intangible Heritage part of their cultural policy, but this value system remains alien to the UK. ‘Any efforts to safeguard traditional craftsmanship must focus not on preserving craft objects - no matter how beautiful, precious, rare or important they might be - but on creating conditions that will encourage artisans to continue to produce crafts of all kinds, and to transmit their skills and knowledge to others’. FACTORY re-evaluates explicit systems of know-how, specific to North Staffordshire’s ceramic industry….By bringing contrasting modes of ceramic manufacture into the gallery space, the live transmission of these actions enables rare access to haptic and material knowledge. They will work, and not be celebrated as nostalgic demonstrators of pure skill constructed for heritage tourism. To accentuate these overlooked forms of intelligence, Neil Brownsword adopts numerous strategies that disrupt prescriptive routines of skill cultivated by instruction. Insights that stem from his own employment history at the Wedgwood factory, inform the re-choreography of these complex rules to expose tacit procedures that include nuances of preparation and quality control.
Faculty: School of Creative Arts and Engineering > Art and Design
Event Title: Ceramic Values: Can Ceramics make a difference? Ceramics and its Dimensions Congress
Event Location: Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Bethesda St, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 3DW
Event Dates: 5 -6 October 2017
Depositing User: Neil BROWNSWORD
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2019 10:06
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 03:49

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