Past Events

Obsolescence and Renewal: Reimagining North Staffordshire’s Ceramic Heritage

Lecture Series

  • 3 December 2020
  • This is the fifth lecture in the five-part series titled, Ceramics in Britain, 1750 to Now.
  • Online

In recent decades, global economics and advanced production technology have greatly impacted the ceramics industry in North Staffordshire, Britain’s traditional heartland of ceramics production. Professor Neil Brownsword, artist and Professor of Ceramics at Staffordshire University will discuss his artistic practice and reflect upon the changes of this industry, drawing particular attention to the value and sustainability of its intangible heritage. In collaboration with former industrial artisans, Brownsword restages their endangered practices (including engraving and flower-making) through performative works at prestigious venues, which have included the Korea Ceramic Foundation, Victoria and Albert Museum, and the site of Stoke’s own Spode factory.

While the story of ceramics is a global one, Britain has played a leading role in the last three centuries, a period in which British invention has shaped developments and brought constant renewal to the industry. Ceramics in Britain, 1750 to Now, delivered by experts in the field, will explore five key influential developments in the history of British ceramics since the mid-eighteenth century, examining the multiple ways in which innovators, entrepreneurs, and artists have reinvigorated the field.

You can find the complete series on our Events Recording page.