Craft into Industry: possible dialogues between makers and manufacturers

07.02.14 - 30.03.14

A CAA exhibition curated by Sue Pryke and Brian Kennedy.

As Contemporary Applied Arts moves into a new chapter in its history it is keen to develop new opportunities for its membership outside of the gallery in London. This exhibition in partnership with British Ceramics Biennial will offer CAA members the chance not only to have their work viewed at the 2013 Biennial in Stoke-on-Trent  but also at the CAA London Gallery where the exhibition will be part of the 2014 Exhibition programme.

The exhibition examines the possible relationship between British Studio practice and the ceramics industry. CAA has worked with homeware design consultant Sue Pryke  and curator Brian Kennedy on the curation of this exhibition. Sue and Brian were keen to not only look at ceramicists for this exhibition but to explore and present makers from a wide range of disciplines as they strongly feel that there are many partnership possibilities between studio practitioners and the  British ceramics industry.

Chris Keenan, teaset

Craft into Industry  - possible dialogues between makers and manufacturers

Bringing together a collection of artisans making their own product in isolation this exhibition highlights pockets of creativity, pioneering skills and design ingenuity that can be of interest to industry.  The work highlighted here signifies how applicable the concepts, forms and processes are for production. The collection is an illustration of how a designer would bring together a beautiful range of ware.  Deciding on shapes with commonalities, balancing variation within materials, colour and texture to build a series. Working with makers, or factories, to develop a range of work with intrinsic values that complement the other forms in the range and drawing on the skills and knowledge from a multitude of crafts. 

We all do this in a domestic setting.  Selecting the plate to eat from the cutlery to eat with, the glasses to drink from and the textiles to wash, dry and set the table.  Retailers often package this selection for us, delivering a look by following a particular trend and we can buy into the whole story.  Creatives well versed in good looking products are proficient at bringing their own style together through products and range building, itís part of their daily practice.
Collaboration with industry doesnít always appeal to the artisan; the thought of repetitive sleek production without the visible touch of the maker seems anonymous and bewildering, and also of no interest on aesthetic levels.  The role of the craftsperson is to work with traditional as well as innovative methods to develop an idea, usually driven by a passion and expertise for a particular material. 

A designerís role utilises broad material knowledge to develop concepts in line with market needs and expectations, trends and of course costs.  The role of the designer varies depending on the industry, from facilitator to innovator.

If you combine the skills of the craftsman with the creative process of the designer the end result would surely be a valuable asset to the industrial manufacturing sector.   Someone with expert knowledge and hands on experience of materials would offer new approaches, maybe not entirely in line with industryís expectations, but this should throw up interesting creative avenues for exploration.  Relationships between craft and industry are broadly speaking underutilised.  Skills available within the craft sector offer the ceramic industry a wealth of expertise and itís clear from this line up of creativity just how appropriate liaison with the crafts would be.

Sue Pryke

The exhibition will be broken into 4 separate areas of focus. Each area will offer the audience a distinct view of where the curators feel that studio makers could engage in clear and viable partnerships with manufacturers.

Over a lifetime makers develop individual and specific attitudes to shape and form. These nuanced languages offer sophisticated starting points to be explored through industrial partnerships.

A line of thread across a piece of fabric, a brush mark across a sheet of paper, repeated actions over a lifetime of creation offers a myriad of possibilities for decorative solutions to the objects we use every day.

A lifetime of research through making leads to specific insights into materials and technique. A colour mixed, a glaze mastered, a handle pulled, a clay controlled, a depth of knowledge, a living resource.

A pot thrown, a glass blown, a bowl turned a vessel forged, all coming together on the landscape that is our table. This combination of different materials and objects made and selected with care can enhance our lives and make the eating of meals a fuller and more rewarding experience.

Vicky Shaw

Grant McCaig

Sun Kim

Sasha Wardell

Makers shown in the exhibition:
Janice Tchalenko, Daphne Carnegy, Heather Belcher, Natasha Daintry, Asta Barrington, Nick Membery, Elizabeth Bone, Sasha Wardell, Andrew Wicks, Sue Paraskeva, Carina Ciscato, Grant Mc Caig, Derek Wilson, Chris Keenan, Michael Ruh, Vicky Shaw, Billy Lloyd, Sarah Kay, Ekta Kaul, Sun Kim



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