Saturday 6 October

10:30 – 16:00 Day of Clay

Centre of Ceramic Art, York Art Gallery, Exhibition Square

Throughout the day CoCA will host a range of activities, both inside and outside, including three drop-in workshops, hands-on sessions in the gallery, and the chance to throw your own pot and add it to the tower of pots outdoors in Museum Gardens.

Full programme available here.

Admission to Day of Clay is separate, but is available for just £4 with your ticket for York Ceramics Fair, against the normal price of £7.50. Under 16s go FREE.

Sunday 7 October

11:00 Clay Fever

Film screening introduced by Helen Walsh of CoCA.

Clay Fever is a new play based on original correspondence between the pottery collector W.A. Ismay and potter Michael Cardew. This extraordinary series of letters – some fragmented and undated – exchangedbetween potter and collector has been painstakingly transcribed by Helen Walsh and is the inspiration for an imaginative window into their friendship: a revealing insight into their passions, problems and everyday lives. This is a screening of its first performance at the Restating Clay conference held at CoCA in March 2018 by York Theatre Royal.

Script by Bridget Foreman based on the PhD by Dr. Helen Walsh. W A Ismay played by Robin Simpson. Michael Cardew played by Robert Pickavance. Produced and directed by York Theatre Royal.


12:30 “Things could fall apart”

A demonstration of hand building and slip decorating techniques by Dylan Bowen.

Dylan trained with his father, noted slipware potter Clive Bowen, himself the grandson of Bernard Leach, before taking a degree in Ceramics at Camberwell School of Art, graduating in 1991. After a period working with other makers in the US he returned to the UK, working as a builder-decorator in London and Oxford but in 1998 returned to pottery, setting up a studio in Oxford with his wife Jane making domestic earthenware which, in his own words, “wasn’t very good, really.”

Since then, while continuing to work with traditional slip and earthenware, his work has become increasingly abstract and larger in scale. “I stepped away from the more traditional shapes I was making and became more three dimensional, and less functional, with enough encouragement from people I respected to think it was the right way to go.” His slipwork especially is instantly recognisable, full of spontaneity and dynamism. Here is a rare chance to see Dylan demonstrate his distinctive techniques.

14:00 Roger Law

Roger Law used to be famous; he was the artist and energy behind the satirical TV show Spitting Image. The success of the UK television programme which pilloried the rich and famous ironically made him rich and famous. He quietly deported himself to Australia to concentrate on what was left of his talent. In the last two decades he has gone from politics to pots working in both Australia and China’s ‘Porcelain City’ Jingdezhen, brought into ceramics through a collaboration for the V&A with the late great Janice Tchalenko. He would like his pots to be as engaging and attractive as his caricatures were rude and ugly. Some of his work was recently shown in a fascinating exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre, Norwich.

Prepare to be amused and astonished by his journey.

15:30 Home from Home: International ceramicists working in Britain

Film screening followed by discussion presented by Kochevet Bendavid

Home from Home
documents prominent ceramic makers who come from across the globe and now call the UK home. They share their experiences of living and working in Britain and finding their place within the British ceramic world. They each reflect on what it means to create a ‘home from home’, how their country of origin influences their work, what they have incorporated into their work from their British surroundings, and how they express the dynamics of these cross-cultural encounters in their work.

The film will be introduced by one of the participating makers, Kochevet Bendavid, who co-curated the project with Christine Lalumia and Clare Maddison of Contemporary Applied Arts. The screening of Home from Home will be followed by a discussion inviting questions, comments and observations from the audience.