Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd September, 2019

To celebrate the British Ceramics Biennial's 10th Year, and mark its Ceramic City : FourSites project, AirSpace Gallery and the BCB are presenting a weekend of clay-based activities including exhibitions, workshops and talks.

The British Ceramics Biennial (BCB) is the UK’s premiere contemporary ceramics festival that takes place in Stoke-on-Trent. BCB presents art-works from the UK’s leading ceramicists alongside international artists, in exhibitions and special events held across the city. BCB is underpinned by an exciting year-round programme of artists’ commissions, education and community engagement projects. This year marks an exciting time for the BCB as they have partnered with some of Stoke's finest cultural destinations including World of Wedgwood, The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery and Middleport Pottery. During each weekend of the festival each venue will hold a focus weekend to include free workshops talks and events.

FOCUS ON HANLEY forms the City Centre part of this exciting 4 site program and will consist of exhibitions, workshops and talks, held across two organisations (The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery and AirSpace Gallery) and also 3 of the Cultural Quarter's independent businesses (RAWR, BottleCraft and NTRPRNRS). The BCB will also be activating the Public Realm with a series of workshops in an outdoor marquee. This weekend of activities is presented with funding support from BID Stoke-on-Trent. The vision of Stoke-on-Trent City Centre Business Improvement District is to promote & support a safe, welcoming & engaging city centre destination for all.

The events will take place across the weekend of Saturday and Sunday 21st and 22nd September and promises to be a family friendly and FREE all round Cultural Quarter ceramic celebration.

Across the weekend there are 5 different making workshops to get involved in - a mixture of drop-in and signup - held across 5 different venues - RAWR, BottleCraft and NTRPRNRS join AirSpace Gallery as indoor venues, with the addition of a covered outdoor marquee run by the BCB. Each workshop will offer participants the chance to get hands-on with clay and make something of their own to take away. Here are the details of the workshops that you can get involved in.

21st September 11am-5pm
4 Broad Street, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 4HL

Dunhill and O’Brien’s experimental clay modelling workshops offer participants a playful and challenging opportunity to work with others to translate and interpret images and objects through visual, verbal and tactile communication. For example, in one scenario, working in pairs, one person gives instructions to model an object while the other person attempts to model the object in clay wearing a blindfold.
This is a drop-in workshop - no need to book - with a maximum of 8 people at any one time. Suitable for all the family, but children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Notes on Dunhill & O'Brien: Dunhill and O’Brien have been working collaboratively since 1998. They have exhibited in galleries and project spaces in the UK, Ireland, Holland, Italy and Japan, and have participated in residencies including the British School at Rome, Youkobo art Space, Tokyo and the European Ceramic Work Centre’s Hertogenbosch, Holland. Their practice is primarily concerned with questions of authorship, veracity, ‘craftsmanship’ and the status of sculpture, and, reflects, on the, at times, absurd nature of human endeavor and aspiration. Their attempts to devise methods for making sculpture that bypass their individual taste has led them to work with elaborate strategies and performative processes, often involving elements of chance, remote control, repetition, kinetics and at times the involvement of participants. The resulting artworks frequently incorporate by-products of the making process, custom made tools, raw materials, videos, photographs, or a combination of these elements alongside, or instead of, singular sculptural forms. This new project, TERMS & CONDITONS, enables Dunhill to revisit a location that holds strong memories and associations for him. In 1980, as a solo artist, he made a series of sculptures employing 4 tons of clay with the help of the Gladstone Pottery Museum and Etruria Clay in Stoke on Trent that culminated in his first solo exhibition in London. Dunhill and O’Brien’s new project relates to that earlier endeavor and similarly employs 4 tons of clay and has evolved over the last 18 months following a number of research visits to Stoke on Trent.

21st September 12pm-5pm
33 Piccadilly, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 1EN

A glove puppet making workshop where participants sculpt a head for their own puppet using clay. Throughout the workshop, Jake will regularly provide a short presentation of apocalyptic scenarios and fictions to start the participants thinking about alternative characters. By alternative characters think non-human, beasts, neo-folklore inspired creatures and abstract figures.
This is a drop-in workshop - no need to book - with a maximum of 12 people at any one time. Suitable for all the family, but children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Notes on Jake Kent: Jake Kent (b. 1990) is an artist working and living in Berlin. He graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a degree in Fine Art in 2014 and completed a year of study with The School of the Damned (an alternative art education experiment initiated in response to rising tuition fees) in 2016. Since 2012he has been involved in artist led spaces, namely Triple O.G. Gallery and Publishers (2012-14) and Losers Gym (2016-17). His work is an amalgamation of his interests in current and historical attempts to live differently. Stemming from a teenage passion for and continued involvement in punk music, which led to an introduction to Europe’s remaining squat scene, combined with current socio-political theories he creates artworks that exist in speculative futures. These works sit on the fence between artwork and functional object. Calendars, candle holders, rugs and puppets all exist in, often post-apocalyptic, future-fictions in an attempt embody an art/object maker whose knowledge or memory of capitalism, technique and art history is vague, manipulated or non-existent.

21st September 11am-5pm
51-53 Piccadilly, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 1HR

A workshop where participants will be invited to make drawings using extruded clay coils, whilst working from a contemporary still life set-up. The still life on display will be made up of objects relating to Common Clay’s way of working - eg, ceramic sculptures, tools, found objects, food and other ephemeral material. This still life sculpture will act as a starting point for the clay drawing motifs produced in the workshop.
This is a drop-in workshop - no need to book - with a maximum of 12 people at any one time. Suitable for all the family, but children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Notes on Carla Wright: Carla Wright is a visual artist who makes sculpture and installation, functional ceramics, textiles and participatory events. Her work explores social housing and communal and play architecture of our New Towns and cities. Focusing on self-build housing, co-operative ways of living, and community and child-led organisation. Carla is the founder of Common Clay in Hastings, a ceramics studio project offering an open-access membership for artists, along with a programme of community workshops, beginners classes, social events, exhibitions and artist residencies.

21st September 11am-5pm
31 Piccadilly, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 1EN

For many makers, problem solving is an intrinsic element of the making of a piece. We ask ourselves, how can I make this without this collapsing? Whats the most exciting way to evoke this specific memory or idea? Would this actually work? In these 1 to 1 workshops, over the course of 45 minutes, you will work on a minature version of a personal project for the future, ironing out the inevitable difficulties leaving you with the skillset to make your preferred ceramic work.
This is a sign-up workshop for adults only. Each workshop lasts for 45 minutes - For Booking and Details of workshop times - Please click HERE

Notes on Lindsey Mendick - London-based Lindsey Mendick, graduated with an MA in Sculpture from the Royal College of Art, and has since exhibited widely. Her practice is hinged to her skilled work in ceramics, which she describes being drawn to for its tactile nature and its desire to be manipulated by the maker. She also embraces banner painting, sewing, metalwork, furniture making, and sound within her autobiographical practice. By playfully combining low culture iconography and high culture methods of construction, Mendick creates humorously decadent and elaborate installations that enable the viewer to explore their personal history in a cathartic fashion.

21st+22nd September 11am-5pm
Broad Street (outside the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery), ST1 4HL

This pop up workshop space invites people to get more insight into the exciting projects presented at this years festival. Over Saturday and Sunday the marquee space will house a series of workshops relating to BCB Festival themes and activity - from brick making, to the opportunity to create your vary own miniature Staffordshire flat back!

These workshops are drop-in, with no need to book and no limits to participants numbers or age.

21st September 12-5pm
No.63 Piccadilly, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 1HR

Live sculpture portrait workshop with Joanna Dawidowska. Join Joanna anytime from 12-5 at Slamwhich to create your very own 3D self portrait. This workshop is open to all and requires no prior experience. You can come and create your own self portrait in clay or bring and friend along and sculpt together!



21st September 7pm-9pm
On the Saturday evening, following a day of making, join us and let your hair down for this celebration of ceramics in a social setting. The Oasis Social Club and Portland Inn Project artist Rebecca Davies hosts an all-singing, all-dancing night of fun, music and inevitable surprises.


A series of insightful talks and discussions will take place at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery and AirSpace Gallery.

THE POTTERIES MUSEUM & ART GALLERY - Bethesda St, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 3DW
September 21st, 2019 - 11.30am-3pm

Cultural Icons at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery explores the history of the Staffordshire flat-back in a whole new way, resulting in artworks that comment, highlight and question aspects of mainstream culture, society and politics today. Join us for a day of talks and tours with the artists and Curators Ben Miller and Tessa Peters, delving into the fascinating creative responses created through this collaborative project.
You can attend one or all of the talks and whilst booking is recommended to ensure your place, drop ins are welcome.

11.30 – 12.15 in the PMAG Auditorium
Contemporary Cultural Icons
Meet renowned ceramic artists Christie Brown and Stephen Dixon and find out more about the political and cultural themes behind the Cultural Icons they’ve made for the exhibition. The artists’ conversation is chaired by Stafford-based artist Phoebe Cummings.
1.15 – 2.00 Temporary Exhibition Gallery (First floor)
Cultural Icons: Curators’ tour
The exhibition’s curator, Tessa Peters, offers some additional insights into the flat-backs made by the contemporary artists and Ben Miller, The Potteries Museum’s Assistant Curator of Ceramics points out some fascinating features of their Victorian precedents.
2.15 – 3.00 in the PMAG Auditorium
Making Cultural Icons
Works in the exhibition include artist’s designs for modern flat-backs produced by communities of makers in Stoke-on-Trent. In an open discussion those involved reflect on their involvement in the project.


The Potteries Museum and AirSpace Gallery have commissioned exhibitions in partnership with the BCB, and both will be open throughout the weekend, 11am-5pm, and through to the end of the Festival.

CULTURAL ICONS - Tessa Peters & Christie Brown
The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery

Cultural Icons takes inspiration from the history and tradition of the Staffordshire flat-back, once produced by most of the potteries in the region. Such objects reflected the interests of ordinary people in Victorian England, their subjects including famous entertainers, politicians, royalty and religious themes. For this project, curator Tessa Peters assisted by artist Christie Brown invited figurative ceramicists to respond to the historic flat-back portrait figures in the extensive collections of the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery. The resulting artworks comment on aspects of mainstream culture, society and politics today.
More Details HERE

TERMS & CONDITIONS - Dunhill & O'Brien
AirSpace Gallery

At a time when digital technologies allow us to scan and replicate complex forms and gain instant access to a huge wealth of knowledge and information, the business of making by hand could seem to be unnecessary and nostalgic. This project focuses on the largely overlooked knowledge and skills of a group of local people and playfully revels in the dialogue between the eye, hand, intellect and material. In this way it sets out to celebrate the ingenuity and problem solving skills of these individuals, and to draw our attention to the importance and culture of ‘hands on’ practice. Working with a custom made modular structure built by Dunhill and O’Brien during an initial residency, the participants will explore a range of terms and conditions for collaborative making, using raw clay, and employing experimental methods that test the limits of verbal and visual communication. The structure extending throughout the gallery acts as a working environment and filming device, where interactions will be documented during the residency. For the exhibition, AirSpace’s main gallery will see the structure convert into a large-scale installation, incorporating and displaying the artists’ response to the objects produced, and the various processes and procedures captured by cameras and other recording devices during the residency.
More Details HERE

Less information

To celebrate the British Ceramics Biennial's 10th Year, and mark its new Ceramic City : FourSites project, AirSpace Gallery and the BCB are presenting a weekend of clay-based activities including exhibitions, workshops and talks.

More information


AirSpace Gallery is a collaborative, artist led project in Stoke-on-Trent, providing professional development opportunities, studio and exhibiting space and support for artists.

Through a dynamic and evolving programme of exhibitions, events and activities AirSpace Gallery brings critical, high quality contemporary art to the region and provides opportunities for a broad range of artists.

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4 Broad Street
City Centre

Open during exhibitions

Thursday to Saturday
11:00am to 5:00pm
Tuesdays and Wednesdays
by appointment

+44(0)1782 26 12 21


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