In partnership with the British Ceramics Biennial and in response to its theme for 2015 - The Production Line - AirSpace Gallery presents, Icon
, a solo exhibition by Ian McIntyre
Stoke-on-Trent is known throughout the world for its ceramics - the birthplace of iconic individuals, industrialist Josiah Wedgwood and ceramic designer/artists Clarice Cliff and Susie Cooper amongst others.
There is a sense though, that the industrialisation of pottery manufacture, instigated by the pioneering work of Wedgwood in the 18th Century, mass production and modern day economic pressures, have overshadowed its inherent individual and collective artistry. The city has developed a tendency to deny its creative roots, favouring the view of itself as a manufacturing or industrial city over a creative one.
Icon explores the creative processes within industry and reconnects the artist with the factory and the manufacturing sector. Designer, Ian McIntyre has worked collaboratively with Cauldon Ceramics
, producer of the Brown Betty
teapot in Stoke-on-Trent for over 20 years. Through research and documentation of the history and design-led development of this iconic object and a practice-led investigation and exhibition of the minutiae of the production process, McIntyre highlights the balance between function and design and the important role the designer / artist should play in an ever-competitive, price driven global market.
The Brown Betty
The Brown Betty is a type of teapot that has been made in Stoke-on-Trent since the early 1900’s. The original maker of this pot was Alcock, Lindley and Bloore. They pioneered its development and made it one of the most recognisable shapes in British ceramics.
The chances are, if I asked you to draw a teapot from your imagination, you would think of a shape not too dissimilar to the Brown Betty. This is because it is the most manufactured teapot in British history, but that’s not the only thing that makes it special. Its character derives from the qualities of the clay, which has been mined in Staffordshire for Redware teapots for over 300 years.
Its form and functionality has been refined over generations. This makes it a product of evolution rather than the authorship of one single designer. It has transcended fashions and trends to become a classic. But why and how? This exhibition documents a snapshot of the history and evolution of this pot, and explores its potential as an icon of the 21st century.
- Ian McIntyre
Ian Mcintyre (b.1984) With a background in product design and applied art, McIntyre employs a mix of industrial design and craft skills within his practice. Predominantly working in ceramics, he designs through making - identifying the inherent qualities in materials and designing forms or processes that enhance them. His products focus on archetypal shapes and materials for utility and everyday use. Ian is currently working on his PhD at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Studied MA Ceramics & Glass at the Royal College of Art (2010). Selected exhibitions include: Selected by Michael Marriott and Jesse Wine, Limoncello Gallery, London, 2014; Candela, London Design Festival, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2014; blickfnag selected, curated by Nils Holger Moorman, Percy Thonet, Alexander von Vegesack and Sebastian Wrong, Munich, Stuttgart, Basel, 2014. His 2008 Slush Cast Bowl was commissioned by 10 Downing Street as an editioned gift for world leaders at the G20 summit in London, 2009. His Pottery Series for Another Country was nominated for Best British Design at the Elle Decoration British Design Awards 2012. In 2013 McIntyre was selected for the British Ceramics Biennial Award Exhibition and was commissioned to produce a set of tableware ceramics for Wrong for Hay. He is a founding member of Studio Manifold