Future Lights 2016-2017

Last year I had the absolute pleasure of being awarded as a Future Light winner, alongside 5 other amazing and talented people.

- Karolina Bednorz

-Wendy Ward

-Monika Müller

-Maria Joanna Juchnowska

Many many thanks to Ceramics and its Dimensions for all of the Amazing opportunities that you gave us!

- The chance to present to a high standing panel embedded in the field of ceramics and passionate about it's future.

- An exhibition space at Ambiente, Frankfurt!! (One of Europes leading and largest trade fairs!)

- An incredible workshop at Meissen Manufactory, Meissen, Saxony

The Future Lights 2016 -2017 with Director of the Porzellanikon Mr Wilhelm Siemens and colleagues from Meissen manufactory

The Future Lights 2016 -2017 with Director of the Porzellanikon Mr Wilhelm Siemens and colleagues from Meissen manufactory


Künstlerhaus Stadttöpferie Emerging Artist Residency, Neumünster - Sept 2015

I had the most wonderful experience at the Künstlerhaus

Stadttöpferie in Neumünster, for one whole month I could dedicate ALL of my time to developing and creating a new body of work in response to the Rosenthal Archive research trip I took earlier this year and to the rich textile history of Neumünster in Germany.

During my time in Neumünster I....:

- Met some fantastic people! My colleague, friend and fellow resident artist Juri Fukuoka (Japan). She makes beautiful and thoughtful work, she also has a huge solo exhibition in the Yingge Museum of Ceramics in Taipei in Taiwan please await more information for this great event!
The Stadttöpferie Creative Director - Danijela Pivasevic-Tenne - Is a really great artist whom I really admire! She has worked in many remarkable ceramic factories, she has made really challenging art work using ceramics, she manages the residency centre in Neumünster AND she has a beautiful and welcoming family who I am also very thankful to.

Marco de Jong, Eeva Schulz and the MEGA SOCK - Both of which are warm and incredibly funny people I am very thankful for their friendship and support during my stay in Neumünster.

- I Spun my OWN wool! - Yes I made my own wool! I was taught by a local woman who also gave Juri and I a tour around the town and to the local textile museum where she later taught me to spin wool for my art work. She is a fantastic teacher!

- I took a bucket of water form one of the cannals in Neumünster - I think I must have "ARTIST" written on my forehead, because no one batted an eyelid.

- I used Jesmonite and Silicone which I have never used before!

- AND I made some work which I am really excited about! 


THANK YOU TO EVERYONE!! I am incredibly happy and excited for the work ahead.

The Rosenthal Archive - Porzellanikon Museum, Selb, Germany. May 2015

I visited the Porzellanikon Museum, Selb, Germany and had the most amazing and unbelievable access to the Rosenthal Archives. I was shown around and guided through the collection by the curator of the Porzellankion Museum Petra Werner. Porzellanikon and Rosenthal Curator Petra Werner is the fountain of knowledge concerning Rosenthal and Porcelain, I was very lucky to have Petra Werner show me around the collection and talk to me about the work. design, collection, company and history.

I would like to thank several people involved with the Porzellanikon Museum, Selb. Please accept my most sincere thanks for helping me to organise such an intense and fantastic research visit and for facilitating my stay and looking after me in Selb Wilhelm Siemen, Jana Göbel, Thomas Miltschus and of course Petra Werner!!

I would also like to take this chance to Thank the Muriel Gahan Scholarship Award that was given to me in order to make this Research Visit Happen! Without the support from the Royal Dublin Society of Arts and the Muriel Gahan Scholarship Award I could not have made such an important  research trip.

If you are interested in the Rosenthal collection and porcelain production and manufacture you certainly SHOULD visit this museum, if not to organise a visit to the collection (which you need to do several weeks in advance!) definitely visit the 3 museums of: The History of Porcelain Museum, the Rosethanal Museum and the Industrial Ceramics Museum. For Travel, if you can fly into Leipzig, that could be best, but if not fly to Munich and rent a car to drive to Selb, it is VERY simple and GPS makes is even easier.


Have a look through some photo's from my visit...


Please expect more from me about this visit, it is already stimulated the development of a completely new body of work I am very excited! Keep and eye out for it in the next few months.


Ceramics and It's Dimensions - Ceramics between Change and Challenge. Belgrade Conference My 20th-21st, 2015

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend and present at the Ceramics and it's Dimensions Conference "Ceramics between Change and Challenge" at the Gallery of Frescos, Cara Urosa St, Belgrade.

Organisation: Museum of Applied Art, Belgrade.

Partners National Museum of Serbia, Belgrade

Staatliches Museum für Porzellan, Selb.

The symposium had a focus on the many facets of ceramics and it's use as a material in all 'social spheres observed in a variety of contexts, from Baroque to the present day'. 

The conference combined lectures from experts from across Europe who are specialised in the various fields of ceramics with open public discussions on: how ceramics is represented in contemporary European lifestyles, the heritage and rich history each country has with ceramics and new developments and contemporary research concerning technical material innovation and it's relevance in the future socio-cultures within Europe.

For me this conference was an eye opener, a conference that interested and grabbed my attention from start to finish. Having so many experts within the many fields of ceramics under one roof and with one intention - To further the future of Ceramics and it's integration and relationship within a contemporary society throughout Europe.

In the beginning we had the opening speeches from the organisers Lj. Meletić Ambramović, Wilhelm Siemen (Porzellanikon, Selb) and Biljaa Djordjević ( National Museum for Applied Arts Belgrade). 

In a few examples that have made a huge impact on me from the conference are:

Holger Raithel managing Partner of Kahla/Thüringen Porzellan GmbH. Raithel presented the Kahla designs and where design innovation meets tradition within this eco friendly, family run and one of the first manufacturers of porcelain in central Europe. 

From this lecture I got a glimpse into how a company might change to suit and see the needs of a consumer through innovative and smart design, not only thinking about create aesthetically pleasing and affordable wares but thinking about the experience of using the ware, the experience of eating and how using the wares designed by Kahla can enhance the experience you receive. 

For me, the perception of the users/the public is very important, not only within my work but in how they understand the material I use and that is used in many different ways, from high quality innovative designed wares from Kahla or to Technical Ceramics being used for the micro chips in our iPhones or in electrical cables used in Light bulbs or throughout out homes.


Additive Manufacturing of Porcelain - Prof Dr Jürgen G. Heinrich from the CIC Ceramic Institute of Clausthal GmbH. Heinrich came from a technical and engineering point of view when discussion the potential of the ceramic material and ceramic composite materials. He discussed the future in 3D printing (ceramic sintering processes mostly) in mass production and for use within the creation of technical ceramic components and why ceramics is such a viable material (for example: it can cope with HIGH HEAT, High pressure, is STRONG, is a good insulator etc etc etc). A lot of this innovation is explained in the Porzellanikon Industrial Ceramics Museum in Selb (Which I visited the following week! more on this later!)


The Architectural Ceramics in Europe - Dr Jaime Coll Conesa from the National Museum of Ceramics "Gonzáles Marti", Valencia explored the variey of ways in which ceramics is and has been used in architecture across Europe, his intention is to create a database combining Key Examples of Ceramics in Architecure. One example of his was displayed in Belgrade and is called the '"Green tiled house", built in 1907 designed by Andra Stevanović i Nikola Nestorović.


Prop Ceramic and its relevance in Film, Advertising Films and Photographs presented by Wilhelm Siemen from the Porzellanikon, Selb. This was a very interesting topic, how ceramics is integrated into movie sets as props, what does the ceramic ware used in a scene say about it’s users? Are all the ware mismatched? Do they look aged, or old? Heavily used? Are the wares used in the same time in which they were manufactured? How many wares are they using for the meal? Do they have a complete set?… My questions could go on.. But what the ceramic wares can explain about scene (time, location, socio-economic group, family history, the families place of origin etc) and how the ceramic wares complete the scene is very important. By seeing ceramics used in such an appropriate way it can illustrate its’ importance in our lives past and present even the ‘type’ ceramics used can tell so much about the users.


The Role of Staffordshire Archive in Documenting Ceramics History presented by Prof Dr Ray Jonson. This was a wonderful lecture outlining the rich history of ceramics in Stoke-on-trent and the important role that ‘Spode works’ played in the economy and pride of Stoke-on-Trent. Jonson explained how every family will have had a family member who will have worked in the ceramic factory and another in the coal mines. He explained how this huge industry of manufacture made Stoke-on-Trent an important place not only for industry but for ceramic manufacture innovation, the development of innovative and efficient printing methods for the “Spode’ wares. 

Cath Ralp from Staffordshire University and I presented on the Future Lights programme in Ceramics and it’s Dimensions (I will create a post about this later in this blog).

Overall and without a double this was a mesmerising conference to attend and have been a part of. If YOU can get the chance to attend of any of the Ceramics and it’s dimensions symposiums or conferences please do, if you are interested in industry, business, manufacture, material innovation, ceramic art, ceramic production, design, ceramic history, design history, architecture and so on, it will be worth your time.


Now Reading...

'Utility Reassessed', J Ed. 1999 by Judy Attfield Manchester University Press.

Looking at the material culture that lies in everyday objects, from the manufacture of textiles, the utility of transport design and the manufacture and design of ceramics. A quote from an abstract of this book says : " the kind of objects that have an uneasy status within the boundaries of conventional design history because they have little to say about aesthetics, functionality, or the pro fessional practice of design."

Something I enjoyed reading about was the important of aesthetics over functionality for example a chair designer, developing chairs for aesthetics, they might look wonderful, but what use are they if they are uncomfortable to sit in? Our material culture craves beauty over function.... 

This book mostly looks into pre and post world wars, so pretty dated if I were to compare with todays standards but definitely a worth while read about the development of material cultures.



I'm working on an exciting collaboration with two great friends and wonderful makers!! We will be working on creating work to exhibit together in the next year and more! Our first exhibition will be the 'Space Craft' Gallery in Belfast!!

Here is  little snipet from the Blog we keep together (Below is the link, follow and read away :-) ..)


"We are working towards a travelling exhibition that comments on the relationship between contemporary reliance on mass produced products and the objects and materials we relate intimately to on a daily basis, or through a nostalgic lens. By combining the found object, ceramics, plastic, lights and found materials, the artists hope to explore the implications of our material culture on the relationship we have with everyday objects.

Although this is the general theme around which the artists coalesce, each artist has their own distinct voice and area of interest. Chris is interested in the adaptions we make to mass produced items in order to make them useful and even valuable to the individual. Rhiannon’s work adopts a more experimental form akin to installation, and explores our lost industrial heritage. Elaine’s work is suggestive of a universal, primal instinct to form tools from the natural environment in order to further work the environment to our advantage.

As certain as that all sounds at the moment, that is merely the framework we are working within. Each of us are hoping to be pleasantly surprised by what we discover and make in the coming months! " - Chris Banks

Some food for though...


I have been browsing through some ideas, research and thoughts and I came across a really thoughtful discussion concerning materiality and our material culture, objects found and made, hybridisation through combining practices and so on, have a look I have quoted a few topics that they will discuss. 


I am very much looking forward to the published book... I hope even more to be in the audience of the symposium! The link is below is you want to do a bit more reading.

" Material Culture in Action: 

Practices of making, collecting and re-enacting art and design.

This proposed discussion, book and symposium will discuss the following ideas:

The Art School: Objects, meanings and subjectives in the making.

Un/made and un/finished objects and narratives

Archives and indexes: Making with the archive/Reenacting the archive

Materiality and narrative of the self, attachment, entanglement and appropriation.

Multi-sensorial and affective materialities: touching, seeing, hearing, making.

Please and practice: craft (activism), amateur practices, DIY and vernacular cultures.

Typologies of collecting - the connoisseur and the amateur collector/horder - (Un)official curators and popular archivists.

The seen and the invisible, the disappearing and the lost

Im/Material cultures

-Haunting, hybridity, and the interpenetration of the material and the immaterial - Digital materialities and practices. "



One more Article from Ceramics Ireland 2015! University of Ulster Belfast 2014 Graduates!

This is a blast from the past! This image and article brings back so many amazing and wonderful memories from working in Belfast last year. Such an inspiring bunch of ladies!

Thank you to Felicity Straker Graham for this article.

And Thank you to: Kerrie Hanna, Sara Williamson, Elaine McCully, Fiona Shannon, Ashleigh Collim, Rachel Leary, Caz Sheerin, Sasha McVeigh, Rebekah Morrison, Lynsay-erin Mercer, Holly Morgan, Ashlea Thompson, Annabelle Spencer, Joanne Porter and Laura Quinn. 

Emerging Artist Residency in Künstlerhaus Stadttöpferei Neumünster!

I have been VERY lucky to have been awarded a residency at the Künstlerhaus Stadttöpferei in Neumünster in Germany in September 2015! This is such a wonderful opportunity to make a body of work in Germany for 4 weeks!!

My plan is to explore the rich textile history of Neumünster and it’s great reputation for technical development and manufacture of Textiles within Central Europe and how today there is very little manufacture of this kind. Compiling research from the ‘Tuch + Technik Textil Museum, Neumünster’ I aim to create a body of work dedicated to this loss of manufacture.

The selecting jury members were Dr. Brigitte Kölle, Director, Gallery of Contemporary Art, Kunsthalle Hamburg; Dr. Susanne Schwertfeger (University Art History Institute of the University of Kiel); Johanna Göb (Cultural Office City Neumünster); Günter Humpe-Waßmuth (Culture Affairs City Neumünster) and Danijela Pivašević-Tenner (Ceramic Artist and Artistic Director of the residency programme).

I’m very thankful for the support.

I am over the moon to announce GREAT news!

The month of November has been a wonderful one! I opened my studio in the KIT Project, please have a look on our Website there are some really GREAT artists, makers, designers and more!



I have been Awarded the IACI Muriel Gahan Scholarship Award by the RDS!! My focus with this Scholarship is to visit the Porzellanikon and its three museums:

-Rosenthal Museum

-Museum for Technical Ceramics

-Industrial Museum for Porcelain

This really is such an inspiring place with an incredible amount of information. I have been invited to look through the archives of the Rosenthal Museum to conduct my own research which I will hopefully put together an article about.

I will also visit the British Ceramics Biennial in Stoke-on-trent in 2015 to have a look through the factory site and take inspiration for a new body of work :-D!!



The Ceramique Biennial, 2014 in PARIS!

The Ceramique 14 Biennial is one of the biggest exhibitions for ceramics in France, and Guldagergaard was invited to be apart of the great event. Denmark was the honoured country this year, the invited artists were: Nina Hole, Christina Schou Christensen, Louise Birch and Marianne Neilsen . Such amazing artists! The collaboration between the French Ceramic Art work and the Danish was beautiful!!


     Kim Myung-Jo ... Ceramique 14.

  Kim Myung-Jo ... Ceramique 14.

'Drawing through Clay' written by Rachel Dickson for Ceramics Now, 2014.


If you get a chance, click the link below, it will bring you to a beautiful article written by Rachel Dickson Associate Head of School, University of Ulster AND Artist. I am lucky enough to have had some images of my work published alongside the writing!!



Here is a sneak peak... But you MUST read it online or in the next issue of Ceramics Now.. 

Starting to MAKE again!!!... It' about time!

I'm still a mug from Belfast ;-) even when I'm in Denmark! I am getting a studio space in the next week or two!! Thank goodness!! My sketch book is filling up! I have been applying to many many exhibitions and events so fingered crossed something will come my way! Otherwise, I have a small exhibition planned in March in the Bruns Horrin Gallery in Skaelskor, something to work towards ;-).

European Wood Firing Conference, 2014

Since starting to work at Guldagergaard (ICRC) I have had the great opportunity to help with the European Wood Firing Conference, 2014. M goodness, I couldn't have work with a better team of people (my dear friends) and we could't have wished for a better participating audience! 

For more info look to   www.ceramics.dk  and our Facebook Page for more images! 

Fred Olsen before the conference