Louisa Taylor. © Darren Washington
The winners of the inaugural British Ceramics Awards promoting the energy and innovation of contemporary British ceramics have been announced at a ceremony at the British Ceramics Biennial in Stoke on Trent.
Four prizes worth £40,000 were awarded at the ceremony and as might be expected the traditions of the potteries city were a significant influence on the winners.
The Award for Batch Production was awarded to Louisa Taylor for her range of domestic tableware, partly inspired by 18th porcelain vessels seen at the City’s Potteries Museum.
Royal Crown Derby, Long Eared Owl, 2008. © Darren Washington
Stoke-on-Trent born Neil Brownsword won the One-off Ceramics category, for the installations he has created from the detritus of discarded ceramic ware and industrial waste left behind in the City’s potteries.
The Ceramics in Industry category award went to Ibstock Brick Ltd and Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Company who as joint winners won £5,000 each.
Ibstock create environmentally friendly and sustainable ceramic products for improving airflow and heat retention in buildings. Royal Crown Derby shared the Award for the way it commissions designers to help develop the company’s product range.
Neil Brownsword. © Darren Washington
Three awards of £3,000 for Ceramics in the Built Environment were awarded to Andrew Burton, Robert Dawson and Gwen Heeney & Vicky Shaw. Each artist created proposals for ceramic works across Stoke-on-Trent, which will be considered as part of the City’s Federation Centenary in 2010.
“We always knew that a national call to ceramicists would bring us a wide diversity of ideas about the way ceramics are used – we didn’t want the conventional and we didn’t get it,” said Jeremy Theophilus, Co-Director of the Biennial and a judge of the Awards.
“The quality was high and the judges had a tough task debating and discussing the winners.”
Ibstock Brick Ltd. © Darren Washington
Works by 27 artists and industries from around the UK (nominated from over 300 entries) were selected for the Prizes. The nominated and winning works are on display to the public at Stoke-on-Trent’s Potteries Museum until December 13.
The British Ceramics Biennial takes place across Stoke-on-Trent until December 13 2009 see www.britishceramicsbiennial.com for more information.