Raw To Refined Reveals Process Of Crafts At Bilston Gallery

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 30 July 2007
photo of a part of a bright purple and rose coloured ceramic art work

Stuart Akroyd, Bowl (2007). Courtesy the maker

Bilston Craft Gallery is revealing the process behind three creative craft techniques in its exhibition Raw to Refined, running until September 15 2007.

The unusual exhibition not only shows off brand new commissioned works in silver, glass and clay, but also exposes the stages involved in creating the objects, giving a step-by-step insight into traditional methods of coil pot making, glass blowing and hammering metal.

Alongside these are many of the best examples from regional museums’ contemporary craft collections.

“Most exhibitions focus on the finished object, but this one, which is a first for Bilston, exposes the work that goes into transforming raw materials into refined objects,” says exhibition curator Rafeela Akhtar.

photo of a brown, beige and white patterned ceramic vase

Carolyn Genders, Ochre Chalcendony Sgrafitto, Open Vessel (2007). Courtesy the maker

The traditional techniques have been re-interpreted by three makers to create exciting up to the minute designs and visually stunning objects.

Stuart Ackroyd has used glass blowing, Carolyn Genders clay and Wayne Meeten silver. Their beautifully finished objects are each presented at different moments as they evolve from raw material to refined object.

The exhibition also celebrates the West Midlands connections with the manufacturing of silverware, pottery and glass.

photo of a silvery ceramic object with many shiny spikes coming out of it

Junko Mori, Sculptural Vessel No.30 (2004), metalwork. Courtesy Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Objects have been borrowed from the collections of Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, which holds one of the finest silver collections in the UK. The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke on Trent and Broadfield House Glass Museum situated in the Stourbridge Glass Quarter.

Other makers featured include the 2003 Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry, and the 2005 Jerwood Prize Winner for Metal, Simone ten Hompel.

Workshops on throughout the course of the exhibition include Jewellery Making on August 1, Metalworking on August 7 and Coil Pot Making on August 9. All workshops run from 10.30am – 12pm and 1.30pm – 3pm, suitable for children aged 5-12, cost: £1 per child, booking advised.

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