The International Ceramics Festival
The ICF is Europe’s premier ceramics festival which is held at Aberystwyth Arts Centre on the campus of Aberystwyth University on the mid-Wales coast. Since it began in 1987, the three-day festival has grown to become the UK’s leading ceramics event. It offers teachers, students, ceramic artists, collectors, working potters and amateurs and lovers of craft, the chance to meet and study the work of distinguished, internationally known potters and ceramicists from Wales, the UK and around the world.
The Festival attracts over 1000 people who attend lectures, watch practical demonstrations and visit our special exhibitions over a long weekend at the end of June or early July. Our international demonstrators show skills and techniques on our specially adapted stage and also have their own workspaces – enabling personal discussion about their work. The focus is both practical and inspirational – kilns are built, pots are made and fired.
The Festival supports emerging makers and has opportunities for students and recent graduates who work with clay through ceramics, fine art or 3-D design courses. If you are a teaching organisation and would like us to arrange a visit to talk to your students please contact us at the festival office. See Student Opportunities for more information.
The Festival offer visitors opportunities to take part during the festival with a variety of hands on activities, as well as being able to vote for the Lifetime Achievement award and donate their work to the Cup Sale.The festival is sponsored by Potclays, one of the UK’s main ceramics suppliers, and is supported by other ceramic supply companies. It has financial support from the Welsh Arts Council and the Welsh Government.
The organisers are Wales’s two potters groups, North Wales Potters and South Wales Potters together with Aberystwyth University.
North Wales Potters
North Wales Potters Association brings together people from all walks of life who have an interest in clay; professional potters, amateurs, students, teachers or collectors. Our aim is to educate and stimulate by the exchange of techniques, ideas and philosophy, whilst providing marketing and publicity opportunities for our membership with our exhibition programme.
We have a full calendar of events, which include demonstrations and presentations by UK and international guest potters. Over shared food and shared activity we experience new techniques and skills to implement in our own working practice using the fantastic material we are all fascinated with, clay. If you would like to learn more about us please visit our website http://www.northwalespotters.wales/
Membership secretary: Eleni Marjot, 1 Hafod Lon, Lon Ganol, Menai Bridge, Anglesey, LL59 5UD
Tel: (H) 01248 208712 (M) 07751134234 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
South Wales Potters
South Wales Potters, the first regional potters’ group in Britain, was established in 1964. The association has a wide range of members and welcomes anyone who shares its aims and interests, whether professional, student, hobby potter or those with an interest in ceramics. Its aims are to continue advancing the skills and understanding of its members and provide opportunities for the marketing of their work while promoting public awareness and appreciation. This is facilitated by demonstrations, lectures and social events which also provide the opportunity to meet, exchange ideas, and benefit from mutual support.
Members are kept up to date on activities by a quarterly magazine, ‘Shards’. A website offers the opportunity to display images of potters’ work and provides a platform for news, opinions and technical developments which is freely accessed by both members and the general public. An update service also ensures that those with computer access are contacted directly when appropriate, with the remainder being updated by post.
Aberystwyth Arts Centre
Award winning Aberystwyth Arts Centre is recognised as ‘a national flagship for the arts’ with facilities unrivalled throughout much of the UK. The Arts Centre welcomes over 700,000 visitors each year, with a full and busy programme of performances, cinema, exhibitions and special events and the most extensive community arts and education service in Wales.
Facilities within the venue include a concert hall, theatre, galleries, cinema, studio, and an array of purpose built workshop facilities including ceramics studio, photographic suite and dance studios. A new addition in 2010 were the distinctive Creative Units; a hub of studios and spaces for organisations and individuals working in the creative industries, they are also home for the Arts Centre’s UK and international Artists in Residence.
Board of Directors:
Chair: Paul Lloyd (North Wales Potters)
Steffan Jones Hughes (Aberystwyth University)
Sophie Bennet (Aberystwyth University)
Daniel Boyle (South Wales Potters)
Jeff Taylor (South Wales Potters)
Here you will find information on past demonstrators and festival events. Click on the text below each image to download the full programmes from the past four Festivals 2015, 2013, 2011, 2009 (PDFs).
International Ceramics Festival 2013
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The winner of Potterycrafts Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 was Walter Keeler. He studied at Harrow School of Art and established his first studio in 1965 where he produced domestic stoneware. In 1976 he moved to Monmouthshire in Wales and created an innovative range of salt-glaze stoneware for which he quickly developed an international reputation. His work relates to domestic pottery and is often functional, but always challenges the viewer with its playful approach to form. He taught at the University of the West of England, Bristol where he was professor until his retirement in 2003.
If you click on each name it will link to images of the maker’s work on Flicr.
Joe Finch | Jitka Palmer | Doug Fitch | Jeremy Steward | Beth Cavener Stichter | Coleg SirGar Gas Kiln | Conor Wilson | Takeshi Yasuda | Virginia Scotchie | Rafael Perez | Monika Patuszynska | Richard Notkin | Mick Morgan | Peter Lange & Duncan Shearer | Steve Mills | Sung-Jae Choi | Keiko Masumoto
International Ceramics Festival 2011
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Emmanuel Cooper, a distinguished working potter, Former editor of Ceramic Review and Visiting Professor, Ceramic and Glass, at the Royal College of Art.
‘My work is influenced by the urban city environment, by such things as hard, textured surfaces, by street lighting, traffic lights, endless movement and sense of urgency. Colours are those of roads, pavements and building, textures those we encounter in the metropolis. The pots are thrown on the wheel, but more recently they are hand-built by coiling. All the work is fired to 1260˚C in an electric kiln’.
Elke Sada | Dylan Bowen | Coleg SirGar Gas Kiln | Lowri Davies | Mateusz Grobelny | Jorgen Hansen | Mark Hewitt | Kate Malone | Mick Morgan | Oh Hyang Jong | Ponimin M Hum | Karin Putsch Grassi | Emma Rodgers | Shigemasa Higashida | Ruthanne Tudball | Mike Eden
International Ceramics Festival 2009
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Don Reitz is undoubtedly one of the most important and influential ceramicists working today. Taught at Alfred University in the early 1960’s, Reitz has pursued a life-long investigation of both salt and wood firing, his forms full bodied and boldly marked and etched with knife marks. A great teacher and a fearless improviser, Don Reitz has received many honours world-wide including the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award
Daniel Allen/ Tom Barnett/ Sandy Brown /Jack Doherty/Jean Nicolas Gerard/ Edith Garcia/ Jingdezhen Potters/ Peter Hayes/ Regina Heinz/ Nina Hole/ Masakazu Kusakabe/ Shozo Michikawa/ Don Reitz/ Jeff Shapiro