What Is: Ceramic Art and Design? no.1

Stephanie starts with introducing us to some keywords, tools and techniques you should look out for. You’ll also meet some graduates who are shaping or breaking the mould in different fields of ceramic art and design.


/ Clay / Ceramics / Pottery / Earthenware / Stoneware / Porcelain / Recycle / Kiln / 573’C / Electric / Gas / Raku / Glaze / Burnish / Hand Build / Wheel Thrown / Pinch / Lathe / Wedge / Design / 1250’C / Foot / Lip / Body / Fettle / Green ware / Slip / Design / Collaring / Jigger Jolly / Iron Spangles / Thermocouple / Leather Hard / Kidney / Slip / Tacit / Tactile / Centering /


Ceramics is: Functional, artistic, medical and technological. It’s in toothpaste and fillings and it’s in paper. Clay has even been discovered on Mars. Objects made from clay are woven into our memories through ritual and history.

Ceramic art and design offers students an exciting and broad range of opportunities to discover their personal creative and artistic potential through making, design and technical processes.


“The vast range of possibilities within the subject make clay an exceptional choice of material for the makers, designers and artists of the future.”

During your time studying you’ll skill up in the traditions of hand-building techniques of studio pottery, get exact using industrial lathes in the plaster studio and be innovative with the technology in 3D printing and computer-aided design (CAD).

You’ll have the chance to work as individuals and in group work projects. You’ll also experience ceramics from an international platform through field trips and professional collaborative projects with renowned companies and exhibition opportunities.

Graduates from the course are successful in a wide range of career paths that include: studio potters, designers of tableware for retail, exhibiting visual artists and industrial designers making products for the home and beyond. Some have even become TV personalities. Here are some examples, they are an inspiring bunch:


Nam Tram: Studio potter, teacher and clay celebrity

Credit: ‘Clay Sculpture’. Photograph, Nam Tram, 2017. Nam runs a flourishing studio in South London where he creates a unique style of pottery and teaches a wide range of classes and workshops to his students. Nam was one of the contestants on the BBC’s ‘The Great Pottery Throw Down’ (2017), and has also worked on Kirstie Allsopp’s ‘Handmade Christmas’ for Channel 4. His mission is to: ‘Create a new movement of ceramics’.

Explore more of Nam Tram’s work via Cernamic
Meet Nam Tram via his interview in The Sun


Sarah Christie: Artist working with the public

Credit: ‘Library’, Photograph, Sarah Christie, 2017. Sarah is an artist, working with clay as a way to discuss the world we live in and our current political and social issues. Often her live gallery pieces encourage the public to become an active part of the work. In her piece, ‘Library’ pictured above, the public was invited to write their own words on sherds of ceramic, as the ancient Greeks did when they voted. Their contributions amount to over 1500 pieces on last count.

Explore more of Sarah’s work on her website


Dominic Upson: Studio potter

Credit: Working on the Standard Range at the Maze Hill pottery. Photograph, Lisa Hammond, 2017. Throughout the course Dom knew he wanted to be a studio potter. He was inspired by the skills required by the craftsman using the potter’s wheel to make high quality functional tableware. Since graduating Dom has become apprentice to master potter Lisa Hammond MBE and is a technician at Turning Earth, an open access pottery studio in East London.

Follow Dom’s work on Instagram
Follow #turningearthceramics on Instagram


Stephanie Buttle: (Performance) artist and tutor

Credit: ‘Position 6’, Photograph, Julia Biro, 2017. Stephanie is a maker and artist whose work explores the possibilities of movement and performance within sculpture and vessels. Influenced by her theatrical backgrounds in dance, performance and filmmaking, Steph is an exhibited artist and teaches ceramics at Morley College London and within the UAL Insights programme at CSM.

Discover more of Stephanie’s work on her website and Vimeo


Akiko Hirai: Ceramic artist

Credit:. ‘White Moon jar, Blue Moon jar, The Moon jar’. Photograph, Akiko Hirai, 2016.
Akiko is an internationally exhibited ceramic artist. She works instinctively with form and materials. Her individual pieces are about the search for balance between perfection and imperfection.

Meet Akiko and find out more about her approach via her interview with

Explore more of Akiko’s work via her website


José Maria Salgado: Ceramics designer

Credit: GIF featuring José making on jigger jolly and his work, MO(UL)D(EL). Photographs, José Maria Salgado, 2016. José uses his experience and passion for industrial production techniques to create art objects, limited edition pieces, and tableware. He is currently designing for Grestel in Portugal.

Discover more of José’s work on his website


Anke Buchmann: (Performance) artist

Credit: ‘Come again’. An investigation into translating emotional experiences into sculptural qualities. Photograph, Anke Buchmann, 2017. Anke’s work is full of physical and emotional energy. In her personal work and public performances she manipulates clay and creates unusual abstract forms, as you can see in the images above. She’s interested in how the shapes can reveal and convey human emotions through the simple action of pressing and expressing ourselves onto clay.

Take a look at more of Anke’s ceramic work on her website
Explore Anke’s performance based work in Tumblr


Charlotte Pack: Ceramic artist

Credit: ‘No Time for Tea’. Photograph, Charlotte Pack, 2017. Charlotte’s work is inspired by her passion for all creatures great and small, she was brought up on a farm where the realities of the food-chain were part of her experience. Travelling through Africa and seeing so many animals that are on the endangered list has created an urgency in her practice to spotlight these creatures in her detailed figurative work.

Discover more of Charlotte’s work on her website


Looking for more inspiration?

Head over to Pinterest for Stephanie’s ‘What is: Ceramic Art and Design?’ pinboard

Find out more about the course that these graduates studied:
BA (Hons) Ceramic Design

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