Artist's Talk To Fire Up Interest In Modern Ceramics

Kedleston Road campus 504x257 Artist's Talk To Fire Up Interest In Modern Ceramics

Date posted: 18 November 2009

An internationally known ceramics artist with family links to Derbyshire textiles pioneer Richard Arkwright says the modern digital world is breathing new life into traditional British crafts - in a way not seen since the Industrial Revolution.

Sebastian Blackie, the University's Professor of Ceramics, will deliver a free public lecture, called A Chemistry of Things - Some Thoughts On Contemporary Ceramic Practice, on Wednesday November 25 at 6.15pm, in Auditorium One, at the University's Markeaton Street site, in Derby.

He has exhibited works in London, Australia, New Zealand and the Far East - and last year (2008) worked alongside Chinese clay craft workers, to produce his exhibits for the Fu Le International Ceramic Art Museum (FLICAM) in Fu Ping, Shaanxi Province, northern China.

His family's traditional crafts roots go back to at least the 18th Century, when his great, great, great-grandfather received help from Derbyshire textiles giant Richard Arkwright, founder of the historic Arkwright's Mill in Cromford, to set up his own mill in New Lanark in Scotland.

Professor Blackie's lecture will focus on the need for modern British crafts artists, not just those working in ceramics, to show some of the same innovation and global thinking as those of yesteryear.

He said: "People like Arkwright, with his textiles, and Josiah Wedgewood, with his ceramics, were at the very heart of the Industrial Revolution. Although they were born into very isolated communities they were able to think big.

"Wedgewood for example sourced his materials from New South Wales and his designs were inspired by the art of many different cultures.

"My lecture looks at how ceramics artists from other countries have come to Europe to train and successfully blended their own and our cultures in their work. British crafts could also benefit greatly from our artists thinking more globally."

Foreign ceramics artists who Professor Blackie has worked with include the Kenyan born Magadalene Odundo and Japanese potter Takashi Yasuda, both of whom have had considerable success in Europe.

To book a place to attend the free public lecture phone Angela Drinkwater at the University of Derby on 01332 591046. Light refreshments will be served after the lecture.

For further media information please contact Press and PR Officer Sean Kirby on 01332 591891 or 07876 476103, or email


Use of personal data

Our policy is to only use the data you supply to us for use in regard to the work of the University of Derby. We do not pass on your data to any other third party under any circumstances.