ViaCeram

A collection of cities with rich ceramic tradition.

Stoke-on-Trent in England to be renamed…by China

Stoke-on-Trent has been chosen to star in a new marketing campaign, which is designed to encourage Chinese people to learn more about some of Britain’s lesser-known places…by giving them a new name.

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Stoke-on-Trent is one of 101 points of interest around Britain which have been selected by national tourism agency VisitBritain to feature in a ground-breaking campaign which invites Chinese people to come up with the most fitting, amusing, meaningful, and memorable Chinese names for British places, events, and things.

©VisitStoke

©VisitStoke

Over a ten-week period VisitBritain will use a variety of online and offline advertising, social and digital media and media relations to invite people in China to give ‘GREAT Chinese Names for GREAT Britain’. The campaign hopes to help attract even more visitors from the rapidly-growing tourism Chinese market, and encourage Chinese visitors to travel further afield around Britain.

Stoke-on-Trent, the ‘home’ of the UK’s “Potteries” was selected as being potentially of great interest to Chinese people, yet currently without a Chinese name.

©VisitStoke

©VisitStoke

Joss Croft, Marketing Director at VisitBritain says: “Names are very important in China and this campaign will raise the profile of Stoke-on-Trent and of course lead to more visits from such a lucrative country. This is a fun way of getting Chinese people to think about and describe some places in Britain, especially as some of the British names of these places or things are meaningless or difficult to literally translate or even pronounce for the Chinese. But it doesn’t stop there, we’d like local communities to get behind this campaign and suggest other places and locations to rename via our hashtag #greatnames.”

In 2013 China was Britain’s 13th most important inbound tourism market in terms of revenue. The number of Chinese nationals travelling overseas is expected to top 100 million this year for the first time.

©VisitStoke

©VisitStoke

Stoke-on-Trent’s new Chinese name is likely to be unveiled in March. In the meantime all suggestions are welcomed via the campaign hashtag #greatnames.

For further details about Stoke-on-Trent and The Potteries, visit www.visitstoke.co.uk.

The Beautiful Game

The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the First World War in a variety of ways between now, and 2018.

The creation of a life-sized replica WWI trench in its grounds is just one way. Another is the Echoes of War exhibition, which runs through to April 26th, 2015.

Included in this is a ceramic interpretation of a world-famous football match, which took place on the front line between soldiers representing Britain and Germany.

The Beautiful Game by Stephen Dixon – featuring glazed ceramic figures with digital transfer printing, and mounted on a “found” textile football pitch – commemorates the extraordinary events of Christmas Day 1914 when an unofficial truce called a temporary halt to the carnage on the Western Front.

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It is widely documented, by soldiers from all ranks and both sides, that improvised football matched took place in no-man’s land during the truce, though their reports of the scores vary dramatically.

The most commonly quoted scoreline, however, is a 3-2 win for Germany! This work adopts the genre of Crested China, a type of souvenir ware produced in The Potteries by the firm of W.H.Goss and many others, which was at the height of its popularity during the Great War.

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For further information about The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, visit www.stoke.gov.uk/museums

Destination Guide: Limoges

Next stop is to the city known for its medieval enamels, its leather, its oak, its basketball team and its porcelain! Here’s our destination guide to lovely Limoges in west-central France.

 

Did you know?

  1. More than 50% of all porcelain made in Limoges is exported.
  1. Famous French impressionist artist, Pierre Auguste Renoir, was born in Limoges in 1841.
  1. The University of Limoges is not even 50 years old – founded only in 1968.
  1. Many writers and poets have referenced Limoges in their work such as Jean Paul Sartre, Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot.
  1. The city is known for their famous basketball team, CSP Limoges. They became European champions in 1993 as the first French club team to become European champions in a collective sport! In the 2013–14 season, CSP Limoges won the national championship and qualified for the 2014–15 Euroleague.

 

Things to do: 

Musée national Adrien Dubouché – Cité de la céramique – Sèvres & Limoges

This museum, in the perfect balance of modern and traditional styles, has decors inspired by Art Nouveau, yet showcases wonderful pieces of both ancient and contemporary pottery over three stunning floors.

The collection of porcelain and other types of ceramics (pottery, earthenware, stoneware) is bound to suit all tastes whether its archaic pieces from ancient Egypt and Greece to edgy modern objects.

The museum also houses a few from our British ceramic partners – see if you can spot a Wedgwood!

Entry: €4.50, free for under 26s. Free for all on the first Sunday of the month.

Open every day except Tuesdays from 10.00-12.30 and 14.30-17.45

Dubouché Museum ©CityofLimoges

Dubouché Museum ©CityofLimoges

 

Musée de la Resistance

Spread over three floors, this museum covers France’s involvement in WWII with interesting exhibits and unbiased commentary along the way.

The museum demonstrates the terrible deprivation of the people in the region whilst held under occupation. Don’t miss the moving snapshots of individuals including those of key figures involved in the Resistance; a moving section of the exhibition.

Permanent collections free all year. 

Open every day except Tuesdays, 9.30 – 17.00

 

Jardins de l’Eveche

With two spectacular fountains, this park is comprised of a French formal garden and a botanical garden first established in the 18th century and renovated beautifully in 1976.

Overlooking the Vienne River, its terraces contain more than 1,200 plants including medicinal plants, dye plants, food and aromatic plants!

Open daily, free entry.

 

Musée Beaux Arts

This ambitious museum covers a range of art over an impressive length of time. Guests will see a huge variety of pieces from Egyptian artefacts to contemporary creations, including the most outstanding collection of enamels and paintings from artists such as Renoir or Matisse.

The gardens are also a delightful place to wander outside on a sunny day.

Entry: permanent collections free all year.

Guided tours: €5.00 adult, €3.00 for students and under 18s

Open every day except Tuesdays, 10.00 – 18.00

Musée des Beaux Arts ©CityofLimoges

Musée des Beaux Arts ©CityofLimoges

 

Casseaux porcelain kiln 

Visit the typical old porcelain kiln “Les Casseaux”, built in 1904, along with the exhibition on the know-how and life of the workers in the 19th century ceramic industry.

Entry: €4.00 adult – free under 12s

Open every day except Sundays and bank holidays , 10.30 – 17.30

Casseaux porcelain kiln ©CityofLimoges

Casseaux porcelain kiln ©CityofLimoges 

Churches:

Chapelle Saint Aurelien – a tiny little church in the heart of the old “Butcher’s quarter” with an intimate atmosphere, revealing secrets behind the butcher’s profession.

Saint-Michel-des-Lions Church / Eglise St. Michel des Lions – a landmark in the cityscape thanks to its Limousin style bell tower with a copper ball at the top. Two granite lions, placed on the front steps of the south portal, come from an ancient funerary palisade.

Cathedrale St. Etienne – The prestigious gothic Cathedral, built in granite, is known as one of the most beautiful ribbed cathedrals of southern France. Free entry. Possibility of guided tour (€5).

Cathedrale St. Etienne ©CityofLimoges

Cathedrale St. Etienne ©CityofLimoges

Where to stay:

Check out the accommodation available in the city here:

 

How to get there

Limoges is equipped with an international airport with flights to and from several European countries and other French cities.

It is located along the motorway Paris-Toulouse (with free use on 300 km around Limoges).

Gare de Limoges-Benedictins is the main railway station offering connections to all the main French cities: Paris, Toulouse, Lille, Bordeaux, and more.

 

Getting around

Once you are in the city, take the “Little Train” which drives you through streets and alleys to discover the main sights and monuments of the city.

The easiest way to get around the city is by bus. The city also operates one of only four ‘trolleybus’ systems in France; a silent vehicle used in urban areas which omits little pollution and can travel up steep streets with ease.

Limoges_Little train ∏CityofLimoges

Little train ©CityofLimoges

Exhibition: Italian Ceramic Sculpture after WW2

Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche in Faenza

28 June 2014 – 1 February 2015

The exhibition explores Arturo Martini’s heritage and talks along generations with an international reflection on ceramics as  whole. The material that is part of the several artistic languages of the 20th century that involves foreign artists who influenced the national artistic production.
The exhibition starts with works by Asger Jorn, Albert Diato, Lucio Fontana, Fausto Melotti, leoncillo Leonardi, Nanni Valentini, to explore the most contemporary Luigi Ontani, Mimmo Paladino, Bertozzi & Casoni, and others.

©Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche in Faenza

©Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche in Faenza

The movements explored are Neo-cubism, Informal, Minimalism, Conceptual and Figurative Arts; they offer a new gaze on art focusing on the fundamental role of Italy. The goal is to follow the main steps of ceramic sculpture through the people who changed its perception, thanks to innovative and extraordinary ideas.
For the first time, the great protagonists who changed the ideas behind ceramic sculpture are exhibited all together and the story concerning aesthetic innovation and new languages, is documented in a fascinating catalogue.
Contemporary ceramic art is now a privileged means of expression and, today more than ever, is a point of reference for a large part of young artistic production.
Claudia Casali, MIC Director declares: “the exhibition dedicated to Arturo Martini, opened in Autumn 2013 at the MIC Faenza and in Palazzo Fava, Bologna, was a source of inspiration for the historical-artistic evolution of ceramic art after the Second World War. Mainly in the last years of his intense creativity, the artist from Treviso offered ideas accepted both by his pupils and by the later generation. Works of art linked to informal art, Neo-cubism, abstract sculpture, were faced, also from a theoretical point of view, in Martini’s last famous pamphlet Scultura lingua morta (sculpture, a dead language), published in 1945”.

 

The exhibition is arranged thanks to the fundamental support of Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Ravenna, and coordinated by an exceptional Scientific Committee: Maria Vittoria Marini Clarelli, Superintendent Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome; Luigi Ficacci, Superintendent PSAE Bologna; Cecilia Chilosi, expert of ceramic art from Liguria; Flaminio Gualdoni, critic and art historian, teacher at Brera Academy of Fine Arts; Nico Stringa, art historian, teacher at Università Cà Foscari in Venice, Claudia Casali, Director of MIC in Faenza.

Dancing on the Cobbles at Gladstone!

On Saturday, 1 November Gladstone Pottery Museum will be hosting some special guests who will dance at the museum.

Museum visitors can watch members of Domesday Border Morris and an Italian folk dancing group from 11am – 2.30pm.

Domesday Morris are based in the ancient village of Penkhull and their name comes from the fact that Penkhull is mentioned in the Domesday book. They have been together just over two years and take part in many local dancing meets. The ‘Border Morris’ type of dancing they perform dates back centuries and traditionally performers disguised their faces by painting them black. It is thought this was done as they were working illegally and wanted to remain anonymous.

Joining them will be folk dancers from the Faenza region of Italy who are staying locally and have links to local dancers. Faenza and Stoke-on-Trent also share a ceramic connection and are part of the European Cera -Dest project, an initiative co-funded by the European Commission to promote tourism through a European Route of Ceramics based on ceramics heritage of 6 destinations across Europe.

The Italian dancers will be accompanied by a violinist and guitarist from the La Carampana group and this is an excellent opportunity to see lively dancing and music in the cobbled courtyard.

This event will mark the end of a busy and eventful half term at Gladstone Pottery Museum.

The museum is open 10am – 4pm and the café is open 11am – 3.30pm. For more information about the museum please see www.stokemuseums.org.uk or the Gladstone Pottery facebook page.

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Exhibition: 20th Century Ceramics from the Hinder / Glad Bach collection

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20th Century Ceramics from the Hinder / Glad Bach collection

02 November 2014 – 15 March 2015

With works by Ingeborg & Bruno Asshoff, Elfriede Balzar-Kopp, Heiner Balzar, Dieter Crumbiegel, Else Harney, Görge Hohlt, Horst Kerstan, Beate Kuhn, Karl und Ursula Scheid, Wendelin Stahl, Hildegard Storr-Britz and Gerald Weigel

At the Kasino-Galerie, Höhr-Grenzhausen

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A New Wedgwood Experience for 2015!

The Wedgwood Estate, in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, has welcomed visitors for more than 250 years. But the latest chapter in Wedgwood’s long history, promises to be one of the most impressive of all – as the world-famous manufacturer prepares to open a new £34 million World of Wedgwood’ in time for Easter, 2015.

©Wedgewood

The state-of-the-art “visitor experience” will feature an interactive hands-on factory tour, and the chance to spend time in the Wedgwood Museum, buy fine china and ceramics in a flagship store, and dine in the Wedgwood Tearoom or Restaurant.

The interactive factory tour will introduce visitors to all elements of ceramic production and decoration processes, and will showcase some of the best ceramic craftsmen and women in the industry. Visitors of all generations will be able to learn new skills, including throwing a pot under the watchful eyes of master potters. And the design studios will incorporate the latest interactive techniques to enable visitors to appreciate and experience the skills and artistry involved in making ceramics.

The Wedgwood Museum houses the world famous Wedgwood Collection, and was named museum of the year as recently as 2009. It includes ceramics and a huge range of documentation, manuscripts, correspondence, factory equipment and models – exploring every possible aspect of Wedgwood’s fascinating past.

image 9 view of tearoon frontage from north

Wedgwood’s location, in woodlands and landscaped gardens, was the result of the vision of the Wedgwood family who masterminded the factory’s move to the countryside in the 1940s. The World of Wedgwood will include woodland walks managed jointly with the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust; and a new courtyard (featuring fountains, gardens and outdoor seating) will host a variety of annual events, from music and food festivals to family fun activities.

The existing Wedgwood Visitor Centre will close to all visitors during the start of 2015 while the finishing touches are put to the next visitor experience, The World of Wedgwood. For further details, visit http://www.wedgwoodvisitorcentre.com and http://www.visitstoke.co.uk.