Eight great reasons to visit the 2011 British Ceramics Biennial

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The 2011 British Ceramics Biennial kicked off on September 30. Here are eight (great) reasons to visit the event, which runs until November 13, and celebrates the rich history and heritage of the British ceramics industry, as well as its vibrant present and future.

Enjoy afternoon tea at ‘The Factory Refectory’
Located for the duration of the Festival in the dramatic surroundings of the original Spode factory site, alongside the various exhibitions, The Factory Refectory is no ordinary tearoom! Its run by tea experts dedicated to bringing you the best cuppa alongside tempting homemade cakes, sandwiches, pies and soups. Special afternoon teas at the weekend will be served with a glass of Prosecco. For further details, please visit: http://bit.ly/qK3ERE

Get some hints and tips from celebrity chef, Brian Turner CBE
Bring your cooking and presentation to life by taking advantage of this fantastic opportunity to buy your own, not-on-the-high-street professional tableware from local company and festival sponsor Steelite International – and make sure you entertain like a professional. This event on October 23 will also offer a vintage bus ride to the Steelite International factory in Stoke-on-Trent, for a special behind-the-scenes factory tour. For further details, please visit: http://bit.ly/o2N6tx

Buy your Christmas presents early
A special selling weekend has been scheduled for November 12/13 – the final weekend of the British Ceramics Biennial in Stoke-on-Trent. This is your chance to either own some very special pieces of ceramic art, or else buy some Christmas gifts for a friend or relative. For further details, please visit: http://bit.ly/nyRWFC and http://bit.ly/raIlDq

‘Have-a-go’ yourself at creating your own ceramic art
Using the Scrapbank (resources collected from the original Spode site) the British Ceramics Biennial team and some of the exhibiting artists will be running a series of workshops in the artists’ studio that will give visitors the opportunity to learn about a range of different ceramic processes, see ceramic artists/designer makers in action as well as have a go themselves. For further details, please visit: http://bit.ly/pvazoF

See the Great Wall….of Stoke-on-Trent!
‘A Great Wall’ is a collaboration between the British Ceramic Confederation and the British Ceramics Biennial to present the best of the British ceramics industry. Ceramic product will be selected from all areas of ceramic manufacture: domestic and commercial tableware and giftware, tiles, brick, sanitary-ware, pipes, refractories, industrial and technical ceramics. This will then form A Great Wall – a strikinginstallation of modular units, some 3m high and 30m long. For further details, please visit: http://bit.ly/nCRIyi

Explore the original Spode factory site
Go behind the scenes of the famous Spode factory which is opening its doors to the public for the first time in more than three years. Better still, ‘Exploring Spode’ allows visitors to this extraordinary site the chance to experience its history and meaning through the work of six artists, who have been commissioned by the Biennial to make specific responses to the factory buildings. For further details, please visit: http://bit.ly/pOqVJN

Invest in a ceramics star of the future
So can you spot the next Tracey Emin or Damien Hirst? This is your chance to put your money into something much more tangible than the stock market! ‘FRESH’ is the name given to an exhibition at the original Spode factory site which will present the vitality and creative curiosity of those currently working with ceramics at secondary, Higher Education and post-graduate research levels across the UK in2010 and 2011. For further details, please visit: http://bit.ly/rounV6

See one of the premier art installations in the West Midlands this year
This is one of the ‘must see’ events of the British Ceramics Biennial – ‘Mould Store’, by the internationally acclaimed and world-renowned ceramics artist Philip Eglin, who has been re-using old moulds from the nine stores remaining on the Spode site. A work to grace any Biennial, the installation is expected to further emphasise the creative potential of industry’s discarded items. For further details, please visit: http://bit.ly/qSzBh4

For full details of the 2011 British Ceramics Biennial, please visit www.britishceramicsbiennal.com

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