TANIO/IGNITE (The Incubator Project)

Ceramics Gallery, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth, WALES

11 January – 15 March 2020

Ross Andrews 3D Print. His research focused on 19th Century Swansea and Nantgarw ceramics.

Aberystwyth University's Ceramics Gallery has a long tradition of inviting notable ceramic artists to produce work for exhibition in response to artifacts from its collection – a collection which, comprising as it does over 1,700 pieces – is one of the principal archives of non-industrial ceramics in the UK. Its current show Tanio/Ignite (The Incubator Project) is no exception. However, with its primary aim of helping the selected exhibitors bridge that often-thorny gap between education and professional practice, the four artists involved – Ross Andrews, Elin Hughes, Nathan Mullis, and Hannah Walters – are, as the word 'incubator' suggests, all fledgling potters recently graduated from Cardiff Metropolitan University's ceramics degree.  

Succinct in their focus, the artists chose to concentrate their research on early nineteenth- and early twentieth-century ceramics. Andrews and Walters worked with a series of Swansea and Nantgarw pieces – Nantgarw being the only surviving nineteenth-century porcelain works in the UK whose unique bone-ash and frit-based soft-paste body was renowned for its translucency and whiteness. Hughes researched the work of Frances Richards, an early pioneer studio potter, while Mullis responded to objects made by Reginald Wells, a ceramist greatly influenced by Chinese pottery.