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Ceramics news briefs international

Newspapers of Japan 20090831

Newspapers of Japan. By Corpse Reviver via Wikimedia Commons

China: World’s oldest pottery found in Chinese cave, Vancouver Sun– Ancient, ancient pottery fragments were found in northern Jiangxi Province, in Xianrendong Cave. “The fragments were believed to belong to a community of roving hunter-gatherers some 20,000 years ago and apparent scorch marks indicate they may have been used in cooking.” The geological period during that time is referred to as the Last Glacial Maximum. According to the BBC, the pottery had been used to cook food and possibly brew alcohol. Here is New York Times coverage.

United States: Starbucks order pumps up buzz for Ohio pottery town, TribLive News – This is a very big story, actually, in more ways than one. The famous Seattle-based coffee shops are switching to mugs made in the United States, in East Liverpool, Ohio. Instead of buying inexpensive mugs made in China, the company is willing to pay more for mugs made stateside, in attempt to bolster the economy of the area that was once “Pottery Capital of the USA.” There is a Buy America angle but, frankly, I think it is very good news… It means that a decision was made to no longer outsource or go for the lowest bidder. For the New York Times‘ take on the story, click here.

England:  Potters, miners and steel workers wait on hearing damage payouts, This is Staffordshire – Potters are among industrial workers who may receive compensation for hearing loss because of noise levels in their current or previous workplaces. I found this interesting. Usually you hear of respiratory or lung ailments as hazards but I had never thought of hearing loss. “Last month ex-potter Adrian Ward, of Longton, achieved a landmark court victory after being awarded £3,000 in compensation following a successful five-year battle against the insurers of Longton-based John Tams Group PLC.” While that may not seem like much, it will go a long way toward paying for hearing aids. Workers can claim back as far as 1963.

United States: Exhibit tells history from New Mexico pueblos’ perspective, artdaily– This article is about an exhibition called “100 years of state & Federal Policy: the impact on Pueblo Nations.” The show is open through February 2013 at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It appears to be a well-funded presentation, too. “Photographs, letters, pottery and other crafts fill the space, while touch screens and QR codes link to more videos, audio interviews and documents.” Jane Street has two posts that are relevant. If you would like to watch a video about Acoma pottery, click here, and for an article, click here.

Egypt: Egypt’s biggest ceramics maker to shut factories: Statement, ahram online – Cleopatra Ceramics  is going to close up shop, which means many people will be affected, as it has about 20,000 employees. According to its Egyptian owner, labor disputes are to blame. The company is “a major player in the Middle East ceramics industry which has been hit by a wave of labour unrest following Mubarak’s ouster in February 2011.” Other reasons  or allegations have not been made public, and labor’s voice is not quoted in the article.

United States: Creative businesses find their niche on Etsy, Sun Sentinel – This article drew my attention because I am just about ready to open my own shop on Etsy. This story, in part, reports on potter Jacqueline Allard has sold her pottery through her  Etsy shop for three years. “Etsy changed my life,” said Allard, whose shop, IslandGirlPottery.etsy.com has sold more than 1,100 unique pieces through her Etsy shop. “There came a time in my life when I wondered if I could make this work as a full-time job. There’s no doubt in my mind now.” Tim Adam, author of “Learn How To Make Money Using Etsy” and editor of the blog Handmadeology.com has more to say….”Etsy gives all these small, micro businesses a place to start.”

 

 

 

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Ceramics News Briefs International

Obama reading newspaper

Obama reading newspaper. By White House (Pete Souza) / Maison Blanche via Wikimedia

United States: Pottery given to Goodwill may well be prehistoric, The Buffalo News –  A most bizarre story…  An artifact from an Indian burial mound that was pilfered in 1970 was given to a charity recently. Though the vessel has yet to be dated, it could be 1000 years old. The charity in Buffalo New York posted it on its website, after which it was recognized. The upshot is that an Oklahoma Indian tribe has reclaimed the piece…

England: Commemorative ceramic ware for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is being turned out in rapid fashion. Here are a couple of links to stories about what’s being made and by the companies that are making it…
Diamond Jubilee causes surge in Stoke-on-Trent pottery sales
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Ceres pottery’s jubilee goblet
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Middleport Pottery plans £7.5m expansion to create 50 jobs,
Aussies going potty for ceramic artists, and
Lovely – Jubilee Events in Staffordshire!

Mexico: An Entrepreneur at the Vanguard of Pottery, The New York Times – A good feature story about Angélica Moreno. “She has been celebrated here in Mexico and worldwide for being the first to widely market a form of this region’s traditional handmade Talavera pottery that features contemporary high-end design.”

United States: Bobbleheads aren’t just for baseball, The Los Angeles Times – Let’s hear it for fuzzy dice and bobble heads! When I think of the latter, the classic  nodding doggy comes to mind, but now you can have a custom-made one for $100 if you have time for a month’s turnaround.  A fun story…

Vietnam: Passion for antiques, Vietnam Net Bridge – This is an interesting story about a collection of ceramic oil lamps owned by a Catholic priest in Vietnam. He has about 1400 pieces from 20 countries. “The lamps were made of various materials, such as clay, copper, iron, silver, glass, ceramic and porcelain. They were used indoors, outdoors, or on a train, a ship, a horse cart or a bicycle, or for religious ceremonies.”

Canada: Flora and Fauna: 400 years of artists inspired by nature at the National Gallery of Canada, artdaily– From now until September 9th, 2012, the national gallery is exhibiting a show entitled “Flora and Fauna: 400 Years of Artists Inspired by Nature.” “This is an exceptionally varied installation in terms of medium, scale and style. It includes drawings, prints, paintings, photographs, sculptures and ceramic works, ranging from the quiet and contemplative to the bold and the audacious. All the works except four are drawn from the collections of the National Gallery. Many great Canadian and international artists are represented, including Lorraine Gilbert, Aganetha and Richard Dyck, Geoffrey James, Bertram Brooker, David Milne, Lucian Freud, M.C. Escher, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Frederick Evans, Camille Corot, and Rembrandt.

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Ceramics News Briefs International

Monday, August 15, 1932 edition of Saskatchewan, Canada's, Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

Monday, August 15, 1932 edition of Saskatchewan, Canada's, Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

ENGLAND: Expansion of pottery could make 600 jobs, Ripley and Heanor News – The famed Denby Pottery is poised to enter the hospitality industry. Plans include refurbishing its factory, building a hotel, restaurant, warehouse, and outdoor activity center, in addition to enlarging its garden centre.  The village-style compound will “strengthen the existing visitor centre as a major tourist attraction and to build on the 200-year history of Denby Pottery at its home in Derbyshire.”

AUSTRALIA: Vandals destroy pottery set for exhibition, ABC News – It is a less publicized story but an important one, nonetheless. Female aboriginal artists worked nine months preparing for a show which was to open in Melbourne in February; however, their work was destroyed by vandals. I became angry when I saw the photo accompanying the article and it is quite obvious that much work went into these pieces. JSCW previously reported on the women from the Hermannsburg Pottery; click here to see that post.

INDIA: Regency imports ceramic tiles to sustain brand equity, Business Standard –  This story serves as a follow-up to the Regency tile article posted last week. To make up for lost time and a destroyed physical plant, Regency is importing tile to take the place of its own. It is going to take time for the company to return to its former level of production. Work stopped on December 5, union negotiation ended January 3, a union representative was killed, followed by rioting on January 27, and the death of the company president. To see earlier posts, click here.

UNITED STATES: Catalina Island’s pottery heyday, RGJ –  This feature story outlines the history of a pottery on the island off the coast of California. A subsidiary of the Wrigley family, makers of chewing gum, the pottery made red roof tiles from clay native to the island. In 1937, the pottery’s equipment was sold and moved to a facility in Los Angeles owned by one Gladding McBean who made dinnerware and other ceramic lines under the Catalina name.

BELGIUM: EU warns China on trade, studies new dumping claims, Reuters – The European Union is threatening to slap more tariffs on China over alleged dumping of ceramics, in addition to other goods. “‘Imports of ceramic kitchenware from China at ‘clear predatory prices’ have significantly increased over the last years, reaching a share of the EU market above 60 percent,’ the European Federation for Table- and Ornamentalware said in a statement.” Opinion varies, however, and some EU countries don’t appear to mind what is happening.

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Ceramics News Briefs International

Land on the Moon 7 21 1969-repair

A girl holds The Washington Post of Monday, July 21st 1969 stating 'The Eagle Has Landed Two Men Walk on the Moon.' By Jack Weir via Wikimedia Commons

ENGLAND: Wedgwood Museum closure condemned by Unesco, The Guardian– Considering the effort England has been making to restore its battered pottery industry, I was surprised to see that it was willing to close a UNESCO site based on the same industry…especially, since the museum is located in Stoke-on-Trent. Boggles the mind. The museum’s collection houses “one of the most complete ceramic manufacturing archives in the world,” according to the story. Evidently, the decision pivots on something that is about as far removed from our minds as it  can get: pensions. Click on the link to read more….

INDIA: It’s a big story. It involves business magnates, labor, poverty, violence, death, and South Asia. (And the West’s reliance on cheap goods and the social cost involved.) I cannot begin to tell you the full extent of the story, but can piece together a few things. I am not sure what new sources to trust, which “voice” to trust and don’t know the story behind the story. Here are some links for you to read if you want to know more about what has happened with Regency Ceramics:

UNITED STATES: A Kiln That Fires, and Teaches, New York Times – This particular wood fired anagama kiln holds 300 to 500 pieces and, when fired, reaches 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. “The 14-foot-long tunnel-like oven, made mostly of brick and concrete, is the only one of its type on Long Island.” The director of the ceramics program at Adelphi University helped build the kiln. Pieces by students from four different institutions were fired in this kiln, work now on display in an exhibition at Adephi that runs through Feb. 20th. The article outlines the trials endured as the kiln was readied and remedied.

ENGLAND: Emmanuel Cooper, The Telegraph – Born in December, 1938 in Derbyshire, Cooper set up his first studio in London in 1965. He said the setting suited him, as it was “redolent with all the fervour and excitement of the swinging sixties, and the alternative society.” After making utilitarian pieces for restaurants for 20 years, Cooper decided to give up “series production and concentrate on the individual pieces for which he is now best known.” Openly gay, some of his work could be considered gay activist art. Also a writer who penned many books on ceramics, Cooper was the recipient of many awards and was appointed OBE in 2002.

 

 

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