Scholarships celebrate emerging ceramics talent

“This scholarship will make a big difference. As well as it being a financial aid it gives you a big confidence boost being chosen."

Caitlin Darby, MA Ceramic Design

Three up-and-coming ceramic artists from Staffordshire University have been awarded scholarships to support their studies.

The University has teamed up with the British Ceramics Biennial to celebrate emerging talent by launching the Staffordshire University Scholarship for Creativity and Innovation in Ceramics.

The funding was made available through kind donations from supporters of the University  to recent graduates looking to progress onto the University's MA in Ceramic Design.

Caitlin Darby, Holly Kemp and Emma Rose were chosen to receive the financial rewards of £1,000 each to support their studies and have now all started the MA programme.

Dr Astrid Herhoffer, Dean of the Faculty of Art and Creative Technologies, presented the trio with their prizes. She said: “It is brilliant that we are able to nurture creative talent, being in a creative hub in the Potteries.”

“I'm always proud of what the Ceramic Design department is producing at the University. We've got a brilliant MA and looking at the work I'm convinced that these students will make us even prouder."

Caitlin, who came to Staffordshire from an undergraduate degree at Loughborough University, creates minimalistic pieces which look at the relationship between a form and its surface finish.

“I aim for my pieces to be very tactile and smooth to the touch through their design and the application of glazes.” She explained.

“This scholarship will make a big difference. As well as it being a financial aid it gives you a big confidence boost being chosen and gives you more confidence in your work."

Fellow Loughborough graduate Holly's work is inspired by the Memphis design movement using bold patterns and quirky shapes.

Since showcasing her collection at New Designers in June 2016, she has been invited to showcase her work at Lustre in Nottingham and will be part of the Young Meteors Scheme celebrating graduates and new designers which takes place later in the year.

Holly commented: “This extra funding means I don't need to worry about the costs of my work so I can experiment a bit more with materials. I'll just be a bit more comfortable so I can push even further with my work - it's great!”

The final recipient Emma came to the MA course after completing a BA (Hons) in Surface Pattern Design at Staffordshire University.

In her undergraduate designs Emma experimented with indigo and procion dyes on melamine‐faced surfaces and plywood, gaining her 3rd prize in the Bradford Textile Society Design Competition.

“It's really nice that people are investing in me to see what I can come up with. There's a little bit of pressure but it's really exciting at the same time! I don’t think I'd have been able to this course if it wasn't for the scholarship.”

“The course is brilliant. Moving onto another surface - onto ceramics – to see how my designs translate is something that I’m really excited about.”

Professor David Sanderson, who leads the MA in Ceramic Design and helped to choose the winners, added: “Hopefully it will supplement their creative work. I interviewed most students for enrolment for September and all three of these students offer something different to the programme.”

“I think it's massively important that we invest in what is probably still our flagship course within the faculty and ceramic design in the Potteries. It's incumbent for us to keep this programme alive and flourishing.”

Find out more about Staffordshire University's MA Ceramic Design here.

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