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london, england, uk

updated sun 20 apr 03


Janet Kaiser on sun 20 apr 03

*** THE MAIL FROM Sherry Walker-Taylor ***

I add my "Welcome to the Clayart", Sherry. As a new subscriber, you may not
be aware of the Clayart Archives? At the bottom of every e-mail you
receive, you will see the link:

These are postings from many years and a quick look for "london" "london
england" "ceramics london england" potters, museums, galleries... etc.
london will prove very fruitful. As you can imagine, you are not the first
to ask about London, England! Those of us in the UK have answered many,
many times, so please excuse us for not typing all the information we have
yet another time. We are not being mean...

However, once you have had a look at various posts and the links, plus
links sent by Clayarters now, perhaps you could narrow down your area of
interest and let us know? We can deal with "specialist questions" a little
better... You see London, as the capital of the British Empire has so much
collected and acquired ceramics and other riches in its museums and
galleries, you could chose just one time/country/culture and spend all your
sabbatical just studying that... Indeed, you could spend years doing so!
For example you can see almost as much in the British Museum as has been so
sadly destroyed in Baghdad recently and I believe there is currently an
extremely interesting exhibition on Persian Ceramics... Maybe someone "down
south" could confirm that? Jenny? Is it still on?

Although not completely absent, I think the only "weak" areas on offer are
possibly European and South American... Not part of our patch, if you see
what I mean?

But perhaps you are not interested in whole areas of historical ceramics
and would like to concentrate on more modern work? British Studio Ceramics?
If so you could skip the British Museum (good for at least three days
without stopping to actually look at exhibits) and even The Victoria and
Albert (the national art & craft or museum of craft and design so to
speak), although that would be a great shame. You would then need to
concentrate on the Craft Potters Association of Great Britain shop and
gallery in Soho, were you will be able to buy the book "Potters", which not
only has an example of each member's work but also lists all makers in the
whole country, including London. It has contact details for each, so you
can phone to check on opening times, etc.

Once you have recovered from jet-lag, you have 10 days in London, right? I
do not think you will lack galleries and museums to visit. However, finding
schools and working college studios open is another matter. Firstly many of
the art colleges have closed their ceramics departments and installed
computers instead. If still present, clay has become a tiny part of "Art
and Design" courses and of virtually nil importance, unless it is used in
installations and other mixed media work. Certainly few people for a cosy
"clay talk" around. Pre-college education has also -- for the most part --
banned ceramics as it is (a) expensive (b) dirty and (c) does not fit in
with the National Curriculum, where every lesson has to include elements of
reading, writing and maths. You will also be in the UK when examinations
are taking place although you just miss a public holiday on 26th May. This
all sounds very negative, but maybe you will be able to contact schools
directly? Or education authorities? Each London borough has one and should
have a person you could contact.

Which is another necessary piece of information we need to be able to
help... Where will you be staying? London is a very large city and it takes
time getting around. No good finding places to visit in the NW if you are
staying down in the SE.

Anyway, you have a look in the archives and get back with any specific
questions. I am unfortunately too far away from London to be any real use
and as it is only a month away (bet you are getting excited?) there is not
much time to ask around. As you see, asking questions on Clayart is a
little like using a search engine... The more precise your question, the
better the results!

Good luck!


Janet Kaiser

TRUTH is too precious to tell every fool who asks for it...
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