CRAFTING CHANGE - Enhancing Innovation and Sustainability in European Ceramics
UNWASTED - Material Research by Anna Maria Sand Jensen

Join us for a series of knowledge-sharing sessions featuring artists and ceramic professionals from diverse European backgrounds as they discuss sustainable practices in contemporary ceramics. Representing knowledge and research broadly from Europe and Japan, these three sessions will explore innovative approaches to sustainable ceramic practices, discuss and look at the role of industry and production practices in a historical context, and introduce substantial research on local materials and the influence of ancient crafts in today's ceramic practices.  

The knowledge-sharing sessions aim to inspire about how ceramic practices can minimize environmental impact while enhancing artistic expression. They foster the sharing of ways to implement these innovations in your own practice, gain inspiration, or deepen insight into ceramic arts.  

Online engagement through instagram @europeanglassceramiccontext will provide  the opportunity to ask questions, comment on posts/stories with questions, and contribute to the content of the knowledge sharing session. We encourage you to actively engage and be part of the conversation.
This will be available in session 1 and 2



Title: Recycling, innovation and material research
In recent years, the programme for Crafts in Glass and Ceramics at the Royal Danish Academy has increased its focus on sustainability by exploring new ways of recycling materials, inventing alternative glazes, integrating unconventional materials, reducing the use of chemicals, etc.  

This session will begin with a tour of the workshops and an introduction to the sustainable practices taught at the academy. It will also introduce research and learnings gained in a recent bachelor's project in crafts. Three artists and writers represented in ECC2024 will present their projects. A panel will discuss, inspire, and share knowledge between participants and guests both on site at the academy and through SoMe.  

Hosts and presenters: The session is hosted by Bachelor student Anna Maria Sand Jensen and Head of Program Nina Husted Erichsen. Presenters and panel participants will be announced shortly.


Title: Wild Clay Research Project
Content: Iwami Shinsuke and Anne Mette Hjortshøj runs a research project focused on raw materials. The event features a demonstration of Iwami Shinsukeon the potter's wheel, Ogino Yoshifumi and Japanese decoration techniques, followed by a tour of Agregård.

Hosts and presenters: Hosted by Anne-Mette Hjortshøj, Agresgårds Ceramic Center. Presenters also include: Iwami Shinsukeon, Ogino Yoshifumi


Title: Reconsidering the past to form a sustainable future
Since the 18th century, the island of Bornholm in Denmark has been a centre of industrial ceramic production due to its rich natural resources, large clay deposits and granite. Even after the natural resources have been exhausted, the legacy of generations of making has a palpable resonance on the island. These post-industrial and heritage sites are now part of the recognizable cultural identity of Bornholm.

Today's contemporary ceramicists stand on the shoulders of ceramic production, and it is important to reconsider past practices to form a sustainable future for ceramics.

This session will begin with a tour of the historic site and living museum of Hjorths Fabrik, one of the best-preserved industrial monuments in Scandinavia, where ceramic production dates back to 1862. Three artists and writers represented in ECC2024 will present their projects. A panel will discuss, inspire, and share knowledge between participants and guests both on site at the academy and through SoMe.  

Hosts and presenters: The session is hosted by Bachelor student Anna Maria Sand Jensen and Daily Manager Karina Skibby, and Head of Exhibitions Susanne Jøker Johnsen. Presenters and panel participants will be announced shortly.

MASTERCLASS: Explore sustainable ceramic practices on Bornholm
Photo: Sune Rasborg

Master Class is now fully booked!

As ceramicists, we stand on the shoulders of industrial production that has depleted the planet's resources for centuries. It is immanent that we create new solutions in all professions, including ceramics and crafts. European Ceramic Context 2024 is an excellent opportunity to gather and share knowledge about sustainable ceramic practices.Can we rethink and recycle ceramic materials? Is it time to revise concepts and perceptions of aesthetic conventions? How do we develop new typologies to review materials and technologies? The answers are diverse; this masterclass encourages discussion, reflection, and perhaps entirely new sustainable ceramic practices for the future.

In this Masterclass, students will experience a 5-day intensive immersion into the fascinating intersection of ceramic artistry and sustainability when two leading Danish ceramicists, Anne Mette Hjorthshøj and Christina Schou Christensen, come together in dialogue about materials and sustainability. The course is hands-on and will introduce a broad range of tests, recipes, ideas, and methods, ready to implement in your practice.

The two instructors practice different traditions in ceramics, but they share the same passion for constantly developing their practices in new, sustainable directions.

The dialogue between them, while sharing their unique skills and knowledge, is what students will learn from. In an open dialogue on sustainable ceramic practices, students will dive deep into the beauty of clay and glazes by experimenting with a wide range of materials. Reuse, recreate and discover new possibilities in recycling ceramic materials and discuss new aesthetic conventions for recycled materials as we crush high-fired ceramic waste like bricks, glass, and ceramic products into reusable powders. Learn how to look for locally sourced clay and rock. Explore the island of Bornholm on field trips to different sites where local industries mine rock, as well as historic mining sites for clay and rock. We will bring home small samples of raw materials and try to turn them into clay-bodies slips and glazes while highlighting themes like function, aesthetics, ethics, rules and regulations.  

This Masterclass offers a unique opportunity for ceramic professionals to develop new skills, explore new techniques, and unlock artistic potential under the guidance of experienced instructors like Anne Mette Hjortshøj and Christina Schou Christensen while also connecting with fellow participants, sharing ideas, and inspiring each other. You can expect to take home a selection of tests made during theMasterclass, but there is no finished work.

Christina Schou Christensen works experimentally with sculptural glazes using local materials as glazes, teaching experimental material development, hosting courses, and developing new materials based on crushed high-fired trash. Anne Mette Hjortshøj uses clay and materials from Bornholm, sourced directly from the surrounding countryside and coast. Her pots are wood-fired and salt-glazed.

Cost: 700 Euro. Max. 12 participants.
Duration: 21 – 25 October 2024, both days included. Teaching is conducted daily between 9.00 – 16.00, with time spent between group teaching, hands-on instruction, fieldwork, and individual work.

Location: The Royal Danish Academy, Crafts Programme Bornholm, Stenbrudsvej 43, 3730 Nexø, Denmark.

Basic materials and tools
Firings by agreement
Basic shared lunch in the school common kitchen area

Not included:
Participants must bring their own dust mask, apron, work clothes, etc.
Accommodation and travel. Find recommendations here

Insurance and safety: The Royal DanishAcademy and European Ceramic Context do not have insurance coverage and cannot be responsible for accidents or injuries during the master class. Participants musthave their own insurance. The participants are responsible for handling workshop facilities and equipment responsibly and correctly, as instructed by the staff.

This Masterclass is organized in collaboration with Makers Island Bornholm, European Ceramic Context 2024 and The Royal Danish Academy, Crafts Programme Bornholm. Funding was received partly from LAG Bornholm and private and public foundations for the ECC2024.

Photo: Susanne Jøker Johnsen

European Ceramic Context 2024 is devoted to sustainable practices in contemporary ceramics. Can we rethink and recycle ceramic materials? Is it time to revise concepts and perceptions of aesthetic conventions? How do we develop new typologies to review materials and methods? The answers are diverse and expand the ceramic field to new technologies, methodologies, and ways of generating knowledge for the future.

In this framework, the ECC2024 invites artists to apply to work for a 5-week residency at the Royal Danish Academy on Bornholm. Whether you have been working sustainably or are interested in pursuing new sustainable methods, we welcome your application.

Two residencies are available for professional artists working in ceramics, emphasizing sustainable processes and practices.

The two selected artists are:

Kelly Austin:
About KA's project: Harmony and Composition, is an exploration of how the concept of harmony may be visualised in abstract, mul--component ceramic compositions, incorporating recycled ceramic materials. This project will look at two key cultural explorations of harmony and atempt to bring them together: The De S-jl movement and related artworks, and current sustainability theory.

Priska Falin:
About PF's project: From unfired to low-fired. My project explores the potential of unfired ceramics that has been recently investigated in a project, Radical Ceramics, where I have been working as Coordinator. With unfired ceramics, I refer to geopolymers made using the same raw ingredients that are used for making clay bodies for ceramics. The idea behind the project has been to replace high-energy consuming ceramics in places where geopolymers as a greener material alternative would be appropriate.

Duration: 5 weeks from Sept. 9 - Oct. 11, 2024
AiR’s will receive housing near the school and the use of a bicycle.
AiR’s will have access to materials and firings according to budget.
AiR’s should bring their own tools.
AiR’s will be offered an individual worktable at theRoyal Danish Academy, Bornholm, where they will work alongside students.
AiR’s must give a lecture at the beginning of the residency and an informal presentation at the end.
AiR’s are responsible for their own travel to and from the island.
AiR’s from within and outside the European Union can apply.

The Royal Danish Academy, Bornholm, is one of Europe's leading educational institutions in glass and ceramics. The facilities hold spacious and bright workshops with state-of-the-art equipment, including additional workshops for wood, metal, plaster, and a new technology area withlaser cutters and 3D printers for plastic and clay.

Application deadline was May 15th - we no longer accept applications.

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