Spode -China Hall

Address: China Hall, Old Spode Works, Kingsway, Stoke-On-Trent, ST4 1JH 

Phone: 01782 294634

Web: www.britishceramicsbiennial.com

Opening Times: Monday - Closed

                           Tuesday - Saturday - 10am -5pm

                           Sunday: 12-4pm  


The Clay Pit

The Clay Pit:

Open access space for all ages to explore clay.

An interactive workshop space will be constructed, within China Halls, where community and education groups, BCB visitors and visiting artists can explore clay.

Via a series of large clay pits, copious amounts of ceramic material, oversize clay tools, and creative props, The Clay Pit will encourage communal hands-on play, exploration and construction.

Graft Studio

Graft Studio Stoke on Trent is a city full of skilled craftspeople, and we are keen to preserve, promote and nurture these ceramic skills for the future. Focusing on the tradition of bone china flower making, we are working with local artisans to develop a social enterprise, allowing existing makers to reach new audiences for their work and for other makers to connect with flower makers and learn these heritage skills.

Adult Clay Courses

For those keen to learn new skills in making, we offer ceramics courses through Stoke-on-Trent City Council Adult and Community Learning. The beginners course explores the whole process of making from soft clay through to glaxed ceramic, encountering different making techniques throughout; whilst the intermediate course takes a look at different clays and plaster techniques, even a bit of Raku firing. The courses last for ten weeks and enrol regularly through the year.

Clay Together

Clay Together 

Our "Clay Together" events are aimed at bringing people togther through making with clay. 


Refugee Tales

Refugee Tales is a continuation of Stephen Dixon’s on-going World War 1 research project, exploring commemoration through clay and working with refugee and community groups in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. The participants, members of the Jubilee Club, are examining their own perceptions of identity, displacement and migration, and comparing these to the experiences of the Belgian refugees who came to the UK during World War 1. 

Artists: Stephen Dixon, Jo Ayre, Barry Taylor, Johnny Magee and members of the Jubilee Club

Shaping The Future

The exhibition “Shaping the Future” is part of the European funded Ceramics and its Dimensions project, with the intention of discussing the future of ceramics by exploring new techniques, technologies and rethinking materials.

Ceramic City

BCB aims to reflect the current surge in interest in ceramics and with it the resurgence of the city’s ceramics industry, it will illustrate a positive message about the city, how it wishes to present itself, with confidence as the UK’s Ceramics City, leading the ‘march of the makers’.

Awarded - Hannah Tounsend

Hannah was winner of the 2015 Fresh prize, a three-month residency at the Gudderguad European artist residency centre in Finland. For her exhibition at BCB 2017 Hanna has created a set of three large vessels responding to the geology and patina of the Spode site. 

Awarded -Sam Bakewell

After his piece Imagination Dead Imagine won Award in 2015, Sam has been invited to make a new presentation for this years Biennial. Between ambiguity and representation, the real deal and fakes, and the legitimacy of the raw and fired, Sam will continue a process of haphazard, arbitrary making rooted in utilising leftovers and scraps. With the expression of 'making something out of nothing' in mind, he intends to present a series of objects to question his own hangups with a 'gallery-ready' practice.

Photo; Imagaination Dead Imagine: Photo by Joel Fildes

Knowledge is Power: 6 Towns

Keith Harrison has been commissioned by Stoke-on-Trent Libraries and Archives in association with BCB to create a major new work, Knowledge is Power.  Inspired by the special Six Towns Collection of local history books, Harrison will work with local industry, and over 200 school children and community groups from the area to make a complete set of replica clay books which will be heated daily to unpredictable effect using specifically manufactured electrical elements embedded in each volume and triggered by an interactive switching mechanism.

The Brown Betty - The Archetypal Teapot

A re-imagining of the archetypal teapot – the Brown Betty - by Ian McIntyre will be launched with an exhibition of an exclusive limited edition, available for sale through BCB.  This iconic object was designed and refined through a process of making which spans 300 years. Once made in its millions, it is still produced in Stoke from the original Etruria Marl red clay - the bed rock of the city - and glazed with the instantly recognisable Rockingham dark treacle glaze.

Division of Labour

Peter Jones, BCB associate artist, will present work from his PhD project in a specially constructed research laboratory space set up within the China Hall.  A creative journey through the Spode site, mapping factory functions and investigating manufacturing processes will be represented in a set of objects assembled in the lab space

Made in Korea

Artists: Kyung Won Baek, Jin Kim, Kay Aplin, Joseph Young (+ 6 sound artists names to be confirmed)

As part of The Ceramic House 2017 programme “Made in Korea”, artists-in-residence Kyung Won Baek and Jin Kim and Ceramic House founder Kay Aplin will create installation works for presentation within BCB 2017. The works contribute to an exploration, a dialogue, between the making cultures of the UK and South Korea. accompanied by a four channel sound installation created by sound artist Joseph Young.

Place and Practices - South Korea Exchange

Throughout history, ceramics have played an important role in the phenomenon of cultural transfer. For centuries China, Japan and Korea have influenced each other’s aesthetics, practices and technologies. Subsequent trade with the West, and the imitation and hybridization of Oriental styles in 18th century Europe, led to the forging of new ceramic traditions that were to gain historical dominance.


The FRESH exhibition presents the best of the new cohort of talented graduates from UK higher education ceramic courses and programmes. FRESH both celebrates and gives platform to new talent at the start of professional careers. The FRESH selection panel, will choose a maximum of 25 artists’ work to be included in the final exhibition. Selected artists will represent the range of work from across the ceramic spectrum - from studio pottery tableware and industrial design to figurative and abstract sculpture and installation.