Clay Networks



Venue details
The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Bethesda St
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  • Visiting information
  • Monday-Tuesday Closed
    Wednesday-Saturday 10am – 5pm
    Sunday 10am-4pm

Clay networks: connecting to others through making, mapping and combination.

Artist: Cj O’Neill


Part One: Mapping

Can digital technology, so often associated with developing online networks, actually help to facilitate more meaningful connections to others if combined with making in clay? 

Working with a 3d clay printer, staff and visitors will be documented in silhouette, pairing them up and creating digital objects which combine both profiles and recording first names.  The process encourages a curiosity and a finding of another who we may otherwise not have met.  Individuals within the mass are documented and made physical, materialising the digital, demonstrating the networks that can be built through making and highlighting the valuable others in the objects we encounter. 

This printer was built by Rudi Morris, Annie Crowe and Duggie Reid at Manchester School of Art, and developed from Jonathan Keeps’ open source plans with detailed advice from Lauri Kilusk and Madis Kaasik of Estonian Academy of Art.  Anyone interested can access our open source plans to enable building new printers as well as the digital file of their unique paired object. 


Part Two: Combination

The community of practice connected to 3D print in clay is generous with shared knowledge – largely open source this leads to interesting work and objects – but can we acknowledge the others that are present in the resulting objects?  

An experimental residency at Spode begins to interrogate through practice, issues of authorship, collective learning and collaboration.  Responding to material, mould, people and context – developing a network of objects that begin to acknowledge the valuable (sometimes unseen) others ​in the work we do.  

Digital objects contributed from the 3D print in clay community create a palette of forms to be adapted and combined before printing in old moulds sourced from the Spode site, which were made by skilled craftsmen and selected for the project by young people from the YMCA, Stoke-On-Trent.  In combining these multiple forms, moulds and selections, multi-authored objects will result.  The lengthy list of authors of each object will grow by iteration. 


Clay networks sessions with CJ O’Neill

Connecting to others through making, mapping and combination

Drop-in throughout the day with CJ O’Neill and associate artists and become a part of her Clay Network for the British Ceramics Biennial 2019. Working with a 3D clay printer the artists involved will print silhouettes of visitor and staff faces as digital clay objects. By combining both profiles and recording first names the process encourages a curiosity and a finding of another who we may otherwise not have met.


Venue: World of Wedgwood

Time and Date: 11am-4pm Sunday 15th September


Venue: Middleport Pottery

Time and Date: 11am – 4pm Sunday 29th September


Venue: The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery

Time and Date: 11am – 4pm Sunday 6th October


Venue: Spode China Hall

Time and Date: 11am – 4pm Sunday 13th October