Talent Development Programme: Week 2

Media category
Recorded talk
Additional information

Originally recorded on 30th September 2021.

About the Talent Development Programme  Week 2

This is the second talk in the BCB Talent Development programme that took place during our 2021 festival. The programme was developed in partnership with the creative business development programme Factory and led by BCB’s Artistic Programme Manager, Rhiannon Ewing-James. We spoke to established professionals working in the field of contemporary ceramics and studio pottery. Additionally, they shared their experience and knowledge with early career artists.

This week starts with artist and BCB Studio & Community Programme Manager Joanne Mills, Service Manager at Stoke Recovery Service Vicky Lomas. Following that is artist and initiator Phoebe Collings–James of Mud Belly Ceramics. Lastly we hear from artist-researcher and podcaster Eva Masterman and lecturer along with practice-based researcher and learning designer Dena Bagi.


What this session covers

Joanne Mills and Vicky Lomas discuss how artists, arts organisations and addiction recovery services can work together. 

Phoebe Collings–James shares insights into her artistic practice. This includes its evolutions through video, sound and drawing, to its current home within a ceramic’s studio practice in her home city of East London. The talk covers the importance of finding and building community with ceramics. Both for the benefit of the work as well as the wider ramifications on the personal and public life of artists and potters. Phoebe also discusses access and intentional spaces within ceramics in the UK, covering the political histories and current social structures that led to Mudbelly being formed in 2020.

Eva Masterman and Dena Bagi explore the specific transformational and metamorphic qualities of clay – focusing on the communal or social powers it may bring about. 


Who is this for

This talk is for Artists

  • Who are interested in the benefits and practicalities of working with health providers and services. 
  • Starting out in their practice or who are early or progressing in their career in ceramics. 
  • Interested in connecting with peers and fellow artists, makers and potters who are also setting out in their practice. 
  • Who want to hear and learn from the experience of established makers, potters and artists working in the field of ceramics. 
  • Who are early or progressing in their career and want to start building a tool kit to help manage a sustainable career. 


The Talent Development Programme – Week 2 was delivered by

Phoebe Collings-James is a sculptor working across mediums to realise work that explores universal themes of violence, desire and fear. Having studied fine art in London, her first experience with ceramics was in 2014 during the Nuove artist residency in Italy. In 2019, Pheobe established Mudbelly Ceramics (London), comprising a shop and teaching facility offering free ceramics courses for Black people in London, taught by Black ceramicists. As the 2021 Freelands Ceramic Fellow, she exhibited at Camden Arts Centre in autumn 2021. Phoebe Collings-James website link.


Dena Bagi is a lecturer and a practice-based researcher in the arts sector. Her research practice involves working closely with community members and artists to curate clay workshops, projects and learning/play spaces. She believes passionately that working with clay has a profound effect on ‘healing’ and health in general. Dena Bagi website link.

Eva Masterman is an artist, lecturer, podcaster and cat mum. She also co-runs the art collective, Collective Matter which facilitates material-based opportunities for artists and younger people. Her practice investigates the cross-disciplinary application of clay pedagogies as an identity-building tool and wholeheartedly believes in clay as a force for good.
Eva Masterman website link.



Subtitles are available. Furthermore, if you have any access requirements or needs, please get in touch with us via access@britishceramicsbiennial.com.


Supported By

This event is supported by ACAVA Studios, ERDF, Factory, the Fresh Talent Programme crowdfunding, Schroder Charity and Staffordshire University.

This is the ACAVA logo.