The idea of creating an ambitious festival to celebrate contemporary ceramics in Stoke-on-Trent was announced on a cold evening in a pink flood lit, old pottery factory building in Longton, in the south of the city. It was a bold statement of intent that was eventually realised nine months later with the inaugural British Ceramics Biennial festival in autumn 2009. A programme of exhibitions and activities took place in a series of established visual arts venues and non-traditional spaces across the city.
Greeted as a critical success and a welcome addition to the cultural landscape of Stoke-on-Trent the BCB initiative attracted support from Arts Council England to match Stoke City Council funding and so the second festival was made possible. 2011 saw BCB present the main festival programme in the vast space of the China Hall, part of the former Spode factory site in Stoke Town.
From its home in the China Hall the BCB developed over subsequent festivals 2013, 2015 and 2017 growing both in scale and significance impacting positively on the cultural profile and life of Stoke–on-Trent. The following sections give a glimpse of the extraordinary range of ceramic works that have been presented over the last five biennials by a broad range of artists who have made the festival the success that it is.
What we do > Past festivals
British Ceramics Biennial returned to Stoke-on-Trent from 7 September- 13 October in 2019. This international festival of ceramics celebrated its 10th anniversary with an…
In 2017, we were delighted to present the fifth British Ceramics Biennial. At the heart of the programme sat our two signature shows AWARD…
The fourth British Ceramics Biennial took place on 26 September – 8 November in Stoke-on-Trent. After making the commitment back in 2009 to 5…
The third British Ceramics Biennial took place in Stoke-on-Trent from 28 September to 10 November 2013. The 6 weeks of festival activity aimed to…
The second British Ceramics Biennial took place in Stoke-on-Trent from 30 September to 13 November 2011. This six week-long festival of exhibitions, events and…
The British Ceramics Biennial (BCB) launched in 2009 with a festival celebrating and showcasing contemporary ceramics from across the world. Set in Stoke-on-Trent –…