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Welsh ceramics

Staff: Andrew Renton and Oliver Fairclough

Serious new research into the collection both by Museum staff and by external researchers has been on-going for over twenty years, and was the focus of conferences in Swansea in 2002 and 2003. In particular, the position of the Welsh ceramics industry within the broader contexts of the British ceramics industry, the history of European design, and the London and north American markets has been made much clearer. Current research focuses on a re-evaluation of the Museum's collection in the light of recent findings. Issues include a better understanding of the early products of the Cambrian Pottery, accurate dating of certain groups of pottery and porcelain, correct attribution of the work of ceramic painters, the influence on Welsh ceramics of design trends in the rest of Europe, the early provenance of works in the collection.

There is a need for the wider community of ceramic historians to understand better an area of their subject that has been understudied outside Wales. A serious well-illustrated 'semi-popular' publication is our short-term priority target (for 2010), along with on-line publication of selected highlights of the collection. The ultimate target must be a scholarly collection catalogue. An interim project is a proposed exhbition in 2013-14 to mark the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Cambrian Pottery and the 200th anniversary of the first production of Welsh porcelain. The latter will involve further research to identify suitable loans to the exhibition.