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Bonnie Kemske was Editor of Ceramic Review from May 2010 to October 2013. She took over the editorship from Emmanuel Cooper, who had been Editor for 40 years, since its inception. Kemske’s aim with the magazine was to build on the strength of the publication by expanding its coverage to include all forms of artistic ceramics, including the broader role of ceramics within our culture and a wider international perspective.

Kemske was responsible for commissioning features on a wide spectrum of topics, including:

  • the historical view of the strong position of ceramics in the Aesthetics Movement

  • a strengthening of community in a rural development project in Scotland

  • the training of Bhutan artists in making devotional Buddhist figures as an example of how training influences the relationship between artists and the finished artworks

  • the theme of war as understood through the ceramics of Angolan potter Helen Gambôa

  • Lawrence Epp’s ceramic critique of the corporate world

  • Claudia Clare’s challenge to gallery censorship, ‘the fear of causing offence’, and the subsequent issues of freedom of expression

  • Frankie Locke’s use of ceramics to record her partner’s journey from a diagnosis of cancer to his death, where the repetitive making in her work, which included the firing of her partner’s medications, served as a catharsis for her grief, and

  • ceramic water filters saving lives, both in history and today.

Kemske introduced themed issues, where articles and features ‘spoke’ to each other, exploring variation and differences in approach to specific issues. These included:

  • Graphics                                                                  

  • Landscape

  • Scale

  • The Figure

  • Design & Function

  • Narrative & Text

  • Tradition

  • Thrown

  • Blues

  • Context, and 

  • Surface.

Kemske also explored developments in the expanding field of ceramics with articles on:

  • the performative ceramics as seen in French artist Valérie Delarue’s beautiful film of her physical interaction with a space created of clay, and Alexandra Engelfriet’s challenging projects of her interaction with clay within the landscape

  • ceramics in collaboration with poetry, glass, textile art, metalwork, fashion, industry, and fine cuisine

  • Swedish fireplaces by Annika Svensson that widen our perspective of functional ceramics

  • 3D printing in ceramics

  • exploring the colour blue as seen through the lens of Hokusai’s The Great Wave

  • curating ceramics, and

  • art & friendship.

Traditional ceramics were never overlooked, with articles on:

  • slip-trailed work

  • colour in ceramics

  • simulacra

  • figuration

  • throwing

  • kiln-building

  • sgrafitto, and

  • burnishing, to name a few.

Kemske remains committed to broadening our understanding of the role that ceramics plays, and could play, in our society, and continues to work towards bringing these divergent threads together in a greater appreciation of the depth and potential of the field.

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