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Top Award Will Transform Future Generations of Ulster Artists

16 August 2012

A leading academic will transform the education and training of the next generation of ceramic artists at the University of Ulster with funding from a major all-Ireland craft award.

Internationally acclaimed ceramicist, Michael Moore, has recently been named winner of this year’s prestigious Crafts Council of Ireland Irish Craft Bursary.

Michael, Head of Ulster’s Research Centre for Applied Arts and Reader in Fine and Applied Arts Ceramics, will use the award to help fund his research into the relationship between ceramic art and the ceramic industry.

And he plans to share his research findings with students, who are beginning a brand new University of Ulster BA Hons course in Contemporary Arts with strands in Ceramics and Silversmithing and Jewellery, which begins next month.

“The information and technologies I hope to learn about through the award will inspire my teaching and contribute immensely to the new course, allowing me to share that knowledge within my teaching practice,” explained Michael.

“This bursary will enable me to update my University of Ulster students on the latest industrial developments in European ceramics and I can visit and learn from the very places where the latest design technology is being created.

“I’m always keen to develop my work further and I like to keep up to date with the current trends in international craft practice.

“I will also investigate the application of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and other industry tools in the planning and preparation of my work.

“I’m very grateful for the tremendous support I have had from the Crafts Council of Ireland over the years.”

Michael hopes to visit five European locations, with proven records in his area of research. They include:

- Severe Museum and Factory, Paris, France

- Rosenthal Porcelain, Selb, Germany

- International Ceramics Research Centre, Guldagergaard, Denmark

- Royal Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

- Art Arabia, Helsinki, Finland

And he intends to use the findings of his research work to both enhance his own practice and to present to his peers at the General Assembly of the International Academy of Ceramics (IAC) during its 2014 conference in Dublin.

With around 440 members in 80 countries, this biennial event should attract ceramicists from all over the world for a series of lectures, presentations and visits to galleries, studios, museums and other sites of interest.

The Craft Council’s bursary is given to professional craftspeople, enabling them to create new opportunities in their specialised area of work, which they would otherwise not have had the time nor resources to develop.

Crafts Council of Ireland Chief Executive, Karen Hennessy, said: “The Irish Craft Bursary is awarded annually to a maker who demonstrates a commitment to producing craftwork at the highest level of technical and design skill, so it is fitting that Michael is the recipient of this year’s award.

“He will not only travel to important European locations to research the latest industry design tools, but he will bring that knowledge back to Ireland to share with his peers.”

Now based in Belfast, Michael was born in Dublin in 1968 and has worked in the field of ceramics since his graduation from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin in 1990.

He has been involved in over 30 solo and group exhibitions and won 18 awards in support of his practice.

His works are housed in 19 different international collections of ceramic art including the World Ceramic Exposition Foundation, Korea, the International Ceramics Museums, Fuping, China, the International Ceramics Research Centre Denmark, the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts and the Clay Studio, Philadelphia, USA.

Closer to his home, examples of Michael’s work are exhibited in the National Museum of Ireland, the Ulster Museum, the Embassies Collection of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and several European and American public collections.

He is currently writing a book on the history of Irish studio ceramics in conjunction with the Irish Academic Press. It will be published in 2014.

As well as his work at Ulster, Michael is Honorary Treasurer and member of the Council of the International Academy of Ceramics, Geneva.