A worker co-op ceramics studio in South East London is celebrating the successful firing up of its new kiln, part funded by its success in the Young Co-operators’ Prize last year.
AltGen and Co-operatives UK named Ceramics Studio Co-op as one of its five prizewinners in April 2015. The co-op received £2,000 in funding to develop its business as well as mentoring support and business advice.
A new kiln was delivered at the end of December and officially launched in early January. The 200 litre kiln was given the name ‘Big’ and will allow Ceramics Studio to guarantee more sustainable and reliable ceramics firing services. Some of the funding was also used to set up an air extractor facility to improve health and safety for makers and artists using the facility.
The acquisition of the kiln was also supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
The co-op opened in 2014 and provides ceramics studio spaces and open-access to professional and amateur ceramics artists and designers. There are also weekly, evening and weekend pottery classes available to all.
A statement on the co-op’s website explains: “The studio is owned and run by the people who work in it and have equal say in what the business does.
“We were set up in response to the lack of ceramics workshops accessible to new makers, and as an attempt to create a space of ethical employment for artists and designers. We believe that this co-operative space can help by bringing the community of ceramics artists and designers together, and the interactions and informal exchange of knowledge would help to foster experimentation and let artists’ designers’ and makers’ practices to grow professionally.”