Creative Dundee

Test Fire – Dundee Ceramics Symposium


It has been just over a month since Tin Roof left their beloved building on Ure Street, but that hasn’t stopped the collective – they’ve been working hard to produce a new event, ‘Test Fire‘ on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st August.

Test Fire is a 2 day symposium gathering together the creative community around the theme of ceramics and clay based practice in Dundee. The event, which takes place in Unit 5 of Dundee’s Vision Building, will allow participants to hear from some incredible artists and designers who are using ceramics within their work, from both a Dundee and Scotland wide context. Participants will also be able to take part in workshops and discussions to help shape the Tin Roof of the future!

Jo Helfer, artist, filmmaker and director of Tin Roof explained:

“Tin Roof are running “Test Fire” as an opportunity for the creative community to gather together to discuss ceramics and the future of this particular art form in Dundee. We’ve noticed that more and more people are using ceramics as part of their practice and there are few facilities out with the art college to continue this. We are totally delighted to announce that we’ve received project funding from Creative Scotland and The Dundee Futures Fund to start a new facility in Dundee and this event will hopefully get us off to a good start. We want what we do to be led by and for the Dundee creative community and this event will allow people to share their thoughts and ideas for the future, as well as a chance to hear from artists and designers and take part in practical workshops.”

Test Unit

Venue: Unit 5, The Vision Building, 20 Greenmarket, DD1 4QB
Talks and workshops – free
Meal – £5 per person

Saturday 20th August:

2 – 4pm Introduction to the weekend by Tin Roof
Talk by artists: Rosemary Head and Mariella Verkerk

4.30pm – pinch pot workshop

6 – 7pm – break with chance to peruse library
7pm – meal with discussion – £5 per person (vegan and gluten free)

Sunday 21st August:

2 – 4.30pm Introduction to day 2, reflections from previous day.
Talk by artist Stephanie Liddle
Panel Discussion with artists, designers and ceramics practitioners

5 – 6pm – underglaze workshop

6 – 7pm – break with chance to peruse library
7pm – meal with discussion – £5 per person (vegan and gluten free)

Rosemary Head – Artist Talk on Saturday


Rosemary Head studied Fine Art and Philosophy at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, graduating in 2011. Rosemary’s ceramics work is contemplative and tactile, drawing the viewer in to a sense of intimacy and reflection. She experiments with post-fire finishes, often with unexpected and unpredictable results.

Mariella Verkerk – Artist Talk on Saturday


From the Netherlands, Mariella Verkerk studied Fine Art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. After graduating, Mariella moved to Glasgow to work in Fireworks Ceramics Studio, focusing on making functional ceramic ware for home and table.

Homebody Makes – Artist Talk on Sunday


Designer and illustrator Stephanie Liddle, aka Homebody Makes, graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in 2012 and continues to be based in Dundee. Stephanie has spent the last few years focusing on using ceramics in her craft, and this includes making pots, bowls, and jewellery.

Tin Roof will be updating their list of speakers and presenters on their Facebook, and give a run down of local artists who use ceramics each day on the run up to the event. Like their page by clicking here to see their daily updates of speakers.

Tin Roof have been awarded funding from the Dundee Futures Fund to research and implement a new ceramics facility in Dundee and hope attendees will join them in shaping what this will look like. For more information on the event, please see the Test Fire Facebook event by clicking here.


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