Globalization and the UK Ceramic Industry - in Typographies of the Obsolete

Ewins, Neil (2014) Globalization and the UK Ceramic Industry - in Typographies of the Obsolete. In: Typographies of the Obsolete, 15th June-21st June, Spode Factory, Stoke on trent. (Submitted)

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This paper considers the impact of globalization on the actual marketing and design of UK ceramics, and draws attention to the testimony of ceramic manufacturers and ceramic retailers working in this period of transition. By examining the UK ceramics industry and the range of commodities that it produces, this paper highlights how the impact of post-industrialism and globalization has created possibilities, yet, for just one industry it has created difficulties. Whilst in reality, Far Eastern ceramic imports have surged, resulting in the closure of factories, not all UK ceramic production has been adversely affected. In fact, some ceramic firms have grown in size, and some production, that was outsourced abroad, has been brought back to Staffordshire.

As UK ceramics can have pretentions of craft and collectable dimensions, is the explanation for this complex behaviour due to the place of UK ceramic production being considered as intrinsic to the meaning and cultural significance of the products? Contrary to the multi-national tendency those UK manufacturers that have remained more independent have often survived. It is ironic that in an increasingly globalised world, an ability to remain agile and adapt to a more bespoke demand, has actually proved to be advantageous to the UK ceramic industry. It is argued in this paper that UK ceramics remain culturally complex because of issues of supply and demand, and ties to heritage, imagined or otherwise.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Glass and Ceramics > Ceramics
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries
Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries > School of Art and Design
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Depositing User: Ashleigh Little
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2014 13:45
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2019 15:37
ORCID for Neil Ewins: ORCID iD

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