School of Art Ceramic Archive

Scope and Content

The archive contains a group of published material and a selection of audio-visual material relating to ceramics and studio pottery, along with biographical material on individual potters, with an emphasis on women potters.

Administrative / Biographical History

Teaching of art at Aberystwyth began in 1917 under the responsibility of Dan Jones. The Art Department was fortunate enough to receive the patronage of many local beneficiaries, including the Davies sisters of Gregynog, who donated funds and works of art to the college. During it's early years, the department was also unique in the UK as the only art department involved with the arts and crafts movement. In 1936, art became a sub-department in the Department of Education, and appeared in its present form in 1965 with the establishment of the Joint Honours degree in Art. In 1973 the department was granted autonomy, and the following year saw the introduction of a single honours scheme and an MA. Art History was introduces at undergraduate level in 1981, and at postgraduate level in 1984.

The department had made it's home in premises on Llanbadarn Road, Aberystwyth, but as the teaching scheme and number of students grew, a larger building was required. In 1993 the department moved to the Edward Davies Building, formerly the university chemistry labs. The building was officially opened the following year, and the department was re-named the School of Art.

The School of Art also holds responsibility for the university collections and galleries. Amongst these collections is the ceramic collection - an important group of contemporary studio pottery works. The ceramic collection was originally developed between 1920 and 1935, and was re-established in 1974. The existence of this collection provided the impetus within the department to collect supplementary archival material, which would assist with the interpretation of the items within the collection, and would also allow further study of the history of ceramics and studio pottery.

The Craft Potters Association has also contributed to the ceramic archive. The CPA was established in 1958 as a co-operative to sell the work of members and also to raise the profile of studio pottery within the UK. The archive itself was initiated during the 1970s by Robert Fournier, and since 1988 has regularly been deposited at the School of Art, University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

Access Information

The papers may be consulted through application to Moira Vincentelli, Curator of Ceramics, School of Art, Buarth Mawr, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 1NE; tel: 01970 622465; e-mail:

Acquisition Information

The archive of the Craft Potters Association has been regularly donated by the Association to the School of Art since the initial deposit of material in 1988. The remainder of the archive is actively collected by the School of Art staff.


The Dutch material in the archive includes papers in Flemish, and the Chinese material contains items in Mandarin, Taiwanese and Hong Kong Chinese.

Description compiled by Rhian Phillips, Archives Hub project archivist, with reference to and Robert Meyrick, Art and Art History at Aberystwyth, (Aberystwyth: UWA Visual Art Department, 1989).

Other Finding Aids

Basic finding aid available at the School of Art.

Related Material

The paper archive donated to the School of Art by the Craft Potters Association has since been placed on deposit at the National Library of Wales. A catalogue is available on the library's own website (, and on the School of Art website ( of the archive material relates to the ceramic collection, which is noted for studio pottery and slipware, and which forms part of the art collections of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth administered by the School of Art.


The Ceramic Archive Bulletin is published annually by the School of Art, and is available in hard copy and on-line at