Module 5: Ceramics – what it means to me (Talking Heads Interviews)


Within this module different people of all ages in all partner countries should be asked whether ceramic plays a role in their daily lives – where, why or why not. Interviews should be conducted with both ceramists (scientists, designers, artists, workers of ceramic/porcelain factories) as well as with „normal“ people who should be approached on the street. For this purpose, a questionnaire will be prepared by PMAG which covers the various aspects about living with ceramics.


The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent

Vispārīgās ķīmijas tehnoloģijas institūts,

Rīgas Tehniskā universitāte/Rīgas pašvaldības kultūras iestāžu apvienības Rīgas Porcelāna Muzejs

Technische Universität Ilmenau


1st December 2014 – 30th November 2017

Talking Heads Interviews

What do ceramics mean to you? How do ceramics affect your life? What do you think the future of ceramics may hold? These are just three of the questions asked to more than 150 people all around Europe, within the partner states taking part in the project. And why was this done? The answer: the Talking Heads filmed interview elements of the CaiDproject gives face, voice and expression to the questions about ceramics’ values in the present, and especially, in the future.

The target was to find out whether there is a common opinion throughout all participating countries on ceramics and its meaning for society. Is there a diversity between cultures in regard to ceramics as part of their identity? It is the first time interviews like these have been done concerning ceramics, and on such a broad international scale: Talking heads interviews were produced by partners in Faenza, Helsinki, Belgrade, Selb, Ljubljana, Riga, Tallinn, Belfast, and Stoke-on-Trent.

To have interviewees from a broad societal cross-section was of high importance. By doing this it was possible to compare the attitudes from a wide range of people, from the experts, to those with little or no ceramics knowledge. The interviewees included the general public, artists, designers, academics, teachers, industry workers, industry suppliers, curators and museum managers. There were ‘exit poll’ type interviews with young people and Vox Pop-Interviews with pedestrians on the streets. And finally, there was a wide range of interviewers, from professional TV reporters to museum staff and other partner institution staff.

Colleagues in Belgrade (Serbia) and Ljubljana (Slovenia) held 10 to 20 interviews each with the general public, artists, designers, art historians, children, students etc. It was the first time such a study was done in Belgrade. The Italian city of Faenza, as a world-leader in ceramics education and art, delivered Interviews with academics and teachers from the Higher Institute for Artistic Trade, the Institute for Ceramics, an architectural studio, and well-known studio artists. Stoke-on-Trent supported the module with about 50 Interviews with youngsters, general public, businesses, academics, artists, designers, young careerists, retailers, a playwright, museum visitors and curators.

25 Interviews with curators, designers, artists and the general public were produced by the Porzellanikon-Staff in Selb, Germany. And 29 additional Interviews were produced by a local TV station (TV Oberfranken). The TV Station broadcasted these interviews about 400 times, in edited and shorter versions, raising awareness of the meaning of ceramics to a potential audience of several hundred thousand with each broadcast.

To widen the audience further and to gain as much interest as possible, shorter versions of the interviews were included as part of the extensive touring exhibition “European Cultural Lifestyle in Ceramics – from Baroque until Today”.

Ceramics and its Dimensions YouTube Channel