Great excitement. The Bickley Book has gone to press and will be launched on December 9th 2012.   


The Bickley Ceramics Project 1981 – 2010

How did our medieval and earlier potters fire their wares? The technology is poorly documented and the archaeological record difficult to interpret. Set up in 1981, the Bickley Ceramics Project has built and fired numerous wood-fired pottery kilns on a farm in Somerset. Some were built to explore basic principles, others to reconstruct kilns from specific archaeological excavations. The project became the longest running research project of its kind and has contributed widely to historical research through conferences and publications as well as to contemporary ceramics.

The annual two-week event has provided not only an opportunity to explore the detailed function of updraught kilns and bonfire-firings but also allowed a large number of people from a variety of backgrounds to engage with ceramics. Never too preoccupied with replicating historical pottery, the range of work has been enormous.

After 30 years, the project closed at Bickley in 2010 and this book is a celebration, outlining various aspects from the farm itself and its archaeology to the specifics of individual kilns and the ideas that they explored. It is also a celebration of the many people who have taken part in it and made it possible.

It will be for sale through www.blurb.com from Dec 10th 2012. More info to follow…

UPDATE: The book is now available from Blurb.com. CLICK HERE to preview or purchase.

Below is Steve Maddicks’ film ‘Bickley’s Big Kiln’ recording the packing and firing of the updraught kiln in August 2009. This kiln is a reconstruction of a 17th-century one excavated at Donyatt in Somerset in 1993.

This entry was posted in Archaeology, Bickley Ceramics Project, Experimental Archaeology, Kilns and Kiln-building. Bookmark the permalink.

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