This year will once again see the British Ceramics Biennial return to the six towns of Stoke-on-Trent, between September 7 and October 13.

Back for its sixth festival in its spiritual home, the Biennial will once again present work from the UK’s leading contemporary artists in a series of new exhibitions and special events across the city, embracing the heritage of Stoke-on-Trent as the capital of ceramics.

The festival will take place in established venues and non-traditional spaces across the city including the atmospheric China Hall at the original Spode factory site, The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Middleport Pottery and World of Wedgwood.

If you need any further persuasion save the date for the sixth Biennial in the six towns of Stoke-on-Trent, here’s our “Six of the Best” reasons for visiting one of the finest ceramic festivals in the world.

This year’s Biennial will be one of the most unusual festivals in Britain, in 2019, with a host of family friendly events and activities, in some of the most iconic locations across The Potteries – including China Hall, at Spode, Middleport Pottery, The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, and World of Wedgwood.

The AWARD exhibition at the China Hall in Spode will this year offer a £10,000 prize – the largest single prize for ceramics in the UK – to one of the ten ceramic artists in Britain chosen to exhibit at the Biennial this year.

Ceramics stars of the future will be displaying their work in the FRESH exhibition, which brings together the best of emerging graduate talent from across the UK and Ireland.


Read Mark Bibby Jackson’s take on the Potteries in Fairies, Poppies and a World of Wedgwood.


A favourite of the BCB will be returning for 2019, and bringing another touch of ceramic magic to proceedings. Artist Lawrence Epps has delighted visitors to the Biennial in the past, and has a special treat in store this year with a display of ceramic trophies, which will give visitors a “golden shot” at buying some very valuable works at very low prices in a highly original online auction.

Artists from around the globe will have their work on show at the four main venues; but visitors will also be encouraged to “have a go”, and get involved, during the five-week festival: joining-in the live action of producing a modern take on the famous “flatbacks” which were made cheaply for every mantelpiece in the Victorian era; and sharing in an inspirational retrospective of Glenys Barton’s ceramic sculptures at her spiritual home of Wedgwood.

The Festival Shop will be replaced by “The Exchange” in 2019 – a space where visitors and collectors will not only have an opportunity to buy and acquire ceramic art likely to increase in value over the years, but can also take part in numerous interactive events.


The event as a whole is mostly free to visit.  For full opening times for all venues, check the BCB website https://www.britishceramicsbiennial.com.

Advertisement