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Planned closure of Harrow Ceramics course

Dear Friends,

Please read carefully the following from Kyra Cane - Course Leader for the BA Hons Ceramics at Harrow.

If you are able to write a letter and sign the Number 10 petition I would be very grateful.

Apologies if you have received this already.

I am writing to let you know about the planned closure of the ceramics course at Harrow, the University of Westminster, and to ask you to support the campaign of protest.

The Harrow ceramics course has been in existence for 45 years. It is regarded as the pre-eminent course of its kind, a place where students can learn the craft of ceramics in the context of proper art-history and contextual studies. It has consistently led the discipline in thinking about the place that ceramics can hold in our society. It has forged links with industry, with international ceramic centres and with major museums.

Many of the most innovative and respected ceramicists in Britain today have studied on this course, or have taught on it.

The Harrow ceramics course is a benchmark within Europe for its balance of technical knowledge and criticality.

All craft skills are expensive to teach within a university context, but ceramics is a discipline that is fundamental to the health of our visual arts. It is an academic discipline that needs support.

The School of Media, Arts and Design has given the ceramics course a brief two months for consultation. If you would be able to support then please write to :

Professor Geoffrey Petts
Vice Chancellor
University of Westminster
309 Regent Street

Sending a copy to both:

Kyra Cane,
Course Leader : Ceramics
University of Westminster,
Harrow Campus, Watford Rd, Harrow HA1 3TP


Sally Feldman
Dean of Media Art and Design
University of Westminster,
Harrow Campus, Watford Rd, Harrow HA1 3TP

There is also a petition at No 10 Downing Street which our students have submitted and if you would consider signing this I would also be very grateful:

The petition reads:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Stop the closure of the Harrow Ceramics Degree course.

The University of Westminster are proposing to close their highly acclaimed Harrow Ceramics Degree Course. Recruitment of new students has been suspended and there are plans to close the course by 2013, which will coincide with the 50th Anniversary of ceramics teaching at Harrow.

The decision has been made despite the course's long held outstanding national and international reputation; first class academic standing and a distinguished assembly of professional expertise including Edmund de Waal, Emmanuel Cooper, Kyra Cane, Professor Christie Brown, Professor Nigel Wood, Steve Buck, Clare Twomey and a roster of world famous ceramicists as both alumni and staff. Its closure has huge significance for British art, craft and design.

We call on the University to reverse this decision, reinstate the recruitment of new students and SAVE HARROW CERAMICS.

I would appreciate it if you can send this information out to as many interested parties as possible, it is essential that people are aware that this is a principle which goes far beyond the remit of my own University.

Principal Lecturer
Course Leader BA Hons Ceramics
University of Westminster

'Slip VI' in 'The Joy of Clay'

Dear Friends,

I will have a video on show during a special evening event:
Design Overtime - The Joy of Clay,
at the Design Museum, Shad Thames, SE1 2YD
from 6 pm to 10 pm
on Friday 23 January 2009
£5 in advance, £8.50 at the door.

Nearest tube stations are London Bridge, Tower Hill and Tower Gateway
Further details are on the Design Museum website at:

The programme for the evening will include opportunities for discussion of the difficulties faced by ceramists in industry and universities at this time.

My video of Slip VI, 2005 documents the performance I presented at the private view of Pieces By Eight at London Gallery West at the University of Westminster in Harrow on 15 September 2005.

Hope to see you there!