About us

Formed in 1984, Icon Ceramics & Glass Group is committed to promoting and disseminating information about ceramics, glass and related materials

Dana E Norris, Co-Chair of Icon Ceramics and Glass Group, reports from the Icon Ceramics and Glass Group AGM 2020

Our last AGM was held during the 2019 joint conference with ICOM-CC’s Glass and Ceramic Conservation Group, and the Conservation Department at the British Museum.

This year was intended to be a quieter, although no one could have foreseen the worldwide impact of Covid-19. During the last few months, the committee has moved to online meetings and put together tentative plans for future events. We are very pleased to have Phil Jell give a talk about his work in mount making at the British Museum after the AGM.

A workshop on Stain Reduction in Ceramics was the main event planned for 2020. Lauren Fair from Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library and the University of Delaware agreed to lead, and UCL kindly agreed to host it on the 12th and 13th of November. Sadly, we have been forced to postpone this event until the public health situation improves.

A snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on committee is recorded here for posterity. The CGG committee is made up of students and independent conservators, some of which are on fixed term contracts with museums. During this year training courses were badly interrupted, but some aspects of education carried on remotely. Most of the conservators working in museums were furloughed for a few weeks or months, but some were able to do administrative work from home during part of the lockdown. It was possible for most conservators to eventually go back to work while maintaining social distancing in a museum setting. Those working commercially had varying experiences, some businesses were forced to close, while others managed to work from home in temporary settings. Access to government support through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme was mixed. Some were ineligible because they had recently started trading or had multiple income streams. This likely reflects the diverse experiences of CGG members overall. It is comforting to note that during this time there were unexpected acts of kindness. When possible, many landlords temporarily waved rent on workshops. At least one conservator with an established business went out of their way to give work to an emerging conservator, delivering and collecting projects to the doorstep. Impressively, one member’s local pottery class loaned wheels to students for use at home. They delivered the wheels and clay, then collected wares to be fired, providing an unexpected and much appreciated creative outlet.

I would like to thank the committee for the work that they have done this year. First, Tiago Olivera for being Co-Chair and organising online meetings, for his work coordinating the IT side of this AGM, and work supporting the NWP. Emily Thomas for minuting our meetings, archiving the resulting documents, running the committee election and recruiting new members. To Miriam Orsini for maintaining the website and social media accounts, organising submissions to Icon News and group announcements via Iconnect. And to Holly Daws for projecting the group budget, bookkeeping and running Eventbrite bookings.

In 2018-19 Icon carried out a review of the special interest groups. The Groups Review resulted in the development of the 2020 Ceramics and Glass Group Management Regulations. These regulations supersede the Ceramics and Glass Group Regulations from 2014. The new regulations have subtle but important changes to the remit and management of the group. A PDF of the 2020 Regulations can be found on the CGG’s Resources page on the Icon website.

Committee Changes: Mandy Garratt stepped down midyear after completing her MSc from Cardiff University with a distinction. Mandy joined the committee in 2017 and was elected Student Representative at the 2018 AGM. The committee would like to thank her for her work during this time and send our congratulations!

After seven years Tiago Olivera is stepping down from the committee. He initially joined as Student Representative, and then took on roles as an Ordinary Member, Nigel Williams Prize Coordinator and in the last year Co-Chair. Tiago has consistently been a positive and enthusiastic committee member with a fun and tenacious approach to supporting the members. He will be greatly missed on the committee, and we wish him well in his future endeavours.

The committee will have a reshuffle at the 2020 AGM. Dana Norris will stepdown as Co- Chair at the end of her term, she plans to carry on as an Event’s Coordinator. Miriam Orsini has put herself forward for Nigel Williams Prize Coordinator, taking on the role over the last few months from Tiago. The committee is very pleased to welcome three new co-opted members who are standing for election: Marisa Kalvins, Lily Griffin and Shannon Campbell.

Future Events: We are excited to announce that our next conference/seminar day will be held in Bath jointly with the Stained Glass Group in October 2021! The call for papers will go out around New Year. If conditions improve, we will aim to reschedule the Stain Reduction Workshop in November 2021. The next ICOM-CC Glass and Ceramics triennial is due in the autumn of 2022, possibly to be held in Lisbon.

Thank you to everyone on the CGG committee for the hard work and perseverance during difficult times. I’m so looking forward to meeting in person again, hopefully at the 2021 conference if not sooner!

Dana E. Norris ACR,Ceramics and Glass Group Co-Chair

12 September 2020