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Student Awards - Previous Years

(Updated 07/06/23)

2020 - Bethany Lock

Bethany Lock with David Cox
Bethany was an outstanding winner. We had met her the previous year, but her work had changed considerably. Chris was in raptures about her work in bone china! Bethany is surely just the kind of student our Group likes to support, just as the Shelley family did years ago with their staff? She pays for all her studies and has to work many hours outside the University to fund herself. She works very hard and, according to Tim, our Award is potentially life-changing in that it gives Bethany more freedom to advance her career.

2019 (Dual Award
made this year)

 (1) Wiktoria Holubecka

Wiktoria Holubecka winner of 2019 student award
Wiktoria Holubecka is a Polish student who moved to UK with her parents when 11 years old. Displays of work from five BA students was seen and the work of Wiki (pronounced Viki) was considered the most accomplished and the use of different media (wood and plastics) combined with the china was attractive and imaginative. She showed an aptitude for producing not only practical usable tableware, but also dainty decorative pieces. Wiki was delighted to receive a £500 cheque towards the cost of the course and additional materials.

 & (2) Debbie Ng and Loh Lik Kian

Debbie,KIan and Gerry Pearce
This couple had 15 years of ceramic work behind them in Singapore but largely self-taught and they wished to take the more structured MA course to learn or improve skills. The output from the two was exceptional, Debbie concentrating on practical, modular ware in subtle colours, whilst Kian perhaps took a more adventurous approach. His modular “eggs” were quite stunning, artistically and technically. When asked, he owned up to many firings before perfecting the technique for the perfect fit. His other speciality shown was finned or grooved pieces. The precision of the moulded pieces was quite staggering with the very fine fins and again, perfectly fitting lids where needed.

2018 - Natasha Jackson

Natacha Jackson

Natasha was a full-time student on the Master of Arts Ceramic Design course at Staffordshire University, having already completed a three-year Batchelor Of Arts course at the same university. She worked on functional table ware in bright colours but also made a major study of different decorating colours by firing tile samples. She planned to work with ceramics, having a particular ambition to teach ceramics  in schools and youth workshops.

2017 - Laura Plant

Laura Plant with Gerry Pearce, ChairmanLaura took a degree course in artistic design at the Camberwell College of Arts in south London before commencing her MA course. The work she presented was inspirational with many own-designed and produced, thrown, turned and moulded shapes. She showed us cobalt blue decorations and beautiful miniature thrown vases, finished with deep glazes. Her Jasper inspired flower pots were in pale green with white organic decoration, reminiscent of the bisque fired Wedgwood but with painted decoration rather than Wedgwood’s applied relief mouldings. Different glazes were exhibited including those from reduction firing. Laura plans to work as a freelance designer in the ceramics industry and the now flourishing potteries in the Stoke on Trent area, offer this opportunity to talented artists.

2016 - Rachel Hoyle

Rachel Hoyle 2016 award winner
Mature student Rachel Hoyle, was a teacher for ten years before deciding that she would make a career change into design. Before stating the MA course at Stoke on Trent she had experience of practical pottery including throwing and making a series of tiles, some of which drew influence from Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles. Her course work included various decorating techniques including screen printing and creating 3D and decorative designs for small jugs. Her home city Liver Building has featured in some decorative designs. The course members all worked individually on designs for pottery mugs commissioned by Marks and Spencer for their 2017 range

2015 - Gemma Taylor

Gemma Taylor 2015 student award winner Gemma chose the BA 3D Design Craft course to enable her to experiment with different materials. It was during this period that she was drawn to ceramics and the making processes involved. For her final project she made a small tea set which incorporated wood and ceramics - a coloured earthenware slip for the body of the collection with a steam bent wooden handle for the teapot. The collection went on display at the University's 2014 degree show and Part 1 of New Designers in London. She decided to continuestudies and join the MA Ceramic Design Course where she has worked on two projects - one for Flux developing a new surface pattern design for their collection, and a second for Denby which enabled her to explore different clay bodies and experiment with glazes as well as making her own tools for imprinting pattern onto vessels.

2014 - Alex Alday

Alex Allday with a piece of her workAlex Allday was the first recipient of an award of £500 to help in her Master of Arts course in Ceramic Design at Stoke on Trent University. She completed a B.A.course at Loughborough University and started her M.A course at Stoke at the beginning of the 2013 academic year. As part of her course she was involved in pruducing designs for FLUX - the commercial arm of the Faculty which required producing a new surface pattern design in cobalt blue featuring hints of gold and platinum detail, as a potential to add to their existing collection. She also worked on an external brief from Wedgwood entitled 'Tea Innovation' for which she created a collection of tea bowls with oriental inspired patterns and intricate surface relief details.

We wish them all well in their future careers.

Information about the MA course can be found at