The Department of Industrial Art of the College of Art and Built Environment held its first Ceramics Conference from the 13th to 15th of May, 2015. The Conference was on the theme “Developing Ceramics towards Nation’s Benefit, from Earth to Market”.
The prime objective of the maiden Ceramics Conference was to provide a platform for academia, artists, ceramic industry practitioners, service providers, policy planners, government agencies, trade groups and the general public to discuss the state and future for ceramics and inorganic materials. It was also to engage the worldwide ceramics community in a collective effort to expand the use of these materials in both conventional as well as new and exciting applications. The conference aimed at exhibiting ceramic art technology to its fullest artistic development.
The conference brought together staff and students from the Department, Sunyani and Takoradi Polytechnics, Building and Road Research Institute, National Board for Small Scale Industry and other corporate institutions and individuals in the ceramic industry.
Dr. Patrick Osei-Poku, Dean of the Faculty of Art in his welcome address stated that items produced by the ceramic industry touched every part of human life and were highly valued for their utility and aesthetic appeal. He noted that Ghanaian ceramic works brought a touch of African culture to homes and offices. He also observed that Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology had trained highly skilled graduates for the ceramics industry; however, the industry did not seem to be vibrant and sustainable. He therefore called for collaboration between the industry and academia to sustain the interest of ceramic professionals.
Dr. Osei-Poku said the ceramics conference should be a wake-up call and a platform for academic and practical discourse aimed at demonstrating the worth and value of the ceramics industry for national development. The theme was therefore timely and appropriate.
He also advocated for ceramics education which would impart skills such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity for students to take on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. These skills, according to him, should be deliberate in order to keep pace with the extent of the changes in our economy as well as tailored to meet the demands of the market to address both national and global changes.
Professor Stephen Offei Dean of the Faculty of Law, delivering a speech on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, said the success of the ceramics industry in many nations did not depend only on the technological component in dealing with the exploration of the raw materials and the processing of the products but also on how technology and art had been put together towards development.
He said ceramics had been the driving force of developed economies since it permeated all facets of life: the home, the building and the automobile industries, the energy and the health sectors and agriculture among others. However, it was distressing to say that much had not been done to develop the abundant clay materials in this country.
Professor Offei hoped the conference where experts had gathered to share knowledge and have stimulating discussions would strive to make attempts in formulating policies capable of addressing the development of the ceramics industry in the country. He charged the organisers to ensure that the submissions reached the relevant government agencies and institutions for consideration to enable requisite reforms, where necessary, to be made.
The three-day conference and exhibition had an array of thematic areas which were expected to be fully addressed through academic papers and discussions. It is expected that conference proceedings would help participants to present innovative and creative ideas and also establish ways of improving institutional and industrial collaboration for the benefit of our nation.
Photo Gallery of the Conference.