Ceramics is all about the fascination and joy of expressing one’s feelings through handling clay and firing it. The first Malta Ceramics Festival consists of a number of events that aim to extend this experience onto the general public. The project is the brainchild of ceramics factory director Joan Haber and ceramist Valerio Schembri. The event is partly funded by the Attard local council and the Malta Arts Fund.
The events start on 7 September at 7.30pm with the official opening of the festival by Adrian Mamo, chairman of the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts, and of a ceramics exhibition by Dr Chris Said. The exhibition entitled “Tribute” will feature the works of Julie Apap, Joseph Casha and Neville Ferry, three ceramists who died last year. The exhibition is curated by Katya Micallef and will be held at the parish centre, Papa Gwanni Pawlu II, in Attard. It will remain open until 17 September and an illustrated catalogue is being produced for this event.
On 8 September, a seminar will be held in the Media Hall of the parish centre from 9am to 3pm. The second day of the festival will have an audience of both practising ceramists or potters and the public who is interested in the subject. There will be six 10-minute lectures followed by a discussion open to the floor by a number of speakers well versed in the subject, namely Dr Louis Lagana, John Bonnici, George Glanville, Paul Haber, Charlot Cassar and Gino Carbonaro.
Children will been given the opportunity of enjoying their own festival on 9 September from 9am to noon. A number of workshops being held at Attard Primary School will give children the opportunity of a hands-on experience with clay. Commissioner for Children Helen D’Amato will visit the workshops.
The festival reaches its climax on 10 September when Deputy Prime Minister Dr Tonio Borg open the festival in the Attard village core, which will last from from 7pm till midnight. The streets will be lined with ceramists working on various techniques such as throwing, slab building, hand painting and coiling. There will also be spectacular raku firing demonstrations and sawdust firings.
The public attending the festival night will have the opportunity of a hands-on experience with clay in the two large murals that will be produced, or they can participate in the public workshop led by experienced ceramists. Since this is an all-inclusive festival there will be a section for people with various disabilities. Children will also have another opportunity to experience the joy of clay at the children’s corner.
Entertainment will be provided by Trania, an ethnic music trio featuring Walter Vella, Mark Attard and Jason Fabri, a jazz quartet composed of Vinny Vella, Walter Vella, Joe Micallef and Joe Vella and an alternative music trio featuring Charles “City” Gatt, Domenic Galea and Mario Aquilina.
More information on the event can be obtained on Facebook or www.maltaceramicsfestival.com