Dr Steve Brown


  • Dr Steve Brown
  • Area

    School of Arts & Humanities


    Senior Research Associate

  • Dr Steve Brown is Senior Research Associate working in the School of Arts & Humanities on the Ceramics & Glass programme. Dr Brown has taught as a visiting lecturer at the College since 2003, supporting students interested in combining image form and materials. Having recently worked in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum on a restoration project, Brown’s current project – ‘Extending the Potential for the Digitally Printed Ceramic Surface’ – is in collaboration with companies within the UK ceramic industry.

  • Biography

  • With a 14-year background as a commercial textile printer, Brown returned to education in 1998 to study a BA as Designer Maker at Plymouth University, after which he went on to complete his MA and, a few years later, his PhD, both at the RCA.

    As an artist, researcher and educator his work crosses the boundary between printmaking and the applied arts to focus on the dialogue between image, materials and form. His PhD was titled ‘The Physicality of Print’, and focussed on using printmaking methods to integrate imaging and forming processes to produce hybrid print forms.

    Brown has exhibited artworks that combine printmaking with both ceramic and glass, in exhibitions and galleries in the UK and internationally. His commercial output has seen him working with the UK ceramic industry, looking in new directions to explore a unique visual language for the digitally printed ceramic surface.

    Brown has also worked in the museum sector, in collaboration with the V&A Museum, to develop innovative methods for restoring historical ceramic works through combining 3D scanning and printing techniques with traditional eighteenth-century production techniques. 

    Working in the Ceramics & Glass programme over the last 17 years, Brown has aimed to promote, support and build relationships between printmaking, materials and form in the widest sense.

    Show more
  • Publications, exhibitions and other outcomes

  • Selected Recent Exhibitions


    British Ceramics Biennial, Stoke-on- Trent

    The Triumph of Amphitrite, New Europe 1600-1800 Galleries, V&A Museum


    Cabinets of Nature and Curiosity, Museum of Palaeontology, Munich

    Juggling - Jeux de Pichets, 19 Paul Fort Gallery, Paris


    Kith &Kin II, National Glass Centre, Sunderland


    British Ceramics Biennial, The Old Spode Factory, Stoke-on- Trent

    Crossovers, Bullseye Glass Gallery, Portland, Oregon, USA, 2011


    [2013] ‘The materiality of print: issues of artifice and integrity relating to the printed ceramic surface’, in: Glenn Adamson and Victoria Kelley eds., Surface Tensions. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

    Published Conference Papers

    (2015) ‘Extending the Potential for the Digitally Printed Ceramic Surface’. In: IMPACT 9 International Printmaking Conference (Hangzhou: China Academy of Art Press, 301–7)

    (2014) ‘The Meissen Fountain Project: Restoration in the Age of Digital Reproduction’. In: Making Futures Vol 3, ISSN 2042–1664 (Plymouth College of Art)

    (2013) ‘Material Matrixes II: Building on a history of improvisational developments in print technology. In: Impact 8 – Interdisciplinary Printmaking Conference (Dundee, Scotland, 2013)

    (2011) ‘The Role of Interpretative Mediation in Applied Art Screenprinting’. In: IMPACT 6 Multidisciplinary Printmaking Conference Proceedings (UWE Bristol, 2009). Available: multidisciplinary-printmaking- conference-proceedings/paperback/product-17262864.html

    Presented Conference Papers

    (2016) ‘Digitally Decorating Bone China: Ad-hoc to Production’. Ceramics and New Technologies Symposium, Holburne Museum, Bath, UK, 26 February 2016

    (2012) ‘Material Matrixes I: Casting Print’. Kith & Kin II Symposium. National Glass Centre, Sunderland

    (2011) ‘Lo-tech Accessible Approaches for 3D Printing in Glass’. Crossovers at BeCon Glass Conference - Portland Oregon USA


    2006–2009 AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award

    Show more

Selected work


Research interests

The focus of Steve Brown’s recent doctoral project and ongoing research is to explore print’s unique relationship with applied arts material and form. He continues to build his understanding of what a print can be through an exploration of vitreous/reactive printmaking, and he is passionate about creating integrated relationships between imagery and forms at the ‘handling/making’ stage.

Current and recent research

Extending the Potential for the Digitally Printed Ceramic Surface
Dr Steve Brown and fellow researcher Professor Martin Smith are currently working on the research project ‘Extending the Potential for the Digitally Printed Ceramic Surface’. They aim to add weight to the recent momentum of developments from the patent holder in Germany, by providing the rigour of a two-year AHRC funded project dedicated to trial moving the technology from the bureaux-based model into larger scales of industrial production. Collaborating with industrial partners Digital Ceramic Systems, and the ceramic manufacturers Royal Crown Derby, they hope to be a catalyst for this technology being adopted by the wider UK ceramic industry.

The Exploration of Depth in Printed Ceramic Transfers
This is a speculative commercial project for the designers Queensbury Hunt who are funding the development of in-glaze transfers with qualities of depth. Steve Brown is leading the technical developments and advising on potential print production.

Lo-tech Accessible Approaches for 3D Printing in Glass in the Studio
This is a project that Steve Brown has been developing within his own studio research and with some support from the Bullseye Glass Co. His outcomes for this ongoing project have been well received through a number of exhibitions and he has recently disseminated the findings through a conference and series of successful workshops.