Alongside exhibiting his studio work internationally for many years, Steve has taught regularly as a visiting lecturer and senior tutor on the programme since 2003.
With a 14-year background as a commercial textile printer, Steve 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.
Steve has exhibited artworks in exhibitions and galleries in the UK and internationally. His commercial output has seen him working with the UK ceramic industry and he has also worked in the museum sector, in collaboration with the V&A, to develop innovative methods for restoring historical ceramic works.
Associated with the Ceramics & Glass programme since 2001, Brown has aimed to promote, support and build relationships between printmaking, materials and form in the widest sense.
An exploration of the commercial and aesthetic potential of using improved digital printing technologies to decorate high-value ceramics, including identifying social & technical barriers to adoption.
Developing incremental improvements to current ceramic laser printing equipment and testing their commercial viability, as well as identifying the technical specifications for the next generation of ceramic digital printers.
Researchers from the RCA used innovative and traditional ceramic making techniques to re-create missing or damaged elements of a baroque porcelain table fountain first created in the eighteenth century, for display in the V&A museum.
The focus of Steve Brown’s doctoral project and ongoing research has been the exploration of 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.
AHRC Follow on Funding awarded for ‘ILPEC’ research project (Improving Laser Printing Enamels for Ceramics) 2017–18
AHRC funding for ‘Extending the Potential for the Digitally Printed Ceramic Surface’ research project 2015–17
AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award 2006–9
Current and recent projects
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.
Publications, exhibitions, other outcomes
Selected Recent Exhibitions
(2018)Top Drawer, Olympia, London
(2017) British Ceramics Biennial, Spode Factory, Stoke-on- Trent
(2015) British Ceramics Biennial, Stoke-on- Trent
(2015) The Triumph of Amphitrite, New Europe 1600-1800 Galleries, V&A Museum
(2013) Cabinets of Nature and Curiosity, Museum of Palaeontology, Munich
(2013) Juggling – Jeux de Pichets, 19 Paul Fort Gallery, Paris
(2012) Kith &Kin II, National Glass Centre, Sunderland
(2011) British Ceramics Biennial, The Old Spode Factory, Stoke-on- Trent
(2011) 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
(2017) 'The Meissen Fountain Project: Restoration in the Age of Digital Reproduction' - ISCAEE (The International Society for Ceramic Art Education and Exchange - UCA, Farnham)
(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.
Presented Conference Papers
(2018) Emmanuel Cooper Memorial Lecture: The Meissen Fountain Restoration Project, Crafts Study Centre, UCA, Farnham, UK
(2016) ‘Digitally Decorating Bone China: Ad-hoc to Production’. Ceramics and New Technologies Symposium, Holburne Museum, Bath, UK
(2012) ‘Material Matrixes I: Casting Print’. Kith & Kin II Symposium. National Glass Centre, Sunderland, UK
(2011) ‘Lo-tech Accessible Approaches for 3D Printing in Glass’. Crossovers at BeCon Glass Conference, Portland Oregon, USA