‘Fireworks Clay Studios was established in the summer of 1995. Six Graduates, all seeking collective strength and support rented a small unit above a car mechanics garage. Within a year the studio had taken on larger premises in Riverside, Cardiff and recruited seven new members, formulated the constitution and purchased its first kiln.
Over the past 25 years, the studio has changed immeasurably. Gone are the cold and dark winters, restricted access and fight for kiln space. Now housing 20 members and a yearly rotation of two new Graduates, it is the largest co-operative of its kind in Europe and has grown in reputation in the UK and internationally.
The success of the Fireworks Clay Studios Co-operative is largely down to two factors; its steady and measurable growth and the energy and commitment of its members. Members are selected not only on the strength and diversity of their practice, both on their ability and willingness to continue driving the group forward. Each and every one of its fifty-plus past and present members have invested much of their time and energy developing what Fireworks is today and have not only proved that co-operatives can be hugely successful, but has also helped numerous budding artists establish their careers.
Although members have been and gone, the objective has remained the same, to nurture, and facilitate talent in the ceramics fraternity. As the studio and its members have evolved, this objective has remains resolute. In 2003, Fireworks Clay Studios became a private limited company and with the support of the Arts Council of Wales in 2005, the studio members have use of state-of-the-art ceramic facilities.
The work of the members shown here on this website is merely a sample of the standard and diversity of practice undertaken in today’s studio. All of our members will testify that being part of a collective is a valuable, often invigorating, revealing and occasionally frustrating experience. it is through, immensely rewarding and all members, both past and present, can take satisfaction from knowing that they have made a difference.
the future of the co-operative is even more promising. With the current influx of new members, the collective will continue to develop and evolve with the same energy and passion it always had. With continued support from Wales Arts International, the Arts Council of Wales and other funding bodies and arts organisations, the collective will continue to attract, support and help establish the professional Careers of some of the most talented makers around.’