CerDee’s contribution to 260 years of Thuringian porcelain
Ilmenau, 7th October 2020.
In occasion of the Tag des Porzellans (Day of the porcelain) and to celebrate the 260-year anniversary of Thuringian porcelain, porcelain was made tangible at 20 different locations along the former Thuringian Porcelain Route on the weekend of 3rd and 4th of October 2020. As a cultural asset, porcelain has shaped the life and tradition of the Thuringian inhabitants. "The Ilmenau Porcelain Industry between Tradition and Modernity" - In line with this motto, Ilmenau, a town on the northern slope of the Thuringian Forest, took part in this festivity. The Ilmenauer Porzellantradition e.V. organized a free special exhibition on its history and a selling of Ilmenau porcelain on the 3rd of October from 2 to 6 p.m. and the day afterwards from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Goethepassage.
It is apparent that the porcelain tradition is deeply rooted in the history of Ilmenau, starting in 1777 until 2002, when the last manufactory was closed. Now, in 2020, the history is still being maintained and passed on by the Ilmenauer Porzellantradition e.V. The Technical University (TU) Ilmenau contributed to the weekend event by representing the CerDee project. Through CerDee, such ceramic regions are networked and motivated to develop, educate and encourage themselves creatively through entrepreneurship. Furthermore, the above-mentioned motto is reflected in the CerDee project, as CerDee combines ceramic tradition with digital possibilities and provides a digital platform for ceramists, designers, knowledge institutions, SMEs and ceramic regions. Ilmenau, with its product porcelain, is one of these ceramic regions.
The aim of CerDee to participate in this event was manifold. On the one hand, it was intended to support the Ilmenauer Porzellantradition e.V. and on the other hand, to create a direct contact to the Ilmenau population. How do the inhabitants react to the CerDee project and how do they feel about it? Some elderly ladies and gentlemen nostalgically took part in the event and came to the stand. Most of them noticed that at the Cerdee stand unlike the other stands did not sell porcelain. They asked what CerDee means. Others have already heard about CerDee in the daily newspaper and asked what was offered. None of the visitors perceived the goals of CerDee as negative. On the contrary, they praised that the CerDee project tries to keep the old ceramic tradition alive. One gentleman from Ilmenau was critical and asked to what extent CerDee contributes to ensuring that porcelain does not extinguish. It was explained that CerDee is a network consisting of eight partner organizations in six different countries and that the goal is to create a digital platform where e.g. ideas and approaches can be exchanged and where ceramists can learn how to implement certain strategies, e.g. market analysis, to promote their product and to be more competitive. It was emphasized that this idea is a future-oriented vision and especially combines traditional porcelain with digital possibilities. After this explanation, he wished all the best for the project CerDee and motivated the network to continue and not to give up.
It can be concluded that this weekend has contributed to the fact that a part of the population of Ilmenau now knows the CerDee project. A thoroughly positive response was recognized, as e.g. a retired ceramist supported the project with the words "I give you my blessing".