Skip to content | Accessibility Information

Sharon Blakey

Senior Lecturer
Three Dimensional Design, Product Design and Craft

Sharon is a senior lecturer for the BA (Hons) Three Dimensional Design programme. She is level 4 Unit 2 leader and co-ordinates the Contextualising Practice 35% element at level 4 & level 5. Sharon also acts as a specialist tutor for MA/MFA Design: Craft. She was joint programme leader for Three Dimensional Design between 2012-14 and has been an external examiner and panel member for both BA and MA programme validations at a number of UK institutions.

Sharon’s background is as a ceramicist and she has exhibited her work in leading venues in the UK and abroad. Table Runner, a collaboration with weaver Ismini Samanidou, was shown in Pairings at Contemporary Applied Arts, London; Utensil at the National Craft Gallery of Ireland, New Directions in Contemporary Craft at Mottisfont Abbey and featured in Topography at the Crafts Study Centre Farnham, before touring to venues in the USA. She has been both participant and selector for the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair and her drawings are featured in the book Making Drawing by Kyra Kane.

Her work is driven by her research into public and private collections; she seeks to reveal the poignant and surprising narratives of the most insignificant and unsung things. It is the dichotomy of conditions such as lost/found; useful/obsolete; trash/treasure, affecting our perceptions of value, that is at the core of her research and making practice. Her current research into the Thomas Bateman Collection of Antiquities and Miscellaneous Objects, considers the symbiotic relationship of dispersal and acquisition on object biography and provenance.

Writing is an increasingly important aspect of Sharon’s practice, enabling her to consider object making and material thinking from the critical perspectives of anthropology, psychology, and material culture studies. She has delivered academic papers at numerous conferences, co-authored a book chapter and has been published in a number of professional journals. Her latest co-authored essay, Unfolding: a multisensorial dialogue in material time, was published in the international peer reviewed journal Studies in Material Thinking and developed as an academic paper for the Textiles and Place conference in April 2018. She has recently been commissioned to write the catalogue essay for the forthcoming Kate Heywood exhibition as part of the Language of Clay series; funded by the Arts Council of Wales, which opens at Ruthin Craft Centre in January 2019.


Manchester Art Gallery Masterclass

Masterclass for teachers and pupils Nov and Dec 2009, Manchester Art Gallery in conjunction with 'Mary, Mary Quite Contrary' project. Details…

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary

A collaborative project with Hazel Jones (metalworker) and Manchester Art Gallery. The project is an Investigation and artist response to the artefacts and archival material of the Mary Greg Collection of Handicrafts of Bygone Times. Details…


A MMU project in collaboration with Cardiff School of Art and Design, University College Falmouth and University of Sunderland. Pairings brings together makers across disciplines to ask questions about acquired knowledge and the perceptions of practice through the cross fertilization of media and ideas. Details…

Pairings 2 at SIT, Stroud International Textiles

Collaborative work with weaver Ismini Samanidou as part of the Pairings project. Pairings, brought together makers from a variety of disciplines to engage in creative discourse, cross boundaries and share ideas. Details…

Pathways and Progression

Two short courses for Key Stage 3 pupils as part of the Renaissance North West Education and Development Programme 2008 and 2009. Details…

The Maker's Palette

Three day CPD course for teachers, June/July 2008. Details…


Sharon Blakey is a member of:

A selection of recent research outputs.


McKeating, J., 2013. Pairings, Conversations and Collaborations, Contemporary Applied Arts, London, 22nd march - 13th April 2013.

Blakey, S. and Samanidou I, 2012. Pairings 2, SIT, Stroud International Textiles, April 27 - May 27 2012.

McKeating, J., 2012. Pairings II: conversations and collaborations, Stroud International Textiles, Park Gallery, Stroud, April - may 2012.

Samanidou I featuring Blakey, S., 2012. Topography: recording place - mapping surface, The Crafts Study Centre, June - Sept 2012.

Blakey, S. and Samanidou I, 2012. Utensil, The National Craft Gallery of Ireland, August - November 2012.

Jones, H., 2011. Object Memory Showcase, Manchester Art GAllery, February 2010.

Ceramic spoon with woven cloth shadowCeramic spoons on woven cloth textNest of spoons

Webb, J., 2011. Pairings, MMU Special Collections, Otter Gallery Chichester, Fairfield Mill, Cumbria, September 2010 -.

Blakey, S., 2009. Art School! Historic Perspectives, Contemporary Reflections, Holden Gallery, Manchester Metropolitan University and Special Collections Gallery MMU, Feb - Oct 2009.

Blakey, S., 2008. Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, Manchester Grammar School for Boys, October 2008.

Blakey, S., 2008. Reflective Stories, Holden Gallery, MMU, Nov 2008.

Half Full, Half Empty - cups

Blakey, S., 2008. Tasse, Teller und Schale, Galerie Handwerk Koblenz, Germany, Feb/Mar 2008.

'Firing Thoughts' catalogue page

Blakey, S., 2007. Firing Thoughts, Peter Scott Gallery, Preston. Special Collections Gallery, MMU, Oct 2007 - March 2008.

Blakey, S., 2007. Made in Manchester, The Gallery of Chinese Profiles, Xiamen, China, November 2007.

Blakey, S., 2007. Manchester, Our Tradition is Innovation, The Art Museum, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Xiamen, China, November 2007.

Ribbon Threader - Commemorative Dish

Blakey, S., 2006. Out of the Ordinary, Special Collections Gallery, MMU, April - October 2006.

Internet Publications

McFadyen, J. Blakey, S, 2016. 'Curiosity over conformity: The Makers Palette – a case for hands-on learning', Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education,,id=139/.

Journal Articles

Blakey, S., Mitchell, L., 2017. 'Unfolding: A multisensorial dialogue in 'material time'', Studies in Material Thinking, 17.

Blakey, S., McFadyen, J., 2015. 'Curiosity over conformity: The Maker's Palette - a case for hands-on learning', Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education, 14 (2), pp. 131-143.

Blakey, S., 2011. 'A Lull in the Conversation', Ceramic Review, Issue 249, Page 50.

Blakey, S. A.Woodall, L.Mitchell, 2011. 'Mary, Mary Quite Contrary', Ruskin Review and Bulletin, Vol 7, No 1, 36.

Blakey, S., 2006. 'My Father's Razor', Interpreting Ceramics, Issue 7.


Jones, H. Liz Mitchell, Alex Woodall, 2011. 'Mary Greg Collection', Materiality - Intangibility, Leicester Museums Conference, December 2009, in Online.

Blakey, S., 2009. 'The Maker's Palette - A Fundamental Approach to Creative and Reflective Thinking', Cheshire Art and Design Conference, Forest Hills Conference Centre, Frodsham, Cheshire, February 2009.

McErlain, A. Jones,H. Blakey,S, 2008. ''Public Speaking:research,exhibition and the public imagination'', UMAC 8th International Conference, University of Manchester, 16th - 20th September 2008.

Blakey, S., 2008. 'A Place for Making', Transforming the Art, Craft and Design Curriculum, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, July, 2008.

Other Outputs

McFadyen, J.Blakey.S, 2005. 'Knowledge Capitals Conference', Presentation and Project at the World Conference on Urban Education.

McFadyen, J. M.Pinder, S.Blakey, S.Ohana, C.Hazelwood, J.Bloxham, M.Wilson. J. Whitelaw, 2003. '"Eye of The Beholder" Conference for the Association for Contemporary Jewellery', Three day conference with three commissioned Exhibitions and workshop events..