Connect with me

About me

Professor Nigel Wood, PhD, has been an active researcher into the history and technology of ceramics since the late 1970s, specialising in Far Eastern wares. He trained at the WSCAD Farnham, and in traditional English country potteries. From 1973-84 he worked full-time making stoneware, terra-cotta and porcelain at his own workshop in Hampshire.

He has taught variously at Central St Martins, London, Sothebys Educational Studies, The Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, London, and at universities in Norway, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the USA. Since 1989 he has taught part-time at the Royal College of Art, where he is now a Visiting Tutor, supervising research students in ceramics. In 2002 he became an Honorary FRCA, and an FRSA in 2003.

He joined the University of Westminster in 1995 and became a professor in 2003. In 1997 he was appointed as a Visiting Research Fellow at Oxford University, where he is now an Honorary Research Associate. In 2000 he was awarded a Senior Research Fellowship by the British Academy/Leverhulme Trust, and from 1997 to 2004 he worked as a researcher and author for the Needham Research Institute, Cambridge. His two major books, Science and Civilisation in China Vol. V part 12(2004, co-written with Ms Rose Kerr), and Chinese Glazes(1999 & 2007) were rated Outstanding Academic Titles by Choice magazine.

Museum collaboration

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (Chinese and Islamic ceramics); V&A, London (Chinese and Islamic ceramics);

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (Korean ceramics); Palace Museum, Beijing (Chinese ceramics)


  • Funding for work on the Science and Civilisation in China Volume).Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation, Taiwan, 1998.
  • Senior Research Fellowship from the British Academy/Leverhulme Trust (2000-2001)

PhD Supervision

  • Research supervisor at the Royal College of Art, London. All candidates completed successfully (2 MPhils and 2 PhDs).
  • Examined 1 PhD at the University of Queensland, Australia, (Dr Li Baoping)


My prime research interests have been in the technology and history of East Asian ceramics, glass, and cast-bronze, often in collaboration with national museums. An important aspect of this work has been relating the geological history of East Asia to its ceramic and bronze production. A major recent project has been the research for, and the writing of, Joseph Needham: Science and Civilisation in China Volume 5, part 12: Ceramic Technology in collaboration with Ms Rose Kerr (CUP 2004, 920 pp). Another recent study has concerned analysis of 9 th C AD blue and white wares from Basra (lower Iraq), and their comparison with 8 th C blue and white sancai wares made in China. Current research at Oxford concerns the use of cobalt ores throughout history, in both the fine and the applied arts; the influence of Chinese ceramics on Iraqi wares of the 9 th C AD; and understanding the effects of deforestation on Chinas medieval ceramics industries.