Born in Palisade, Colorado, Matt Wedel currently lives and works in Athens, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and then obtained a Master's degree in Ceramics from California State University.
Matt Wedel will have his first exhibition in Europe at Erskine, Hall & Coe, which will be open from the 7th of May through the 3rd of June 2015. The show will consist of twenty-five works, the majority of which were made specifically for this exhibition.
Gordon Baldwin (born 1932 in Lincoln) is an influential English Studio Potter. He studied at the Lincoln School of Art and the Central School of Art and Design (1950-53) and was teacher of Ceramics and Sculpture at Eton College Baldwin was awarded an OBE in 1992 and an honorary doctorate from the Royal College of Art, London in 2000. He was influenced by contemporary sculpture and has worked with both earthenware and stoneware. His work has been exhibited worldwide and is represented in many public collections.
Carina Ciscato is a Brazilian potter from Sao Paulo who moved to South London in September 1999, where she worked in the studio of Julian Stair and Edmund de Waal. The move, the contrast in culture and the climate of ceramics, has seen her work grow in confidence and move in exciting new architectural directions.
After graduating from Fundacao Armando Alvares Penteado, Sao Paulo in Industrial Design, she was introduced to Studio Pottery in Krefeld, Germany, where she worked in the studio of Marietta Cremer. On her return to Brazil, she was apprenticed to Lucia Ramenzoni, one of Sao Paulo’s leading ceramic artists.
Carina’s work captures the fluidity of clay as she masterfully alters and re-assembles the thrown forms with a natural sense of balance, form and material. She has been represented by Joanna Bird since 2004 and is in collections including the V&A and the Devonshire collection, as well as in significant private collections internationally.
Edmund de Waal is an artist and writer. Born in 1964, de Waal is best known for his large scale installations of porcelain vessels which are informed by his passion for architecture, space and sound.
De Waal’s work has been exhibited throughout the UK and internationally with exhibitions at Gagosian Gallery, Beverley Hills (2016); Royal Academy, London (2015); Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh (2015); Pier Arts Centre, Orkney (2015); Turner Contemporary, Margate (2014); Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (2013); Gagosian Gallery, New York (2013); Waddesdon Manor (2012); Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (2007); Middlesbrough Museum of Modern Art (2007); National Museums and Galleries of Wales, Cardiff (2005) and the Geffrye Museum (2002). Recent public installations have included Lichtzwang (2014) in the Theseus Temple, Vienna, and another hour at Southwark Cathedral, London (2014). Permanent public works are An idea (for the journey), Rijksmuseum (2013), a local history (2012), University of Cambridge, Signs & Wonde rs, Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2009) and a sounding line at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire (2007).
De Waal has also been widely published. His family memoir, The Hare with Amber Eyes (2010), has won many literary prizes including the RSL Ondaatje Prize and the Costa Biography Award and has been translated into over 30 languages. His second book, The White Road was published in 2015. Other works include The Pot Book (2011), 20th century ceramics (2003) and de Waal’s critical study on Bernard Leach (1997).
De Waal was made an OBE for his services to art in 2011. In 2015 he was awarded the Windham-Campbell Prize for non-fiction by Yale University. He is a Senior Fellow of the Royal College Art and Honorary Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge. De Waal has been a Trustee of the Victoria and Albert Museum since 2011.
After studying both ceramics and sculpture in Barcelona, Casasempere returned to his birthplace, Santiago, where he consolidated his studies by working as a ceramics sculptor. After exhibiting extensively, both in Chile and North America, his work began to feature in exhibitions overseas. He then moved to London in 1997, bringing with him over twelve tonnes of his own mixtures of clay, a feat confirming his long-standing obsession with identity and his deep-seated concern for the environment. The Chilean landscape and Pre-Colombian background of the Latin world are ever present in his sculptures and his most recent works combine these influences with the cityscapes and inspirations that London has offered him.
His seven-metre long installation for the New Art Centre, 'Back to the Earth', 2005, examines the artist's interest in ecology and geology and consists of individual ceramic elements that jut out of the earth, exposing its inner core. These stoneware and porcelain forms can be reconfigured for a different site.
Casasempere's ceramic forms are often inspired by the effects of machines and mass production on the environment and modern society. His exhibition at Roche Court in 2011, Bricks and Mortar, comprised a series of large works sited in the Walled Garden, laying on the grass and beneath trees, they appeared like discarded waste products from an unknown industrial process.
In 2012, Fernando Casasempere created a monumental field of ceramic and steel flowers in the courtyard of Somerset House, called 'Out of Sync', this extraordinary work has now been installed in his native Chile.
On 18th September 2014, The Roche Court Educational Trust were delighted to support Fernando Casasempere in the special launch of his monograph 'Fernando Casasempere: Out of Sync'. This event took place at the Serpentine Pavilion 2014, designed by Smiljan Radic. The monograph, developed by Malgosia Szemberg, features a text by Enrique Walker, Columbia University, and photography by Michael Harvey and Tom Mannion.
Claudi Casanovas was born in 1956. He studied ceramics and theatre in Barcelona, and trained as a ceramicist in Olot, Catalonia. He was a member of the Coure Potters' Cooperative from 1978 until 1987, and in 1992 he won first prize at the III International Ceramics Competition in Mino, Japan. In 2004 he won a competition to create a monument against Fascism in Olot. This Memorial als Vençuts was installed in June 2006. His artwork has been displayed in major exhibitions and museum collections worldwide, including The Museum of Contemporary Art in Oostende, Belgium, The Roman Museum in Nyon, Switzerland, Kunstforum in Kirchberg, as well as in New York and London.
(Born 1940) is a Welsh Studio Potter. Her hand built painted pots are often influenced by music, painting, literature and architecture. Fritsch studied harp and then piano at the Royal Academy of Music from 1958 to 1964, but later took up ceramics under Hans Coper and Eduardo Paolozzi at the Royal College of Art from 1968 to 1971. In 1985, she set up a studio in east London, England. Since her first show in 1972, Fritsch has had a number of solo shows. In 1996 and 2001 she was shortlisted for the Jerwood Prize for Ceramics. Fritsch's work is represented in major collections and museums around the world. and in Britain. A major retrospective was held at the National Museum Cardiff, Wales, in 2010, featuring a complete range of her most significant studio pottery and recent pieces where she also considered 'the space between the second and third dimensions', a concept she first described as ‘two-and-a-half dimensions’. 'Dynamic Structures: Painted Vessels' also marked her 70th birthday.
Ewen Henderson was born in Staffordshire in 1934. He became interested in painting and sculpture over a period of seven years spent working for a timber company in Cardiff, South Wales. He left Wales in 1964 to join a pre-diploma course at Goldsmith's College, London.
He went on to study pottery under Hans Coper and Lucie Rie at the Camberwell School of Art, taking his diploma there in 1968. He then remained in London, teaching at Camberwell, Goldsmith's and the North London Collegiate School, whilst building up an international reputation as a potter.
Ewen was internationally respected for his highly original constructions - vessels and other sculptural work, variously coloured and with richly textured surfaces. He was also a passionate painter - his watercolours, gouaches and collages increasingly inseparable from his concerns in clay. He died in 2000.
"I produce ranges of functional ware, exploring traditional and contemporary aesthetics. I use porcelain and stoneware as the main materials to produce my work.
As a maker, I am very much interested in the environment I am living in. I draw inspiration from my immediate surroundings. Architecture plays a large part in this assimilation. I am intrigued by the volumes and spaces contained within buildings. Textures and colors I find around me enrich my visual and tactile sensibility, continuously driving new paths of investigation.
By growing up and being educated in a variety of countries- Korea, Brazil, America and England- I have been exposed to different cultures, tastes and aesthetics. My work is an attempt to explore and to reconcile these aspects.
I am fascinated about how everyday objects can dictate a cultural habit and vice versa. It is intriguing how these objects being in different places, integrated into different peoples life can bring different meanings or feelings with them. And, conversely, how the same objects can also affect their surrounding.
For me, making is a continuous journey and an attempt to understand my present environment. The idea of how this journey is revealed to someone through my work intrigues me. "
"Bernard Dejonghe is not a ‘coffee table’ artist, in the sense that his work is neither anecdotal nor pretty.
Bernard Dejonghe thinks in the grand manner. The visual aspect of his thoughts can be seen here in big slabs of voluptuous glazed ceramics and bold geometrical volumes of crystal clear glass both embodying, through a very personal vision of earth and sky, the essence of the universe.
The root of the art of Bernard Dejonghe is to be found in the sands of an immaculate African desert and in the stars of an unspoilt and inaccessible sky, both linked by the internal vision of ancient civilisations which, like unconscious and obsessive memories, seem to haunt his mind...
...The inspiration of Bernard Dejonghe is not only the result of mere dreams or personal obsessions, but of real physical research with scientists of the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris. With them he explored the remotest parts of the Sudan looking for prehistoric human settlements and the materialisation of celestial phenomena like the incredible fulgurites, natural desert glass produced by the shock of lightning on the sand. Those fulgurites in which sky and earth fuse so violently are, to my sense, one of the keys to the art of Bernard Dejonghe, and probably an indication of where his future work will lead him: to a total blend of ceramic and glass, two paths which, up to now, he has explored separately."
Written by Pierre Ennès, Chief Conservator, Musée National de Céramique, Sèvres
Courtesy of Galerie Besson
Erskine, Hall & Coe was founded in 2011. We specialise in Contemporary and 20th Century Ceramics, but also explore the interplay between ceramics and two dimensional art. We carry an extensive stock of works by classic artists including Hans Coper, Lucie Rie, Ruth Duckworth and James Tower as well as the best of contemporary artists such as Jennifer Lee, Shozo Michikawa, Sara Flynn and Claudi Casanovas.
Lucie Rie was born in 1902 in Vienna, where she studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule under Michael Powolny from 1922 to 1926. In 1938 she moved to London, where she lived from 1939 in Albion Mews. After the war she opened a pottery and button-making workshop where she was joined in 1946 by Hans Coper.
She taught at Camberwell School of Art from 1960 to 1971 and in 1969 received an honorary doctorate from the Royal College of Art. She was awarded the OBE in 1968 and the CBE in 1981. She was created a Dame in 1991. She continued to work into her late eighties but after a series of strokes she was finally forced to stop working in 1990. Lucie Rie died at her home, 18 Albion Mews, on 1 April 1995.
Annie Turner, born in Kent 1958, trained at Bristol Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art. In 1984 she set up her first studio in London. She has exhibited widely and teaches at Wimbledon School of Art and The City Lit. In 1997, she set up her present studio in Camberwell. She was one of the artists featured in a BBC documentary Contemporary Visions in 2003.
Annie Turner has exhibited in Britain, Germany, Austria and Spain and at several art fairs in America. In 2007 she had a major exhibition at the RBSA gallery in Birmingham.
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Chris began working with clay in his mid-thirties when he began a two year apprenticeship with Edmund de Waal. His collection includes beakers, bowls, cups, teapots, jugs and pots for flowers.
Jennifer Lee was born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, in 1956.
From 1975 to 1979 she studied ceramics and tapestry at Edinburgh College of Art. She then spent eight months on a travelling scholarship to the USA where she researched South-West Indian prehistoric ceramics and visited contemporary West Coast potters.
From 1980 to 1983 she continued her work in ceramics at the Royal College of Art in London. Since then her travels have included trips to Egypt, India, Australia and Japan as well as Europe and the USA.
Lee's pots arehand built and she has developed a method of colouring them by mixing metallic oxides into the clay before making.
Jennifer Lee has had retrospective exhibitions of her work at the Röhsska Musset in Göteborg, Sweden in 1993, and the Aberdeen Museum and Art Gallery, Scotland in 1994. Her work is represented in major public collections worldwide, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Philadelphia Museum of Art and Los Angeles County Museum. In 2008 the Victoria & Albert Museum purchased a third work for their collection.
In 2009 she was invited by Issey Miyake to exhibit at his foundation 21_21 Design Sight for the exhibition “U-TSU-WA”. The installation was designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando - her pots appeared to float on a vast pool of water behind which cascaded a thirty metre waterfall.
Jennifer Lee returns to Japan in autumn 2013 to take part in the International Ceramic Art Festival in Sasama, Shizuoka and she has been invited to be guest artist in residence at Shigaraki Ceramic Culture Park for two months in 2014.
Jennifer Lee lives and works in London and regularly exhibits in London, Sydney and Los Angeles.
Chien-Wei Chang was born in Taiwan and moved to London in 2000 to study for his masters degree in Silversmithing and Jewellery. In 2004 he won the British Jewellers’ Association Merit Award. He loves silver as a material and enjoys experimenting with the different processes it requires to create a piece of work.
Chien-Wei has discovered that in making his work it becomes a personal ritual; he draws on his cultural roots for his inspiration, defining it as particularly individual. “I try to enhance the Eastern aesthetics by combining seductive silver with another ordinary yet earthy material, bamboo.”
In 2010 Chien-Wei exhibited at ‘The Artists’ House’, a group design show at the New Art Centre at Roche Court, Wiltshire.
Matthew Chambers is an english ceramic artist living on the isle of wight just off the coast of england.
Chambers studied ceramics at the royal college of art, graduating in 2004. his work is born from a love of geometric and constructivist art and executed in earth tone ceramics. Each piece is a constructed abstract exploration of shape and form that is made by layering many circular sections within a single form. These forms are free standing and three-dimensional or wall mounted relief sculpture. The layering technique chambers use is reminiscent of natural forms as well as technological lenses.
(born January 30 1946) is a South Korean Ceramic Artist.
His works have been shown at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. the Seattle museum Art Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama, and are part of the regular collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the British Museum and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
In 2004 he won the "Artist of the Year" award from the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea, for his significant contribution to the development of Korean contemporary ceramic art.
His studio is in Gyeongiu, South Korea.
Born in Derbyshire, Cooper studied at the University for the Creative Arts. He also achieved a PhD degree at Middlesex University. He was a member of the Crafts Council and the editor of Ceramic Review. Since 1999, he was visiting Professor of Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art. He was the author of many books on ceramics, including his definitive biography of Bernard Leach that was published in 2003 (Yale University Press), and was also the editor of The Ceramics Book, published in 2006.
In the early 1970s, he was also a cofounder of the Gay Left collective, and remained a prominent LGBT Rights campaigner throughout his life. He also published several studies of LGBT art, including The Sexual Perspective and Fully Exposed: The Male Nude in Photography.
As a potter, Cooper's work falls into one of two general forms. In the first his vessels are heavily glazed in a volcanic form. The vessels, as a result of this heavy glazing, derive a lot of their appeal from their varied and uneven textures. In their most simple form they are very reminiscent of work by Lucie Rie. In their more extravagant forms though the vessels can be banded or use incredibly vivid colours to great effect including pink, vibrant yellow and deep reds and blues. His other form of work is much simpler in style using plain glazes, often in egg yolk yellow, occasionally spotted with gold flecks.
His work can be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Royal Scottish Museum as well as in many private collections. He was awarded an OBE for services to art.
Cooper died on 21 January 2012.
Marie Torbensdatter Hermann (born 1979, Copenhagen, Denmark) lives and works in Detroit, USA. She moved to London, UK, in 2000 and got her BA in art from The University of Westminster in 2003. She then worked as a studio manager for the British artist Edmund de Waal from 2003-2007, after which she studied at Royal College of Art in London and got her MFA in 2009.
In 2014 she was part of the exhibition, Another Look at Detroit: Parts 1 and 2, curated by Todd Levin at Marianne Boesky Gallery and Marlborough Chelsea. Solo exhibitions include “A Gentle Blow to the Rock” at Re:view gallery (Detroit) and Galerie Nec (Paris, France); “Stillness in the Glorious Wilderness” at Gallery Matin (Los Angeles); “The only thing I can think about is yellow” at Egg (London); “To The legion of the Lost” (London); and “A joyful gathering of a defenceless legion” in Los Angeles. In addition to numerous group exhibitions in USA, Denmark, Italy, China, Sweeden and Germany, her work is represented in the collections of The Danish Art Foundation, The Denver Art Museum, the Servre Museum in France, The Jingdezhen Ceramic Art Museum in China, and The Rothschild Collection in Waddesdon Manor, UK. She was awarded the 2013 Kresge Artist Fellowships, the Danish Art Foundation grant in 2014, 2012 and 2009, and the Annie and Otto Johs. Detlefs grant for young experimental ceramic artist in 2010. Hermann’s work has been reviewed by major publications like Artforum, the Daily Beast, Blueprint, and Ceramic Review. She is also curator and co-director of Sixpm project space in the UK, and in 2010 she was one of the juries at the Biennale Internationale de Vallauris, France. She is currently a faculty at College for Creative Studies in Detroit.
Alun Heslop was born in Kent 1971 and gained a BA Hons in Fine Art (Brighton 1991- 1994) followed by a BTEC National Diploma in Spatial Design, (Rochester KIAD 1988- 1990). Alun rapidly developed an interest in the art & craft of chair making, primarily with the use of green woodworking and sustainable practice, and established himself as an artist/craftsman in 1997. During time abroad in Switzerland (2002 - 2006), Alun developed a further ongoing interest in seating ergonomics and refinement in chair design & performance. Returning from Switzerland in early 2006, Alun set up the 'chaircreative' workshop creating ever more unique & time invested sculptural chair art works, and is now based in Mid Sussex, nestling under the South Downs.
Alun has produced work for both public spaces and private clients, including seating
installations for The Royal Horticultural Society, Royal Botanic Gardens & the North Downs Way national trail. Recent public works include the exterior & interior gallery seating for the Marks Barfield designed Lightbox Gallery, winner of the 2008 Art Fund Prize; Hedgehog Here & the Cricketer's Bench for the Belmont/Harris Estate, E. Kent; Sculptural installations for Primary Schools in N.London, in association with Breeze. Recent commercial projects include the waiting area seating, chairs and interior design elements for Hancocks the Jewellers, Burlington Arcade, London.
Alun Heslop studied at Rochester, gaining a BTEC Diploma in Spatial (Interior) Design, and then went on to Brighton (1991-1994), graduating in Fine Art. Alun rapidly developed an interest in the art & craft of chair making, primarily with the use of green wood, and established himself as an artist/craftsman in 1997. During time abroad in Switzerland, Alun developed a further ongoing interest in seating ergonomics & refinement in chair design & performance. Since returning from Switzerland in early 2006, Alun has produced seating and sculptures for a number of public and private clients, including seating installations for The RHS, Royal Botanic Gardens & the North Downs Way national trail (KCC). Recent public works include the exterior & interior gallery seating for the Marks Barfield designed Lightbox Gallery, winner of the 2008 Art Fund Prize and a fantastic private commission for a 8.5 m sinuous curving Sleeping Dragon bench which won the prestigious furniture section of the 2008 Wood Awards.
I fell in love with clay while I was at Edinburgh College of Art studying for a degree in Jewellery design. It was the immediacy of clay, the smooth texture and its ability to move and react to your every touch that, in the end, resulted in my moving class and eventually finding a career as a potter.
After college, I continued my training under the supervision of Edmund de Waal. He taught me to throw on the potter's wheel and introduced me to porcelain. I'm still using the same clay today.
I now work from my busy Clerkenwell studio where I make, draw, design and sometimes teach. I love the local area and find it inspires much of my work here. There are all sorts of characters who crop up again and again on my pots, from swimmers at Ironmonger Row baths to market traders at Smithfield market.
I like to come up with new ideas for each of my shows, varying the themes around different places that have struck a chord in me. By grouping my pots together, I like to tell a story - creating whimsical scenes that capture the insignificant yet precious moments that make up our daily lives.
My bespoke ceramics, which are each individually thrown on the wheel and hand painted, are made for exhibitions and commissions. I often collaborate with private clients, luxury retailers, galleries and museums; for example recent commissions include designing and making a bespoke range of porcelain for Fortnum and Mason and The National Gallery.
I have also been keen to produce functional pots that can be handled and enjoyed on a regular basis, and it is for this reason that I created the Dailyware range. The pots are slip-cast from moulds of my hand thrown forms and decorated using a ceramic decals which have been lithographically printed in Stoke on Trent.
After teaching Ceramics for some years Victoria completed a Theory/ Practice MA in Applied Art and Visual Culture at the John Cass School of Art, London. She established her own Ceramic practice in 2001, and works from Archway Ceramics in East London.
She has exhibited widely and, in Autumn 2003, was selected as a professional member of the Craft Potters’ Association. She has also written extensively on the place of Ceramics in Contemporary Culture and has had articles published in Crafts Magazine and The Reflective Practitioner, edited by Linden Reilly.
In 2006 she was included in ‘The Ceramics Book’, the collector’s guide to British Studio Ceramics.
I have lectured on the position of ceramics in contemporary culture as well as the troublesome relationship between theory and practice in craft.
Michael Cardew took a degree at Oxford but decided to devote himself to the potter's craft. He joined Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada at St Ives in 1923 where he began to develop his interest in the English slipware tradition. In 1926 he set up on his own at a traditional English pottery at Winchcombe, where there was a very large wood-fired bottle kiln. The clay was dug from the land adjacent to the pottery. Most of the output of this period 1926-1939 is slip decorated earthenware with galena glaze. The pots in this collection are nearly all of this period. In 1939 he leaves Winchcombe in the hands of Ray Finch who eventually bought it in 1945 and has continued there ever since.
In 1939 Cardew set up another pottery at Wenford Bridge but the war disrupted his plans. In 1942 Cardew first went to Ghana as a pottery instructor and later set up the Pottery Training Centre in Abuja, Nigeria. He remained in West Africa for long periods until his retirement in 1965 helping to develop stoneware using local materials. His later work is strongly influenced by his African experience. The pottery at Wenford Bridge was run by the Australian, Ivan McMeekin and from there Cardew produced stoneware with painted decoration. He also spent time in his latter years lecturing, travelling and writing. He was awarded an MBE in 1964 and an OBE in 1981. His autobiography Michael Cardew, A Pioneer Potter was published posthumously by his son, Seth in 1988.
Considered one of Japan’s most innovative ceramic artist’s, Ryoji Koie (b. 1938) has exhibited internationally and taken part in numerous workshops and conferences around the world.
In 1991 he spent time in the studio of Sebastian Blackie in Farnham preparing a body of fluid work in stoneware for an exhibition at Galerie Besson. He returned for a second solo show in 1998, after working with translucent porcelain in the studio of Oxford potter Margaret O’Rorke. In June 2010 he spent 3 weeks in residency at the each Pottery St Ives - work from which is on exhibition at the gallery in Sept - Oct 2010.
After National Service, Batterham served a two year apprenticeship under Bernard Leach at the Leach Pottery, St Ives where he met his wife, Dinah Dunn. On their marriage in 1959, he left Leach and established his own studio at Durweston, near Blandford, Dorset. There he built an oil-fired, two chambered kiln, later extending it to three.
In 1967, Batterham moved into a new pottery workshop and built a larger four-chambered oil and wood fired kiln. In 1978, with the help of the French potter, Thiébaut Chagué, he also built a small salt glaze kiln. He now has about five firings a year and is producing some of his best work to date. His pots are often regarded as the finest domestic stoneware in the Leach tradition, though he also exemplifies the teaching of Michael Cardew. His pots are made to enrich life, rather than to adorn it, his work is deeply assured and full of authority without being in any way conceited.
Batterham’s work is in numerous museums and private collections, and he has been represented by Joanna Bird since 2000.
Felicity Aylieff established her reputation as a maker of large-scale, sculptural ceramics at the Royal College of Art in 1996. Ten years on, an ‘incredibly liberating’ artist residency in Jingdezhen, China, saw the beginning of a series of monumental pots, the largest of which stands three metres high. Returning each summer since then Felicity has developed the surface decoration of the pots with printed, stylised drawings of plants and flowers or colourful clouds of exquisite, exotic butterflies. Represented in major public collections Felicity's monumental pots have astounded collectors and curators alike.
Felicity Aylieff is an artist of international standing recognised for her research into large scale ceramics. Working from her studio in Bath for more than 3 decades, she has more recently developed a collaborative relationship with manufactories in Jingdezhen, China where she makes monumental pots. The surfaces of these pots explore contemporary Translations of traditionally used techniques. Her Work shows her passion for material and precess through its use of colour, pattern and decorative techniques. Education has always played a prominent role in her career. She was Awarded a Professorship in Ceramics from Bath Spa University in 2000 and has been teaching on the Ceramics and Glass department at the RCA since 2001. She has work in numerous international private and public collections including the Victoria and Allbert Museum, London, and is represented by Adrian Sassoon, London.
Billy Lloyd is an award-winning potter specialising in thrown tableware. He practices from a studio at Iliffe Yard, Kennington. Billy graduate from Camberwell College of Arts, following this he did a four-year apprenticeship with acclaimed potter Julian Stair.
Billy has developed an innovative and ambitious style of working, marking him out as an emerging star in the pottery sector. It is his deep understanding of materials and process that lead him to craft functional pieces with a simple, refined colour palette.
A practitioner of exceptional skill, Billy pushes the boundaries of his craft to explore how it can be beautifully and practically applied in domestic, public and commercial contexts
Gillian Lowndes (1936 – 2 October 2010) was an English ceramics sculptor.
Born in Cheshire in 1936, she spent much of her childhood in British India. She studied at the Central School of Arts and Crafts beginning in 1957 and spent a year at L Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1960. In the early 1970s she traveled to Nigeria with her husband, Ian Auld, a trip that would prove to be influential in her subsequent work. From 1975 until the early 1990s, she taught part-time at Camberwell College of Arts and Central Saint Martin College of Art and Design.
Jane Muir specialises in idiosyncratic hand painted figures representing a witty and uncluttered observation of the world. Figures that stand alone or placed in an architectural landscape are hand modelled, allowing her the freedom to sketch with clay and develop ideas during the making process. Jane's figures are not about specific individuals but are a personification of the stereotype or archetypal character.
It is their anonymity that allows us to identify for ourselves familiar individuals. Subtle colour and seductive surface textures are key elements in her work; immensely appealing but never sentimental.
Her work has been exhibited widely throughout the UK, Europe, America and Japan.
At a time when functional pottery dominated, Eileen Nisbet's abstract ceramic sculpure showed her to be one of the most innovative ceramicists working at the time. Her work was exhibited widely both in the UK and internationally, and she was also an inspirational teacher and a driving force behind the Ceramics course at what is now Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London.
An artist of total commitment; her output was prolific from the time she left art school until her death.
This site is intended to act as an educational and practical resource for students and researchers and to catalogue the work of a unique and significant artist.
I work with abstract sculptural form. I am interested in the way one defines and comprehends space through physical form. My shapes can represent an idea of a captured movement, as a flowing form stretching or curling around itself, or the idea can derive from repeated natural forms or even complex mathematical constructions. Different form expressions appeal to me and results in my continuous exploration with many different variations: soft but precise curves, sharp edges, concave surfaces shifting to convex; the discovery and strength of an inner or negative space. I am intrigued by the idea of a continuous surface, for example with one connected edge running through an entire form.
I work with the idea of a composition in three dimensions, seeking balance and harmony. The finished form should have energy, enthusiasm, and a sense of purpose.
I mainly work in ceramics but recently also in bronze. I find that strong colour builds further importance, strength and energy.
I am Danish and have lived in London since 2005. My studio is in Camberwell, South London. I trained at Designskolen Kolding, Denmark from 2000-2005 (MA Ceramics).
Born into an Australian musical family, Suleyman Saba studied at the Camberwell College of Arts (1987-91) before training with Kevin Millward at the Gladstone Pottery Museum in Stoke-on-Trent. He set up his own London-based workshop in 1997.
Suleyman’s interest in stoneware stems from the ceramic traditions of China, Japan and South-East Asia. A range of hand-thrown bowls, vases and tableware is produced in two stoneware clays, with combinations of celadon and iron-saturated glazes. He describes his motivations for pottery as ‘beauty through use’ and the demand for fine craftsmanship.
Julian Stair is one of the UK’s leading potters and writers on ceramics. He took up pottery at 16 and went on to study at Camberwell School of Art and the Royal College of Art. He has exhibited internationally over the last 30 years and has work in over 20 public collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum, British Museum, American Museum of Art & Design, New York, Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art, Japan and the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam.
Recent exhibitions include Quotidian at Corvi-Mora Gallery, London and Quietus: The Vessel, Death and the Human Body at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art and on tour throughout UK. From common rituals surrounding death to the daily touch of a cup Stair’s work celebrates the dynamics of use and the way that pottery permeates and is integral to human experience.
A regular contributor to ceramic publications since the 1980s, Julian is an authority on the history of English studio ceramics. In 2002 he completed a PhD at the Royal College of Art researching the critical origins of English studio pottery. He has written extensively, most recently contributing a catalogue essay on William Staite Murray for the exhibition Ben Nicholson, Winifred Nicholson, Christopher Wood, Alfred Wallis & William Staite Murray: Art and Life 1920-1931, Leeds Art Gallery, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge & Dulwich Picture Gallery, London in 2014.
Nic Webb is a maker in wood who epitomises The New Craftsmen’s vision of luxury; sustainable, intelligent and functional.
Nic creates spoons with a story – his uniquely formed utensils have all been hand carved from green timber (fresh living wood), which he collects on walks around the British Isles & abroad.
Nic works with green wood for its malleability, incorporating the potential twists and movement of the wood as it seasons into his designs. He celebrates the individual grain and characteristics of each piece.
Nic Webb studied Fine Art at Brighton University, Graduating in 1994.
Nic works predominantly with wood though also combines stone, metal, ceramic and paint in his making. His studio is in Camberwell, South East London, within a community of artists and makers at Vanguard Court. He is 40.
‘I am passionate about working with natural materials and use combinations of traditional tools and modern methods to produce hand crafted objects of art and design. Many of the tools that I use today belonged to my Great Great Grandfather, a Journeyman working as a carpenter in Devon in the 1800's. Working with greenwood (unseasoned wood) allows great freedom in my making. It can twist, move and change colour in the seasoning process, creating wonderful natural surprises.’
‘The woods I use come from many sources. I am particularly keen on British deciduous woods as I spent my childhood in Suffolk surrounded by woodland. I enjoy walking and use these trips to collect wood from all over the UK. The many parks and gardens of London contain a diverse selection of woods and can offer great variety when interesting trees are felled.’
‘I pursue an organic approach to making, allowing materials and ideas to flow. I am keen to explore themes of function, ceremony and the history and cultures of Human making.’
’Nic currently tutors at Camberwell College, he runs spoon-carving workshops at his studio in London and tutors greenwood carving at Westdean College in Chichester.’
Gilda Westermann works in porcelain and has done so for ten years. It is a beautiful material with a long and celebrated history. Gilda is known for the fine craftsmanship of her work and is recognised as one of the UK’s leading potters working with porcelain. The pots have a quality of throwing which is fluent, soft and creative.
The current range of porcelain pots includes domestic items such as mugs, tea bowls, sets of bowls to eat from and large salad bowls to serve with at the table. The range includes her much loved porcelain jugs, creamers and jars. They are exquisitely made and have a sensitive tactile quality, which is a joy to use.
Gilda is known for her elegant range of vases and bottles, which are inspired by arranging and appreciating flowers. They are frequently shown in UK design magazines and were part of the British Council touring exhibition, Everything But.'
Gilda’s recent works include beautiful large centrepieces, sculptural vessels and expansive platters, which are masterpieces of throwing. A new language has appeared, written in the soft material, telling traces of making- soft circling of the wheel.
A new development is Gilda’s lustre ware. Angular dishes in a variety of sizes have been decorated with liquid porcelain and gold and amber lustre, painted with very energetic lines and compositions. The range is both decorative and functional, inspired by painting and movement, expressing strong as well as sensitive energy.
Gilda is inspired by nature. She compares the forms of the pots with looking at a landscape with a wide angle, seeing simple clear lines and then looking at her shell imprints or surface decoration with a zoom lens. Looking at the crisp detail.
The process of making is one of craftsmanship, the result of 20 years of experience, which offers an ease and a competency which enables a different level of expressing and telling.
Gilda says: “What I would wish for my collectors is to offer them pots which they can enjoy, treasure and celebrate. Pots which are always present as good friends, incarnations of beauty and harmony or simply something which makes you feel good.”
The ceramic art of Gustavo Perez embraces larger sculptural works as well as the pots you see here. Yet in these objects alone, there is far more than the geometric definition that first meets the eye. Ostensibly austere with clear contours and monochrome decoration, they can also be very plastic, with walls gently impressed and indented - some twisting, curving and undulating, like the tournures of the body. Then, more dramatically, there are the gestural slits and cuts- reminiscent of Lucio Fontana's slashed canvasses. As with Fontana, they heighten the visual tension. Yet, far from being spontaneous, these are careful and strategic incisions, made with the surgeon's knife. Inlaid with black, they are part of Perez's considered engineering and exactitude. Like all his surface drawing, these interventions concurrently disrupt, accentuate and map out form. They not only chart the physiognomy of his pots, but relieve the stark purity of the pale stoneware. Other materials are alluded to - qualities emphasised by his interest in cutting, folding, overlapping and other manipulations. He makes constructive revisions and deviations that alter the instilled rhythm of the wheel, and help develop and elaborate new directional movement. The clay can appear as pliable as it is controlled, but it remains an art of almost industrial simplicity that speaks of the fabric of modern cities and the more aphanous language of Minimalism. There is a touch of Agnes Martin here, the fine balance of Bodil Manz's ceramics, and also, in some of the pieces, a little of Arp's amorphism. There are strong architectural references too - particularly the more expressive vocabulary of, say, Jørn Utzon or Bertrand Goldberg, resonances as much to do with constituent texture as their structure. This is certainly a precision science - finely crafted - but it can also be quite voluptuous, a highly sensuous journey into the ceramic firmament.
Hans Vangsø lives and works in Knebel, near Århus, Denmark, an area renowned for its strong ceramic traditions. He makes bold woodfired pots, often square vases and large jars. He has exhibited widely in Denmark and Europe, and in 2002 was one of the artists selected for the major touring exhibition From the Kilns of Denmark which travelled to New York, Berlin & Paris.
Vangsø studied at the Jutland Academy of Fine Arts in Demark (1972 – 1976), where he was taught by Gutte Eriksen (1918 - 2008). They remained close friends and he continued assisting her in making and firing her works into her 80's. In 2004 she wrote of her admiration for his latest works:
Once upon a time the composer Stravinsky said “All art that isn’t based on tradition is imitation.”
I feel that Hans in his work is aware of the truth of these words – and he has worked hard to achieve this knowledge. He has studied the big anonymous pots from all his travels around the world – and because of that he had the chance to realize himself.
It’s so lovely to see the strength in his shapes.
It’s lovely to see the bottom in his pots.
It’s lovely to see how wild he has been in his firings.
And it’s lovely to see something in the pots you didn’t expect at all.
(October 16, 1953 - March 31, 2006) was one of Britain’s very finest potters. His life’s work was dedicated to making pots for others to use and he spoke about this with a passion.
Hughes was born in Wallasey in 1953. He studied ceramics at Bath Academy of Art. On graduation he applied for a two-year scholarship in Japan, where he studied pottery at Kyoto City University of Arts.
In 1979, he held his first one-man show and decided to stay in Japan, setting up a pottery at Shiga, where he remained for five years. He achieved considerable recognition in Japan, winning awards and being elected to membership of Kokugakai.Hughes returned to England in 1984 and established a new studio first at Renwick in Cumbria and later at Isel, close to Lake Bassenthwaite. Some of his finest work was made during the later years working in Cumbria. His life was tragically cut short when in March 2006 he died in a climbing accident, after he had gone walking alone and the weather changed abruptly.
Soyetsu Yanagi; writing in ‘The Unknown Craftsman’; made reference to the Japanese passion for using quality handmade pottery and to their equal passion for earthenware of the kind produced in England during the eighteenth century. Edward Hughes shared these passions and they lie at the root of understanding his work. In turn, Hughes had a real passion for Japan where he found in the Japanese people a respect for all he was trying to express through his pottery.
Born in London, he served in the radar department of the RAF during the war and became interested in drawing. He studied fine art at Goldsmiths College where he was taught by Kenneth Clark, but became interested in ceramics during teacher training. He worked for a year with Ray Finch at Winchcombe Pottery and later with David Leach in Aylesford and set up his own pottery in 1961 making domestic ware. In the 1970s he began to concentrate on individual pieces and created his winged forms-with attachments of convolute handles, which balanced the pieces, for which he became known. He taught at Camberwell School where amongst his pupils were Mo Jupp, Ian Godfrey and Ewen Henderson. In 1996 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from The London Institute in recognition of his outstanding achivement in the field of ceramics. He suffered from health problems from the the 1980s but persevered in his work, employing assistants to help. He was an Honorary Fellow of the Craft Potters Association.
Peter Collingwood was born in London in 1922. He now currently lives in a village just outside Colchester where he has a well-equipped studio adorned with looms of various sizes.
Peter originally trained and qualified as a doctor in1946, but decided to give up medicine in 1950. It was whilst Peter was a doctor that he came across small floor looms in an occupational dept of a hospital. His interest developed and he made a wide inkle loom. from two deck chairs and wove scarves from knitting wool and discovered double cloth He often wove whilst he rode in the back of ambulances.
During his time in the RAMC (Royal Army Medical Corps) he attended night classes at Farnham Art School. After Peter’s required years with the RAMC he had heard that they needed doctors by the Red Cross with Arab refugees in Transjordan. Peter was bowled over by the country and its people, especially the weaving and this was the first time that Peter had seen ethnic weaving and was it also when Peter was given his first piece of textile
After deciding to leave medicine behind he returned to London and went and visited George Maxwell a loom builder. George mentioned to Peter about a well known weaving teacher Ethel Mairet who taught weaving at Gospels (a place of pilgrimage for all weavers). It was Ethel who taught Peter the techniques of weaving: double cloth, the quality of yarn, texture and colour.
It was from working with Ethel that Peter met Barbara Sawyer and went to work with her in her garden shed in Putney. Peter worked there and helped her produce unusual floor covering that were bought by young architects.
In 1952 Peter was invited to the Lake District (Hawkshead) as an assistant to Alistair Morton. Peter was able to have more freedom over the weaving process. He learnt a lot during his time up in the Lake District also having trips to Morton Sundour Fabrics in Carlisle and to Galashiels on a summer course at the wool technical college. It was from his experience with Alistair Morton that he decided to concentrate on making rugs.
Back in London Peter found a workshop space and used a second had loom that he had bought from Barbara Sawyer. He started to make small rugs, enough to make in order to sell. There were not many rug weavers around at that time and shops such as: Heals, Liberty and Primavera were the first of Peter’s clients.
Peter also started writing for magazines such as: Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Journal.
One day Peter received a telephone call from Henry Morris, explaining his scheme for Digswell house and inviting Peter to join other artists and have a live/work space.
Peter describes his experience as ‘life-changing’ and from then on it did change for him.
Peter has had his work nationally and internationally shown and he is now worldly recognised for his visionary qualities in which he has been able to use traditional techniques and make them work for him. –his work is original and unique and what makes weavers of today continue to have a place that is accepted.
Bodil Manz is one of the most highly regarded ceramicists working in Denmark today and she continues to develop the translucent porcelain cylinders for which she has become well known. She is fascinated endlessly by experimenting with ideas concerning space within decoration. Inspired by modernist architecture and painters such as Mondrian and Malevich, she often uses blocks of primary colour with fine black lines to create a dynamic interplay between the inside and outside of the piece. Recently she has begun to use a more complex profile or elevation and this is taking her work in a new direction.
The compositions are worked out on paper, made into transfers and then applied to the piece, requiring several consecutive firings to achieve the desired effect.
Born in Tokyo when his father, Bernard Leach, was working there, from 1930 to 1956 he worked as student, manager and finally partner at the Leach Pottery in St Ives. From 1934 to 1936 he trained in pottery management at Stoke on Trent and these skills were crucial to the survival of the St Ives Pottery, as he developed new lines and methods of working. In 1956 he set up his own pottery at Lowerdown, near Bovey Tracey where he worked for the rest of his life. Working in the 'Leach Tradition', he made hand thrown individual pots in stoneware and porcelain. His work combines function with aesthetically pleasing shapes. The leather hard clay is fluted and carved to produce surface effects. Leach decorated with wax resist and textured glazes. David Leach was chairman of the Craft Potters Association and a member of the Crafts Council and he lectured and gave demonstrations and workshops in the USA, Canada and Europe. In 2005 he was awarded posthumously a Lifetime Achievement Award at the International Ceramic Festival in Aberystwyth.
Shozo Michikawa was born in Hokkaido, the most northern area of Japan, in 1953 and graduated from Aoyama Gakuin University in 1975. He is now based in Seto, Aichi, Japan where the art and production of terracotta has been cultivated for many of generations. He has exhibited widely in Japan, Philippines, China and Mongolia and his work is in public collections in America and the United Kingdom. In 2005 he was honoured with an exhibition at the Forbidden City in Beijing.
The work is created on the wheel. The sculptural details and inlaid clay are achieved by modifying the internal spinning axis rather than being sculpted or decorated afterwards. In his work he strives to retain the natural "intentions" of the day. And produce pieces that can actually be used, in keeping with their functional origins.
He was a demonstrator at the International Ceramics Festival 2009
Born in York, she made delicate vessel forms with rich surface effects, which increasingly took on a sculptural aspect. She trained at Sheffield College of Art where she took pottery (1945-1949) going on to set up a studio at Great Baddow in Essex (1950). From 1951, she taught at the Chelmsford School of Art where she worked full-time, making her own pots at weekends. She was a dedicated teacher in Further Education until she retired in 1989.
The historical influences on her work were medieval pottery, Staffordshire slipware, saltglaze and industrial pottery. She experimented with form, by abstracting and extending it while retaining the concept of the vessel. Many pieces are asymmetrical, tilting or leaning with rounded or sharply defined bases. She used drawing as a basis for developing ideas. Her work reflects a modernist approach emphasising clarity of form and linear purity. She used stoneware and 'T' Material and, occasionally porcelain. Forms were thrown on the wheel, shaped, moulded, cut, and altered by hand. The surface of the clay was burnished and fired at 1300 degrees in saggars filled with grain which combusts around the pot to create rich surface effects. Some pots have lustre glazes, she used copper, iron and tin. She also made exquisite porcelain tableware, glazed in matt white and cream.
She considered her retrospective touring exhibition Ceramics from Twenty Five Years organised with the Ballantyne Collection and University of Derby the best representation of her work in her lifetime. She was a member of the Craft Potters Association, the Crafts Council shop at the Victoria and Albert Museum held a one-person exhibition in 2000.
Peter Wright was born in 1932 in Chingford on the London edge of Epping Forest and in consequence trees have been a major influence throughout a lifetime of painting. Likewise the Essex coastline and the distant horizon were the forerunners to many land/seascapes throughout the British Isles, France and the Greek islands.
After studying at St.Martin’s School of Art (1949-53) and London University; full and part time teaching posts in Leicestershire, Hertfordshire and finally on the Isle of Wight followed through to 1985, after which came full time painting.
From both national and international exhibitions Peter’s work may be found in public and private collections throughout Europe and with several Universities and major industrial companies such as ICI etc.
His work has spread as far a field as Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Portugal, Spain, USA, South Africa, New Zealand and throughout the UK.
An acclaimed International Artist and Master of Australian Craft, Pippin Drysdale's career as a ceramic artist spans 30 years. Her passion for the craft merges with a love of the landscape, which has travelled across continents and in most recent years has focussed on the vivid dessert landscapes of Australia. Her works evoke a timeless and breathtaking sense of space and place within finely crafted porcelain vessels, narrating the mesmorising vastness of colour experienced in the unique Australian landscape.
Working from her studio in Fremantle, surrounded by the catalogue of her trials and experiments – racks of wonderful pots of all colours and sizes that failed her almost impossible test of quality – Pippin Drysdale continues to interrogate her practice from the perspective of an artist without borders. The Falstaffian spirit that imbues her every action is pitched always at maximum intensity, from her explosive laugh - that fills not only rooms but auditoria - to her extravagant generosity and, of course, to her total commitment to her work.
The process of analysis, review and revision continues until she is convinced she has captured the character of each new series of work. The landscape is the ever-constant lure, the catalyst for work, the connecting point and anchor for each new development. Her works is ambitious. It negotiates interweaving journeys through various landscapes describing her artistic practice and her engagement with the sites she documents. Through a continuing investigation of the flora and landforms of these unique areas of Australia and a commitment to engaging with the cultural, social and political agendas that are shaping them, she is open to embrace each new creative challenge
He was the first of the local apprentices to be employed at the Leach Pottery in St Ives, when he joined at the age of 15 in 1938. He remained there for almost four decades, becoming a skilled thrower and, eventually, foreman. After Bernard Leach's death in 1979 he set up his ow pottery at Lelant, only a few miles away. In style his work is very close to that of Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada.
"My preferred shapes and forms are classical inspired by ancient, islamic and asian arts and crafts.
My clay is the very sandy red clay from the South of Denmark. I mix and clean it myself and store it for more than a year before I use it. In my large trays and bowls I add earthenware clay.
I throw all my pieces on the wheel, after which I pull or draw lobes, make facets, cut, shape and/or stamp bands. Most pieces have been given a slip - often several layers. I'm very fascinated by glazes and the hues derived from the slips and the ash and clay glazes. I use ash and clay glazes and the hues are derived from the slips : many types of different ashes like from beechwood, straw, oak yield different hues and colors. I much prefer light blue and green, turquoise colors."
Caiger-Smith was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He studied at the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts and read history at King's College, Cambridge(1949-1952). He trained in pottery at the Central School of Art & Design in 1954 under Dora Billington.
According to Grove Art, Alan Caiger-Smith established the Aldermaston Pottery in 1955, "a cooperative workshop of about seven potters making functional domestic ware and tiles, as well as individual commissions and one-off pots. By trial and error he revived and perfected two virtually lost techniques: the use of tin glaze and painted pigments on red earthenware clay, and the firing of lustres on to tin glazes." However, in Lustre Pottery, Caiger-Smith refers to earlier revivals of lustre by William de Morgan, Vilmos Zsolnay, Clément Massier and Pilkington's Royal Lancastrian Pottery. He was joined at Aldermaston Pottery by a number of other potters, including Geoffrey Eastop (1921–2014).
Alan Caiger-Smith's book on Tin-Glaze Pottery (1973) covers its history and much of its technique. He co-translated and annotated with R.W. Lightbown a detailed contemporary description of the materials and methods of Renaissance maiolica, Cipriano Piccolpasso's I Tre Libre Dell'Arte Del Vasaio (The Three Books of the Potter’s Art) (1980). His history of lustre ware, Lustre Pottery, was published in 1985.
Caiger-Smith was Chairman of the British Crafts Centre (1973–1978) and was awarded the MBE in 1988. He ceased employing assistants in 1993 to concentrate on personal work and in 2006 announced his decision to sell the Aldermaston Pottery.
"The contrast of Chelsea Art School and Mashiko Japan could not have been more different. I left Chelsea Art School in 1983 and lived for 2 years in Mashiko from 1985 where I worked for a year in the workshop of Tatsuzo Shimaoka; a National Treasure of Japan.
It opened up a vast wealth of pottery technique and interpretations of clay, I have returned four times to Japan and still draw on my experiences there. I was curious to learn the technique of Zogan the inlay of slip on clay and rope decoration on the surface of clay which is the main reason why I went to study under Tatsuzo Shimaoka. I love the surface texture created by this method and the use of different types of wood ash glaze to bring out the rope pattern’s.
On return to England I settled in the Lake District and started producing my own work which is now exhibited widely throughout the country"
"Anne Fløche's work has a particular quality of movement. Her pots, mainly big dishes, bowls and bottles, are beautifully drawn, a freely expressive hand seen in bold and broad definition of form, depth and texture of glaze and an economic brush. These crawling pigments and lyrically abstracted motifs (such as coastal wading birds, fish and blossom trees) enrich the poetic charge of these pots and reveal a sensitive, gently humorous eye for the shapes and characters of the natural world. Her inspiration is markedly Eastern, but these objects relate as well to the ceramic history of Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, Turkey and Morocco. The result though is highly individual, a pottery of floating images - breezy evocations of time and place."
Nicholas Homoky was born in Hungary in 1950. He trained at the West of England College of Arts in Bristol and at the Royal College of Art, London. He has taught regularly since 1976 and is currently a Senior Lecturer at the West of England College of Arts, Bristol.
Nicholas is an innovative potter whose work is mainly centred around the vessel, seen primarily as a visual object. This is achieved through the deconstruction of both the visual and practical elements which are re-interpreted as a visual composition. Line and form are his chief concerns, though his work is also formed through his interest in painting, sculpture, folk art and design. 'My work attempts to close the gap between the innocence of Alfred Wallis and the purity of Ben Nicholson'.
Ruth Duckworth (Ruth Windmüller), (born April 10, 1919, Hamburg, Ger.—died Oct. 18, 2009, Chicago, Ill.) German-born American artist who created abstract works in clay and bronze that ranged from small ceramic pieces to large-scale public installations and murals. Duckworth moved from Germany to England to study (1936–40) at the Liverpool School of Art; she spent her early years as an artist carving decorations on tombstones. After enrolling at London’s Central School of Arts and Crafts in 1956, however, she turned her attention to ceramics and soon won recognition for pieces that abandoned the potter’s traditional utilitarian techniques for a Modernist-inspired sculptural approach. She later taught (1964–77) at the University of Chicago and there produced her most enduring works, notably Earth, Water, and Sky (1967–68) and Clouds over Lake Michigan (1976), both expansive stoneware murals that fluidly and poetically render the Earth’s natural features.
Ceramicist, painter and sculptor, born in Kent. He studied painting at the Royal Academy (1938-1940), where he won the Gold Medal for Painting in 1939. During the Second World War he was enrolled in service, but returned to art in 1946, enrolling at the Slade School of Art. Here he was introduced to early English slipware and subsequently, became fascinated with ceramics. After graduating he took classes, in 1948, under William Newland at the London Institute.
A year later he was invited to set up a ceramics course at Bath Academy of Art, Corsham. Corsham provided a diverse, artistic environment, with artists such as Terry Frost, Kenneth Armitage, William Scott and Peter Lanyon all working there. It provided the ideal environment for Tower to develop his unique style, distinct from the teachings of Bernard Leach and traditional pottery. The organic forms and painterly surfaces of his flattened bottles and disc like vases, evoke notions of nature, referencing foliage, water and the landscape.
In 1951, Gimpel Fils, London, gave Tower his first exhibition and in 1966 he became the Head of Fine Art at Brighton College of Art, where he set up a sculpture course and developed some sculptures in red clay. Tower often destroyed many works that did not satisfy him and as a result his oeuvre is relatively small.
'‘I have come to a point in my work where I am almost exclusively making work for exhibition. The content of my work, although always rooted in a tradition of wheel-thrown vessel making, has deepened, and I feel the work, still always domestic in scale and purpose, is best seen only by itself; presented as still life, or installation, to give strength to its voice’... ‘They are as much for contemplation as for use. They are as much for use as for contemplation’
'I no longer care if the cup, with its careful handle and balanced weight (the heritage of years of tea set making), stands unused among a quiet group of table-top objects arranged as a still life, somewhere higher than table height. It is still a cup – an everyday object as ordinary and simple as can be – but from somewhere, because of its tense or tenuous relationship with other simple, recognised, even banal objects, pleasure comes. I am surprised. It is a weird idea. It is not what I thought my work would ever be about when I tried to live like the unknown craftsman in a hamlet in France, or a hillside in Tasmania. It is alarmingly contradictory; to make pots that are sweet to use and then place them almost out of reach. To make beakers that are totally inviting and then freeze them in an installation''
John Maltby’s distinctive and somewhat querky style is loved and appreciated by many who favour a different take on life. His strong themes often concerning ethereal, other worlds and beings, are combined with a sharp wit and vivid imagination. He is widely collected and is a certain favourite here at Pyramid Gallery.
John was born in Lincolnshire in 1936 and went on to study at Leicester College of Art and Goldsmith’s College in South London. He started his own workshop at Stoneshill, near Crediton, Devon in 1964 and has remained there since. He lectures in the UK and abroad, and is exhibited in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Shoji Hamada was born in Tokyo in 1894. At the age of nineteen he started to study ceramics at Tokyo Technical College, and two years later spent some time touring Japan's traditional pottery sites. In 1918 he met Bernard Leach, and within a year the two men were working together at Abiko.
In 1920 they both came to England and Hamada helped Leach build the climbing kiln for the St Ives Pottery. He gave two exhibitions at Paterson's Gallery in London in 1923, and then toured Europe and returned to Japan. He exhibited again at Paterson's in 1929 and 1931, and in 1932 went to the United States with Leach. During the next three decades he made many more trips to the USA.
He is regarded as one of the most influential masters of studio pottery, and has probably inspired more potters than any other figure. The simplicity of his designs gives them urgency and power. This man, who was once declared a 'national living treasure', is certainly the jewel in studio pottery's crown. He died in 1978.
Wendy Ramshaw, CBE, RDI, is an international champion of modern jewellery. Her signature Ringsets are represented in over 70 public collections worldwide. Ramshaw's work also encompasses designs for textiles, screens, gateways and sculpture. The Scottish Gallery has exhibited some of her most ambitious ideas through exhibitions such as Picasso's Ladies (1989), Room of Dreams (2002), Prospero's Table (2004) and a Journey Through Glass (2007). Exhibitions such as Room of Dreams which was designed and created as a theatrical stage set for the jewellery have become embedded not only in Ramshaw's spectacular career but also illustrate the commitment by the gallery to truly original ideas.
Mick Casson was a most gifted potter and a great ambassador for studio pottery, he was instrumental in creating what became one of the leading courses for pottery at Harrow in the mid 70's.
In addition to being a fine potter, Casson worked diligently to nurture the burgeoning studio pottery movement. He was an active supporter of the Crafts Centre of Great Britain (now Contemporary Applied Arts) and in the late 1950s was one of the founding potters of the Craftsmen Potters Association (now Craft Potters Association), a co-operative that acquired a shop and gallery in central London in 1958. Working with its honorary secretary, David Canter, Casson helped put the CPA on a sound, democratic footing, serving on its Council as both member and chair. With the setting up of the Crafts Advisory Committee (now Crafts Council) in the early 1970s, Casson became involved in running committees, giving sound, sensible advice and helping to steer the new body with insight and understanding.
Casson was an able communicator. In the early 1960s, with Victor Margrie, he was one of the initiators of the Harrow Studio Pottery Course (now part of Westminster University). They recruited Colin Pearson, a professional potter who had trained in workshops rather than art school, to help meet the growing needs of students wanting a sound, practical training before setting up their own workshops. The course proved a huge success, graduating students including leading potters such as Janice Tchalenko and Jane Hamlyn.
He conducted and coordinated countless workshops and demonstrations, reaching his largest audience in 1976 with his BBC-TV series The Craft Of The Potter. He served as a member, and as vice chairman (1986-88), of the Crafts Council, and participated in its craftsman's tours.
Susan Phillips (b. 1978) studied a BA (hons) in studio ceramics at Falmouth College of Arts between 1996-1999. She is now based in rural Herefordshire where she lives with her partner and two children on the Welsh/English border.
Born in 1974, I worked from 1995 - 1996 in Italy as a studio assistant to potter Pietro Maddalena, before returning to complete my degree in ceramics at Falmouth college of arts. I currentlly work from my studio on the Welsh borders.
My work focuses on the relationship between two clay containers, to animate the space within and around them. I'm interested in the sensed presence of intimate volumes, the way they connect to each other through placement and scale, and how they occupy and bring awareness to space, in response to different environments.
I use clay for it's ability to record very subtle decisions made during working with it, that accummulate as traces through the structure of the finished work, forming an unseen presence. Clay is able to maintain it's material integrity, whilst not intruding on it's surroundings and it is this humble yet intense presence that I respond to and hope to preserve in the work.
A simple geometric vocabulary is used to form material boundaries that define an unseen, internal measure. Through varying height, diameter and placement, I can explore how much is seen of the inside in relation to what remains unseen, hidden by the clay wall. I'm not interested in one part announcing itself over another, more in forming a balanced tension in which inside and outside, solid and void, both define and complete each other. The work does not connect to a particular part of history, and doesn't signify or represent anything other than what it is. I hope to leave the work open in a way that someone can find their own response and meaning from it.