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'It is not surprising that the green, blue and ochre glazes have properties similar to some of the surface colours and texures of rocks and pebbles where I am living. Being near the sea has probably had an effect on the banded decoration i use, either reflecting the movement of water and waves or the dips and folds of the strata in cliff faces. This in turn has affected form '
Originating in the early 1900s, the term “Studio Pottery” describes ceramics that were produced on a small scale by an individual or small group of individuals in a deliberately non-industrial way with the ceramicists designing and making the work themselves. This is distinguishable from “Art Pottery”, which describes artistic works produced by either large ceramic firms such as Doulton or smaller concerns such as the Martin Brothers where the work passes through a variety of stages with various hands involved in its production. The history of Studio Pottery can be divided into the Pre-War Period, the Post-War Period and the Contemporary Period.
Post war, the dire situation of the studio potters was relieved. The ban on decorating pottery due to rationing was lifted and art colleges accepted ex-soldiers. There was an emphasis on arts and crafts production, particularly pottery. This was further encouraged by the designs promoting Festival of Britain in 1951. Potters such as Lucie Rie and Hans Coper took a modernist approach and produced items that resembled the Scandinavian ceramics that were fashionable throughout the 1950s. The Camberwell School of Art produced a number of Studio potters during the 1960s. Lucie Rie and Hans Coper were among the teachers at Camberwell. Students included Ewan Hendersen, Ian Godfrey, Elizabeth Fritsch, John Ward, Alison Britton and Gordon Baldwin.
John Ward was born in North London, and studied ceramics at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts (1966-1970). The main influences on his work are simple forms of ancient pre-glaze pottery from China and Egypt, early Cypriot pottery and early Persian bowls. The legendary potters, the late Hans Coper and the late Dame Lucie Rie were visiting teachers at Camberwell, and had a direct influence on his work. In 1975 he moved to West Wales where he continues to live and work.
JW has exhibited extensively in Europe and America. His work is in many public collections which include: Museum of Modern Art, New York, Museum Bellerive, Zurich, Pennsylvania State Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, Cardiff Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum. There is a small collection of his work at Aberystwyth University.
Ward focuses on form, and function is not his immediate concern. His coiled stoneware pots are made with precision, a base is thrown or pinched out and flattened coils of clay are added to produce smooth, hollow forms. These are sometimes altered, at the leather-hard stage, by cutting and rejoining to create ridges and grooves between curving surfaces. Finally, they are scraped and partly burnished with a pebble.
John only uses matt glazes, focussing on pale glazes or contrasting geometries mainly in black and white. Most pots are twice-fired in an electric kiln.
Mailing address: Bartons Lodge