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John Ward

b. 1938

John Ward is regarded as one of Britain's great potters.  He produces his work by pinching a base and flattening coils of clay which are added to produce 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 scrapped and partly burnished with a pebble.  Ward uses matt glazes exclusively and most of his pots are twice-fired in an electric kiln.

 “There is something compelling about the making of pots, regardless of function, which keeps me within the particular sphere; they are the focus of some many interests and associations.  My aim is to make pots which have simple forms with integral decoration and aspects which can interact with the environment in interesting ways; to try and express a balance between these dynamic qualities and a sense of stillness or containment.  Form above all, but expressed through light and colour.  It is not surprising that the green, blue and ochre glazes have properties similar to some of the surface colours and textures 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 revealed in cliff faces. This in turn has affected form.’’  John Ward



Group Exhibitions

  1. British Ceramics 26 April - 26 May 2018