Studio Pottery Greats

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Studio Pottery Greats

Post by big ed on October 20th 2012, 4:50 pm

I love studio ceramics , no question , but what is it that makes one piece better than another ?, i sometimes ask myself if it's an illusion that so and so is more worthy than a contemporary but maybe more famous for other reasons than their work , would Bernard leach have been so iconic if he didn't write a little book? , I know that other potters of that era thought that was the only difference between leach and them , his ideas were not original - just first to the press , so a legacy was born, the name leach is like a god in potterland , rightly or wrongly I don't care that much , but I do care about history , did leach practice what was in the book ? no not always , did Hamada ? another icon , no way ,they were potters doing the best they could at the time , probably struggling to a certain extent and that's al bye an bye now , i would love to see a new evolution in contemporary ceramics / art or whatever anybody wants to call it , the imagination of todays artists need to be stretched beyond their schooling backrounds , forget the old ways for a year or so and produce a freshness that must be in there somewhere , art nowadays is as predictable as rain , in ceramic terms I don't need to see another 15th ,16th replica , a puzzle jug copy , a cardew copy , a colin pearson pot with wings JEEEZ that's bad Col , I don't want to sound down on studio art as I love it , but to the potters out there joining the CPA does not an artist make , in fact ignore it and be individualistic as your art , some look like car boot sales for pottery no matter what guise it is under , Fire & earth or some other silly name for exhibiting , seems to me fame is more important to some potters than making brilliant pots , Ed
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Re: Studio Pottery Greats

Post by dantheman on October 20th 2012, 5:26 pm

I talk to potters at fairs etc and it's all about the pots

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Re: Studio Pottery Greats

Post by Potty on October 20th 2012, 5:53 pm

big ed wrote: i would love to see a new evolution in contemporary ceramics / art or whatever anybody wants to call it , the imagination of todays artists need to be stretched beyond their schooling backrounds , forget the old ways for a year or so and produce a freshness that must be in there somewhere , art nowadays is as predictable as rain , in ceramic terms I don't need to see another 15th ,16th replica , a puzzle jug copy , a cardew copy , a colin pearson pot with wings JEEEZ that's bad Col , I don't want to sound down on studio art as I love it , but to the potters out there joining the CPA does not an artist make , in fact ignore it and be individualistic as your art , some look like car boot sales for pottery no matter what guise it is under , Fire & earth or some other silly name for exhibiting , seems to me fame is more important to some potters than making brilliant pots , Ed

I can't disagree more Ed Laughter

I personally think the individuality of many of today's potters is astounding. (Especially the more sculptural work)

Sure there are many many potters who's work has it's roots firmly set in the traditions of those who have gone before, eg Leach etc. While those potters don't interest me as much, some of it is still great work.


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Re: Studio Pottery Greats

Post by NaomiM on October 20th 2012, 6:01 pm

I think Leach was a great self publicist, but his legacy for several decades afterwards resulted in a series of very boring pots as potters tried to emulate him, rather than finding their own 'voice'. There were better and far more inventive potters of his generation who died in obscurity.
As for today's generation, the wealth of talent is enormous. There are some very, very, fine potters out there, who far surpass Leach and his copycats.

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Re: Studio Pottery Greats

Post by tenpot on October 20th 2012, 6:08 pm

I don't think Leach was about making new innovative stuff he was about reviving old traditional crafts his work is of historical interest
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Re: Studio Pottery Greats

Post by Potty on October 20th 2012, 6:17 pm

NaomiM wrote: There are some very, very, fine potters out there, who far surpass Leach and his copycats.

But would you want to drink your tea out of them? Big Laughter

With many potters it's difficult to compare as it's functional versus decorative ceramics. (Many being in the form of functional ceramics, but not practical to actually use.)



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Re: Studio Pottery Greats

Post by NaomiM on October 20th 2012, 6:41 pm

But would you want to drink your tea out of them?

Well I wouldn't drink out of a Picasso. I heard he got his kids to pee on them. Happy Reciprocity

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Re: Studio Pottery Greats

Post by NaomiM on October 20th 2012, 6:50 pm

And if you're talking about form v's function, this is the absolute best form for drinking tea out of:



I definitely wouldn't replace it with a set of Leach mugs.
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Re: Studio Pottery Greats

Post by big ed on October 20th 2012, 7:45 pm

I asked myself if it was an illussion that something was better than another in the pottery world .
Dan -Potters at fairs are about publicity & money ,why else would they stand out there ?
Potty -What's individual about the majority ?, you have agreed by saying many are traditional orientated .
Naomi -Your right about Leach publicising himself very well , ( good for him ) and the talent is out there in abundance , art schools are full of talented individuals who , IMO get that individuality knocked out of them by those who teach , they end up followers instead of doing there own thing , what they do do is excellent just nothing original in a lot of cases , they even end up with a little tag discription under their work that sounds exactly the same as the last person , "my work is evolving" blah blah blah.
Paul , I agree with That .
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Re: Studio Pottery Greats

Post by big ed on October 20th 2012, 9:22 pm

I find the work of John maltby a bit of a mystery at times , I see a pot that borders on genius one minute then I find myself looking at something that quite frankly makes me think he's taking the Piss Laughter I realize everybody is influenced by others to a degree , potters are no exception , but the copyists just don't do it for me very much , Cardew style jugs , etc. or medieval copies of chargers made last week , potters like Robin Welch imo go out on a limb and take chances with their work and that's what I'm looking for , yes there are great works being done Iv'e said so in the past it's the run of the mill same old stuff I'm against .
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Re: Studio Pottery Greats

Post by NaomiM on October 21st 2012, 12:00 am

ooh, yes, Maltby. I'd love one of his little boat tiles, but you can keep those school collage-like harbour scenes.

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Re: Studio Pottery Greats

Post by NaomiM on October 21st 2012, 12:03 am

Trouble with a lot of studio potters is their stuff is all same-oh-same-oh, and it wouldn't get priced at more than a pound or two at a charity shop, ie, you just don't see the quality unless it's pointed out to you - and is it quality if it has to be explained?

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Re: Studio Pottery Greats

Post by big ed on October 21st 2012, 9:43 am

NaomiM wrote:ooh, yes, Maltby. I'd love one of his little boat tiles, but you can keep those school collage-like harbour scenes.
He seems to be the man of the moment , yeh I wouldn't mind having case load of his wares , more expensive than gold actually .
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Re: Studio Pottery Greats

Post by climberg64 on October 21st 2012, 7:05 pm

Its something indefinable I think. Maltby might be taking the p*** now. You'd have to ask him. Potters like any artist can make bad pots as well as good ones and sometimes great ones. Maltby has made great ones. They are in museums and textbooks.

Good art doesn't have to evolve. Sunsets don't evolve. There are good ones bad ones and great ones. Such is good art. The studio pottery greats have made great art and this is what they have in common. Some unknown potters have made great art too but for some reason didn't grab attention. Some contemporary potters are making great art and these are the ones we have to find.
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Re: Studio Pottery Greats

Post by NaomiM on October 21st 2012, 7:26 pm

Maltby seems to have Scandinavian and Inuit influences in his works, which is why I love them. But does that make him a studio pottery great? All I know is he's way out of my price range.

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Re: Studio Pottery Greats

Post by big ed on October 21st 2012, 7:56 pm

The trick is trying to spot them before they go out of our price range , some folks associate large prices with great work , not always the case , spotting great work early is the key imo.
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Re: Studio Pottery Greats

Post by Celtic_Fan on October 21st 2012, 8:07 pm

I may be the odd one out here, but having looked at images of Maltby's work - They don't look particularly original to me - and I wouldn't want them in my house. Much of his sulptural work looks like what I'd expect to come out of a primary schools modelling class.

Sorry, but it does nothing for me.
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Re: Studio Pottery Greats

Post by dantheman on October 21st 2012, 8:40 pm

my favorite potter dug his own clay,built his kiln for free from materials he found,produced pottery inspired by what he saw and loved in life,made his own tools,designed one off works of art and pots to be made in tens of thousands.

and made other potters seem ordinary by comparision




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Re: Studio Pottery Greats

Post by big ed on October 21st 2012, 8:50 pm

Who was that Dan as I know you have lots of favourite potters .
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Re: Studio Pottery Greats

Post by big ed on October 21st 2012, 8:52 pm

Celtic_Fan wrote:I may be the odd one out here, but having looked at images of Maltby's work - They don't look particularly original to me - and I wouldn't want them in my house. Much of his sulptural work looks like what I'd expect to come out of a primary schools modelling class.

Sorry, but it does nothing for me.

Doesn't do much for me either , some pots look the biz but otherwise Nuh-huh
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Re: Studio Pottery Greats

Post by dantheman on October 21st 2012, 9:03 pm

dantheman wrote:my favorite potter dug his own clay,built his kiln for free from materials he found,produced pottery inspired by what he saw and loved in life,made his own tools,designed one off works of art and pots to be made in tens of thousands.

and made other potters seem ordinary by comparision




big ed wrote:Who was that Dan as I know you have lots of favourite potters .


the late, great Guy Sydenham.
When I bought a mermaid from his widdow I was told by a friend that I would never get as excited by another pottery purchase.
& I never have

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Re: Studio Pottery Greats

Post by Potty on October 21st 2012, 9:13 pm

dantheman wrote:produced pottery inspired by what he saw and loved in life

Mermaids Shocked

His work was/is great in my opinion.

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Re: Studio Pottery Greats

Post by dantheman on October 21st 2012, 9:33 pm

the mermaids were inspired by children he saw regularly,fish (he lived on a tiny island) and the anatomy of women

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Re: Studio Pottery Greats

Post by Potty on June 8th 2013, 10:38 pm

big ed wrote:
Potty -What's individual about the majority ?, you have agreed by saying many are traditional orientated .

Late reply sorry, "many" are, but there is a great deal of very individual potters around these days.

I've got most the editions of "Potters", basically yearbooks of CPA members pots.

Looking through them from the 70's to the present day, the individuality and creativity of the potters seems to have really progressed leaps and bounds in my opinion overall.

I do agree with you in many ways, I personally prefer very individual potters with their own unique/recognisable style.




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