Warren MacKenzie (USA)

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Warren MacKenzie (USA)

Post by skipposal on March 27th 2013, 6:30 pm

Born 1924, MacKenzie doesn't need much introduction given his apprenticeship with Bernard Leach in the early 1950s. I really only collect UK studio pottery but wanted an example of his work just to see what all the fuss was about! To tell the truth I was a teeny bit disappointed when it arrived, it's a bit lacking in character.

I think this simple white rice bowl was made quite recently given its condition and the fact it is stamped, he didn't use a stamp for long periods apparently. More information on his Wikipedia page Warren Mackenzie wiki page. The bowl is wheelthrown and manipulated stoneware. 7cm (height) 14cm (diameter).


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Re: Warren MacKenzie (USA)

Post by studio-pots on March 28th 2013, 3:23 pm

This small bottle was made by Warren at Dartington in 1963. I have tried to show the mark but it is covered in glaze and is slightly clearer in reality. The mark is as shown in BSPM.




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Re: Warren MacKenzie (USA)

Post by skipposal on March 28th 2013, 6:27 pm

Much nicer!
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Re: Warren MacKenzie (USA)

Post by studio-pots on March 28th 2013, 8:12 pm

They do have a thing about him in the States but of the North American potters that worked at the Leach Pottery the Canadian, John Reeve, is my favorite (well this is the N. American thread).

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Re: white bowl

Post by Calusa on January 15th 2014, 2:40 am

The stamp mark shown for the white bowl is actually a mark used by Warren and Alix MacKenzie (his wife). They have not been together for a long time, and I don't really know if she is still alive; but the mark itself indicates that is an earlier piece. Frankly, I don't know what all the fuss IS about. I think his work is boring.
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Re: Warren MacKenzie (USA)

Post by matted on June 23rd 2014, 4:27 pm

Hate to leave the last post on Mackenzie one so negative! Truth be told, I once thought his work to be dull as well -- when I was a young, cocky and opinionated artist attending the U of M, and Mackenzie could often be found passing through the halls of the old art building with a considerable entourage. It wasn’t until years later, when I came across a piece of his in the wild and brought it home that I was able (ready?) to appreciate the quiet masterful beauty of his work.

Many more pieces down the road, and I am only more and more impressed. Over the years I have owned many pots by many potters, and Mackenzie's are consistently some of my favorites. Yes, some are better than others, and as a production potter he often repeats shapes and glazes, but I find even the smallest and fastest pieces to be extremely well executed, humble and tasteful, and I have yet to find myself bored by his refined shapes or palette of glazes.

Perhaps you may consider the possibility that the more one is acquainted with a potter's work, the more one many be able to appreciate it -- that may explain the "thing" we have "about him in the States" as his work is more prevalent here. After-all, we all know that seeing a piece online is nothing like using and handling a piece in person. A last thought to consider: how do you explain the large number of talented and successful potters whom have worked under him and whom still accredit their tutelage to him if the breadth of his work is so easily summed up as merely "boring"? A mass of misguided (MN) mingei lovers?  





As for the mark above, it does appear to be the early mark that was used with his first wife Alix, whom passed in 1962. She did much of the glazing up until then and some of her earliest engraved and painted abstract design work is truly a joy!
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