Ewen Henderson

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Post by big ed Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:30 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ewen_Henderson_(artist)

Ewen Henderson 2006bb10

Pics Courtesy of the V&A
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Post by big ed Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:31 pm

Ewen Henderson 2006an10
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Post by big ed Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:32 pm

Ewen Henderson 2006an11
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Post by big ed Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:34 pm

Ewen Henderson 2006an12
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Post by big ed Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:35 pm

Ewen Henderson 2006an13
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Post by philpot Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:15 am

Hope you had good provenance on this one Ed.
I must admit to setting myself a spending limit on Ebay. There is just so much you can tell from a photo. Especially with a potter who does not mark his work.
For a substantial amount of money,there is everything to be said for feeling and looking at it in your hand/.
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Post by big ed Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:05 pm

I totally agree Phil, there's nothing better than seeing things in the flesh , however that wasn't an option for me this time , I emailed a few days before the auction ended asking for provenance and am quite happy that he is sending the relevant paperwork with the bowl , basically it came from a british collector and then sold through Maak .


Last edited by big ed on Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by big ed Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:43 pm

Ewen Henderson Hender10

Arrived today and am more than pleased , so much better in the flesh .
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Post by big ed Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:45 pm

Ewen Henderson Hender11

Although trained Under Lucie Rie & Hans Coper , he stated his main influence was Ruth Duckworth, followed by Peter Voulkos.
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Post by big ed Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:46 pm

Ewen Henderson Hender12
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Post by big ed Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:15 pm

Ewen Henderson Hender13

I read he was constantly reminded by Coper that " form has nothing to do with silhouette", true to that his works are so complicated anarchic that they are practically unreadable in outline.
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Post by studio-pots Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:17 pm

Although they may not look like it they took a long time to make, as they were made of many different layers of different coloured clays and fired a number of times. This resulted in a high percentage of losses during production and so when he was alive his work was never cheap.

I accept that many people would say that this was one of those losses i.e. it went wrong but this was really what he was trying to achieve. For me it is the type of pot that every time you look at it or touch it there is always something new that you see or feel. Something that you are unlikely to get tired of. However, if you think it looks crap then it will always look crap and you will never experience the pleasure that it gives some people.

Since his death prices have held up, which must mean that there remains an interest but it isn't the kind of thing that is going to ever have mass appeal.


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Post by tenpot Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:28 pm

historically he is important as well and I think in time we will see that he has had a huge influence on 21stC studio pottery,,, but I just like them
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Post by skipposal Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:47 pm

I also love it - to me his work has such a story to tell about decay and wear and natural forms. Beautiful.
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Post by dantheman Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:20 pm

big ed wrote:I wouldn't like too get bogged down with the prices too much , I agree with SP's comments , but Dan surely if you have an interest in art then the price should be secondary , if you see art in only monetary terms then the point is surely missed .

when I asked why it made hundreds of pounds I was trying to understand why it was more valuable than most of the pottery shown on the forum but I do understand that price and value are not always connected

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Post by skipposal Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:29 pm

Coming from a museum background I can also add that the price of an artist's work goes up the more it is collected by museums and galleries of note. If the V&A buys your work then you are a very happy maker indeed.
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Post by studio-pots Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:07 pm

skipposal wrote:Coming from a museum background I can also add that the price of an artist's work goes up the more it is collected by museums and galleries of note. If the V&A buys your work then you are a very happy maker indeed.

I think what a museum buys can influenced the gullible with more money than taste but there are an awful lot of cretins in a position to donate studio pottery to museums and select what they buy that to anyone with a real interest what they have in their collections is of no consequence.

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Post by skipposal Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:19 pm

Yes - I'm guessing one has to rely on curators having the nerve to say no, or having a sound collecting policy to back them up (if I understand your comment right). Do you think there are any curators with great taste in/knowledge of pots out there any more? The museum I worked for in the early 1990s was steadily getting rid of curators with research backgrounds in favour of those with more general museum skills which didn't bode well.
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Post by studio-pots Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:50 pm

skipposal wrote:Yes - I'm guessing one has to rely on curators having the nerve to say no, or having a sound collecting policy to back them up (if I understand your comment right). Do you think there are any curators with great taste in/knowledge of pots out there any more? The museum I worked for in the early 1990s was steadily getting rid of curators with research backgrounds in favour of those with more general museum skills which didn't bode well.

Curators cannot say no to influential donors and they can't show any taste of their own and what was happening 20 years ago has got worse. Henry Rothschild had taste but from my experience people in positions of influence don't know the first thing about what they have influence over.


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Post by philpot Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:18 am

As a footnote its worthwhile finding a copy of the Exhibition catalogue of PANDORA'S BOX which Ewen Henderson curated,and which there is a interview with him by David Whiting.
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Post by croker Thu May 20, 2021 12:56 pm

hi, i have noticed that that there hasn't been a lot of activity on this topic for a long time so i thought i would try to reinvigorate it. Henderson is  favourite artist/potter of mine and i have a few pieces of his in my modest collection, The piece in the  photo  is one i bought at maak recently , i have shown it with an abstract painting in the background as i think this  sculptural piece has  much  in common with this type of art, to get an idea what makes  ewen tick, the interview in the pandoras box exhibition  as mentioned in a previous  post is quite revealing. It would be good to get other members views on this potter and perhaps show pieces from their own collections.Ewen Henderson P5200012


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Post by philpot Thu May 20, 2021 2:42 pm

Ewan Henderson was always somewhat of a maverick in Post war British studio pottery. Perhaps because he came to potting late. at the age of 30, starting. Interestingly, he started at Camberwell in 1965, when both Lucie Rie and Hans Coper were teaching there. So he has often been put in that group of Lucie Rie and her pupils. Yet superficially his work is nothing like Rie or Coper's.
But both Coper and Rie were modernist potters, and Henderson is as well. Henderson's pots have always been different though. His early pots were rough and pitted or had cracks in the rims. Always experimenting he used layers of stoneware and porcelain, then using different types of stoneware clay. Which technically was darn difficult. He then slowly changed again slowly, until his pots looked more like sections of a mountain range than vessels.
He is an absolutely fascinating potter. As you say, that piece works well with an abstract painting. I would love to see it next to a Mary Rogers or Liz Fritsch. Those very controlled ceramic artists.
Personally I have not any of his work. He has always been a little pricey for my pocket. I wish I did!













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Post by croker Thu May 20, 2021 4:14 pm

I thought the anthony shaw observations on hendersons so called 'tea bowls' were interesting, he said that ewen never set out just to make tea bowls but because it was it was so expensive to fire the kiln just for one of his main sculptures , he used whatever clay he had left over to very quickly fashion small bowls to pack the kiln , i think that because these bowls were constructed without much thought they are full of what you might call unconscious artistry and are very successful(also very popular)
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Post by philpot Thu May 20, 2021 4:22 pm

Are they popular because they are more of a conventional form? Lets face it, the last thing they would be used for is drinking tea Laughter Equally of course his large constructions being hand built with much intricate complex work were very time consuming. The (tea!) bowls were a easier way to supply a market of growing collectors.
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Post by croker Thu May 20, 2021 5:12 pm

i am not sure if he actually believed in them as tea bowls, most probably just small bowls .It seems that every small bowl is called a tea bowl these days and it seems that present day potters are only too happy to oblige in the making of them in all shapes and sizes for collectors .Yes i suppose that they would produce more sales at exhibitions .In the older catalogues they tended to describe his pieces as just tea bowl forms.
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