Ewen Henderson

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Post by croker May 22nd 2021, 6:42 pm

i uploaded another piece of ewens to try and keep this thread fresh , this bowl form is about 12inches square. It's often said that Henderson was taught by Lucie Rie and Hans Coper but from what i have read from the scant information available is that while he greatly respected Hans Coper as great ceramic sculptor he didn't really seem to appreciate Rie and thought her pots were over hyped. While Hendersons pots are nothing like Copers i think what they had in common is single mindedness , they both started with vessels and both progressed to more abstract forms, Coper with his obsession with cycladic forms and henderson with his obsession with standing stones and monoliths
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Post by croker May 22nd 2021, 6:44 pm

henderson bowlEwen Henderson - Page 2 P5220010
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Post by philpot May 22nd 2021, 7:54 pm

Did you ever get the chance to see THINGS OFG BEAUTY GROWING some years ago at the Fitzwilliam? A substantial part of the exhibition was from the collection on John Driscoll an American collector. There were two very early Henderson pieces there that are illustrated in the catalogue. Figures 87 & 88, This is what Driscoll has to say of the nO 88, which he rummaged from Ewen Henderson's kitchen cabinet.
'It was a perfectly and elegantly thrown Lucie Rie form, with a Henderson abstract expressionist glaze. It was a signpost on his route to discovering who he was, and who he was not, as an artist',
It was made in 1966, and looks very interesting from the photo.
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Post by croker May 22nd 2021, 9:28 pm

hi ,thanks for your reply, for some reason i didn't go to the exhibition i cant remember why but i have watched the talk online a couple of times and have the exhibition book. I found it quite amusing to think of Driscoll crawling about on Hendersons studio floor to rescue a discarded pot with big chunk blown away in the firing and Ewens comment when he held it up ''ah yes i was studying with Lucie but was looking at Hans...it was the third pot i ever made''. It is interesting to see the beginnings and i wonder where some of the other very early stuff is now.
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Post by philpot May 23rd 2021, 11:29 am

Its interesting perhaps that the London based potters- loke Ewan Henderson for instance!- who tend to dominate the high end price ranges mostly used electric kilns. Did this lead to a specific direction in the direction of their ceramic careers?
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Post by croker May 23rd 2021, 2:15 pm

not sure about that but David Whiting said that Ewen thought that electric kilns gave better clarity to the colour and Coper thought the electric kiln gave him far more control.
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Post by studio-pots May 23rd 2021, 3:20 pm

John Driscoll is a name from my passed and I can imagine him doing that. Laughter

I know that Henderson had an interest in Oriental pottery too (on occasions when Jim Malone had exhibitions with me in Greenwich he would stay overnight with him and Henderson would come along to the PV). For me, Henderson's teabowl forms have the aesthetics of the best Japanese chawan.

I do have a teabowl of his that fits all the requirements that a chawan for the Tea Ceremony would need to have. It's in my personal collection and probably wouldn't be as valuable to his collector's. I will photograph it.

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Post by studio-pots May 23rd 2021, 3:31 pm

Ewen Henderson - Page 2 Hender10

..... and the foot.

Ewen Henderson - Page 2 Hender11

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Post by croker May 24th 2021, 12:53 pm

hi, pics of bowlEwen Henderson - Page 2 P5240010
Ewen Henderson - Page 2 P5240011
Ewen Henderson - Page 2 P5240012
[url=https://servimg.com/view/20304938/30]Ewen Henderson - Page 2 P5240010[/
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Post by studio-pots May 24th 2021, 2:14 pm

philpot wrote:Oh that is nice! One of the best of his I have seen. Perhaps because it is just so different. Lucky you Studio!

It was "part" of the last exhibition of his work at the Hart Gallery, which I think was a retrospective, but it wasn't on show!

The person that I bought it off did attend and bought the last teabowl form on show and then asked if they had any more. The reply was that there was an unusual one in the cupboard and they went and bought this one back. Clearly the Hart Gallery didn't rate it, as the price was lower than the other one. Ross, the person in question, bought them both and at a later date when I went over to help make a little space on his shelves, so that he could buy more pots from me and others (he doesn't like too much clutter) I was offered it and snapped it up at a very good price.

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Post by croker January 2nd 2022, 12:52 pm

Hi and best wishes to everyone for the new year, I purchased this largish Henderson piece just before Christmas from a small Scottish saleroom, i thought i would post it as it might be of interest and by coincidence it's Henderson's birth anniversary date tomorrow. I have noticed that the interest in Henderson's 'tea bowls' has escalated and now many are fetching high prices in auction and the gap is narrowing between these and his larger pieces, 'tea bowls' in many other areas also seem to be in favour at the moment.
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Post by croker January 2nd 2022, 12:54 pm

Ewen Henderson - Page 2 P1020010
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Post by studio-pots January 2nd 2022, 6:08 pm

It looks like an early piece but it would be interesting to see more images of it. He is one of the potters that I really find fascinating now but didn't take much notice of it when I should have done i.e. when he was alive.

He was a friend of Jim Malone's (they trained together) and when Jim had an exhibition with me, he used to stay with Ewen and they would come to the PV together.

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Post by croker January 2nd 2022, 11:45 pm

Comparison to other similar pieces seems to put the date at approx late 80's, i will take more images if you wish , the blue colour is slightly more pronounced in reality i didn't know he was a friend of Jim Malone .
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Post by philpot January 3rd 2022, 9:42 am

It looks really tactile. Fascinating piece. How large is it? I admire your courage in buying from a 'small Scottish saleroom'. Did it have any provenance? Did you buy from photos alone? I have bought a fair amount at auction, but very rarely without looking at them personally. Brave you! Hope you got a bargain.
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Post by croker January 3rd 2022, 10:12 am

Hi, Low estimate but no bargain , the final price was high but still ok i think at £3400 all in , i think it came from a house clearance , and yes i took a chance but the pot arrived in good condition and i must say the packing by the local mailbox company was really excellent ,it stands about 19 inches approx .
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Post by croker January 3rd 2022, 12:26 pm

Hi, studio-pots a couple more pics,. I would be very interested if you have any further information on Henderson ,i have most of the available literature but exhibition catalogues are very hard to find, as you have met him in the past what was your impression of him as a person?Ewen Henderson - Page 2 P1030010
Ewen Henderson - Page 2 P1030011
.
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Post by studio-pots January 3rd 2022, 2:33 pm

These images are clearer than the first one you posted and so the date you are suggesting seems fine.

I only met him briefly a couple of times but I was able to observe him as well and he seemed a quiet thoughtful person, which is a description that I might give to Jim Malone too.

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Post by croker January 3rd 2022, 2:58 pm

Thanks that's interesting, in the interview in Pandoras box he comes across as someone who holds very strong opinions especially on other potters, on another occasion he apparently referred to Edmund De Waal and Julian Stair as the spice boys.
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Post by studio-pots January 3rd 2022, 3:52 pm

I wasn't suggesting that he didn't hold strong opinions on other potters and pottery but calling Eddie and his former "room mate" the "spice boys" is rather mild when compared to what other potters have said about them (albeit in private). However, the general opinion of Julian is that he's a decent bloke, so it's not all bad.................. unlike Eddie.


Last edited by studio-pots on January 3rd 2022, 11:33 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by croker January 3rd 2022, 4:08 pm

I don't know much about Julian Stair but i just found Hendersons comment amusing ,i am just trying to get a feel of Hendersons personality outside of the potting . I see you are a member the SSN at York has this been successful ?.
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Post by studio-pots January 3rd 2022, 11:10 pm

croker wrote:I don't know  much about Julian Stair but i just found Hendersons  comment amusing ,i am just trying to get a feel of  Hendersons personality outside of the potting . I see you are a member the SSN at York has this been successful ?.

I think to be a good artist in any field you have to have views about your work and that of your contemporaries and to know what you want to make and how you want your work to develop, regardless of what the public i.e. your potential customers think of it. I think Henderson was like that, as are many of the best artists and potters.

Regarding SNN, I might be but, as I am not sure what it is, it hasn't perhaps been successful as far as I'm concerned. Cheeky

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Post by philpot January 4th 2022, 7:28 am

Ewen Henderson seems like a potter who could really do with a large retrospective. Similar to that which Gordon Baldwin had in York about 2012. His work has always been fairly highly priced at auction, so there must be a fairly reasonable number of collectors with excellent examples of his work. Underappreciated comes to mind.
         Personally I have always  liked his work and seen a fair amount of it at auction. But it has always been too expensive,  as to what I could afford at the time. There always being some other potters that I like slightly more but which were cheaper!
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Post by croker January 5th 2022, 11:13 am

Good morning Philpot, In answer to your question 'is Henderson one of the true greats', i think only time will tell where he ranks as a great potter/artist. At the moment i think he is quite highly thought of especially in countries other than Britain, his work doesn't have instant appeal to many people but once you handle and examine a piece it tends to grow on you. For me Henderson and Voulkos were probably the first successful potters to push pottery in this new direction and others followed , namely Lowndes , Radstone etc. For me Hans Coper will always be the greatest potter.
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Post by philpot January 7th 2022, 8:57 am

I have a catalogue from a 1984 exhibition at Fischer Fine Art in London entitled Nine Potters, It must have been a significant exhibition as it had 23 significant items by Hans Coper alone!
Anyway, there were Ten pieces by Ewen Henderson in this exhibition. Three of them illustrated, and they look remarkably like the piece you are showing here. The pieces have dimensions with either height or width. Have you the exact height of this piece? I am just wondering if it came from this exhibition.
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