Laurence McGowan, (ex-Aldermaston Pottery)

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Laurence McGowan, (ex-Aldermaston Pottery) Empty Laurence McGowan, (ex-Aldermaston Pottery)

Post by vanmann February 11th 2014, 5:41 pm

I thought that this might be Aldermaston, any thoughts please on this and if possible potter or date. All suggestions appreciated John

Laurence McGowan, (ex-Aldermaston Pottery) Potter59

Laurence McGowan, (ex-Aldermaston Pottery) Potter60


Last edited by denbydump on September 12th 2021, 10:10 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : amend title)
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Laurence McGowan, (ex-Aldermaston Pottery) Empty Laurence McGowan

Post by debbie32 January 10th 2016, 1:10 pm

Laurence McGowan, (ex-Aldermaston Pottery) 00215

Laurence McGowan, (ex-Aldermaston Pottery) 00312

I have purchased this large lidded pot and to me it looks its from Aldermaston but I dont recognise the design or artist - can anyone help with an artists name or to confirm that it is from the pottery? many thanks


Last edited by NaomiM on November 1st 2016, 10:51 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : positive ID)
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Post by philpot January 10th 2016, 1:39 pm

Its Lawrence McGowan.The second mark is the year date for 2002. He spent a couple of years at Aldermaston,
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Post by NaomiM November 1st 2016, 10:50 pm

Laurence McGowan vase

Laurence McGowan, (ex-Aldermaston Pottery) Img_9818
Laurence McGowan, (ex-Aldermaston Pottery) Img_9819

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Post by benwilliams April 10th 2019, 11:07 am

19 cm tall vase, nicely painted - bit like Aldermaston?
Mark looks like WG

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Laurence McGowan, (ex-Aldermaston Pottery) 66637f10
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Post by olipayton May 17th 2021, 10:38 pm

Laurence McGowan, (ex-Aldermaston Pottery) 8e845e10
Laurence McGowan, (ex-Aldermaston Pottery) Be5f6210
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Post by denbydump September 12th 2021, 10:12 am

A pretty 11 1/2 in plate, with a surprise underneath! Date cypher for 2002.

Laurence McGowan, (ex-Aldermaston Pottery) 100_4639
Laurence McGowan, (ex-Aldermaston Pottery) 100_4638


Last edited by denbydump on December 28th 2021, 12:16 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add date)
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Post by studio-pots September 12th 2021, 10:29 am

I remember meeting Laurence at Pottery festivals 25 to 30 years ago with his work, long after he left Aldermaston, where he trained. I suppose that his work remains very much in the Aldermaston style, hence the link in the title here. However, to me it suggests that his place of training over shadows his actual work, which it does not. For me his brushwork skills are amongst the finest you will find anywhere and superior to anyone else associated with the Aldermaston Pottery.

I would never think of writing Richard Batterham (ex - Leach Pottery) and likewise would not put anything in brackets after Laurence's name. We ought to leave it here so that in the future people don't ask what was that studio-pots nutcase going on about.

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Post by denbydump September 12th 2021, 12:16 pm

OOPS I only added it today after merging two threads.
Mohamed Hamid's thread is similarly titled.
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Post by NaomiM September 12th 2021, 4:07 pm

The Aldermaston apprentices will forever be linked to Aldermaston in collectors’ minds, whether they wish to be or not. On a purely practical note, we often have ID requests which say “ looks like Aldermaston”, so having Aldermaston in the title aids online searches

Just to add, Rosemary Land used similar bird decoration on her pottery, so might be confused with Lawrence McGowan's work


Last edited by NaomiM on September 25th 2022, 12:07 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by studio-pots September 13th 2021, 5:32 pm

I was just making a point on behalf of Mr. McGowan, a quiet unassuming man, who probably wouldn't have bothered about the thread title. I completely accept why the title is, as it is, and didn't think of changing it. All I wanted to do was show that he was more than someone that learnt his skills at Aldermaston.

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Post by denbydump September 13th 2021, 7:44 pm

At Aldermaston 1976-79.
At Marlborough (Wiltshire) 1979 -
A gallery site's bio says he retired from potting in 2014.

I noticed Phil had dated one pot, so is there a list of date cyphers he used?
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Laurence McGowan, (ex-Aldermaston Pottery) Empty Many thanks

Post by Laurence McGowan December 13th 2021, 10:43 am

I have just stumbled across the forum by chance. As you can imagine, finding that some interest and discussion had taken place about my work was very gratifying, particularly because of the kind words that been posted. Regards and many thanks to all of you.

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Post by NaomiM December 13th 2021, 11:34 am

You are very welcome. Love your work Most Excellent

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Post by dantheman December 13th 2021, 11:46 am

we would love to get more information, stories, pictures or just to chat generally to someone who was part of that golden age of studio pottery production

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Post by 22 Crawford St. August 9th 2022, 8:27 pm

So plashed out £400 (gulp!) for this fine example Birds Of A Feather plate - 320mm - Not my photos - but I'm sure the lovely woman who hand delivered it to be on the safe side won't mind. If you are going to buy a plate it might as well be a good one. Dated 2007. I sat there thinking how much would a big plate be at Art in Clay later this month by any potter? £200? is double for a really good example by a retired potter that is popular that much?


Laurence McGowan, (ex-Aldermaston Pottery) S-l16013

Laurence McGowan, (ex-Aldermaston Pottery) S-l16012

There is also this short article I found - I've linked to OP but delete if I have transgressed.


https://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/16181302.laurence-mcgowan-pot-chosen-swindon-art-gallery-museum-bath-road/


“Most people, given the right encouragement, tuition and push, should be able to create… I was lucky when I was a boy, I had a friend whose Mum was a very competent watercolour artist. She impressed upon me that everyone can do something. She made me realise that artists can be ordinary people, not anyone special.”

This belief, put forward by ceramicist Laurence McGowan to The Craftsman Magazine in 2003, was born of personal experience. For the first few decades of his life, Laurence regarded himself as very much ordinary. Born in Salisbury in 1942, he was the son of a Glaswegian who had lived through the depression and had a relatively tough life, so despite his success with clay at his school’s potter’s wheel he knew his parents would not regard art as suitable career path.

His parents moved to Australia for some years when McGowan was 16, and he worked as a draughtsman there before returning to the UK and joining The Ordnance Survey. But soon he moved to Iran for a higher salary, and his time in that country sparked an interest in Islamic art and architecture. When he finally settled back in the UK, now married with a child, he decided he would follow his dream and go to art college, but to his dismay he discovered that his periods overseas meant he was no longer entitled to a grant.

Disappointed, he started a series of short-term jobs, and almost by accident took two with established potters - first with Pru Greene at Alvingham Pottery Lincs. and then with Alan Caiger-Smith at Aldermaston, whom he had long admired.

“I knew that I wanted to work for him, and purely by chance came across an advertisement for a job with him at Aldermaston Pottery,” he said later. “I succeeded at the interview on the strength of my sketch book, which I took with me.”

From a stint working as a gamekeeper, Laurence had discovered a close rapport with nature and a sensitive eye for detail which was reflected in his wildlife drawings. “That’s when I discovered that I was perhaps put on this earth to decorate pots,” he added.

In 1979 he returned to his native Wiltshire and established his own workshop at Collingbourne Kingston. Having trained in the in-glaze technique of pottery decoration, he enhanced his thrown stoneware pots with brushwork patterns distilled from plant and animal forms. He also drew on the influence of Islamic decorative arts, and drew on his skill in calligraphy to add inscriptions.

Much of his output was commissioned as commemorative and presentation pieces. He produced a plate to mark the 21st anniversary of the Antiques Roadshow, one for the city of Royston to mark the Millennium, Royal visits and even the Yorkshire County Cricket Club Player of the Year trophy.

This lovely blue lidded pot is one of two pieces by McGowan that the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery has in its ceramics collection – bought the support of the HLF-funded Creative Wiltshire programme. It is decorated with a design of trees and birds.

McGowan retired from ceramics and closed his pottery at Collingbourne Kingston last year, and hopefully will enjoy a long and very well-earned retirement.
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Post by NaomiM August 9th 2022, 10:18 pm

I think that’s how much he’d have charged for a new one.

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Post by Potty August 10th 2022, 1:17 am

22 Crawford St. wrote:So plashed out £400 (gulp!) for this fine example Birds Of A Feather plate - 320mm - Not my photos - but I'm sure the lovely woman who hand delivered it to be on the safe side won't mind. If you are going to buy a plate it might as well be a good one. Dated 2007. I sat there thinking how much would a big plate be at Art in Clay later this month by any potter? £200? is double for a really good example by a retired potter that is popular that much?

If you like it and can afford it, who cares basically Big Laughter

From an investment PoV, his work does seem to be going up and is popular for good reason. I would say his designs are quite "timeless" and are likely to remain popular. But this only matters at all if you think you would sell it, if buying to collect because you love something, my first point stands Excellent

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Post by philpot August 10th 2022, 7:15 am

That is lovely! Clap Laurence Mcgowan must be one of the very best of the potters to come out of Aldermaston. His work seems to be in great demand, but for good reason! You paid market price. On the other hand you would have paid more than that for a good Alan Caiger piece of that size 30 or 40 years ago!
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