Robert Ayton

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Robert Ayton Empty Robert Ayton

Post by studio-pots August 18th 2014, 2:17 pm

Having browsed "The D.A.G. Yunomi Collection" ( www.myteabowls.com ) after Naomi's recent link to it under the Useful External Links section of the Forum, got me to thinking that I ought to start a topic about Robert Ayton, whose work is included in the collection.

I am sure that Robert wouldn't mind me calling him a "hobby potter" as he has a proper job i.e. Head of Design and Conservation at Westminster Council.

However, I do have two teabowls by him in my own collection and his work was much admired and bought by visitors to an exhibition I held in 2002 entitled "East meets West". It was a two person show, one Japanese and one British, and I do recall that all the Japanese visitors to that show couldn't believe that Robert's hand built pots were not by a Japanese maker.


Last edited by studio-pots on August 18th 2014, 2:33 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Robert Ayton Empty Re: Robert Ayton

Post by studio-pots August 18th 2014, 2:20 pm

Robert Ayton Ayton_11

The first of the bowls from my collection is marked on the base in a similar way to the one in the D.A.G. Yunomi collection: -

Robert Ayton Ayton_12

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Robert Ayton Empty Re: Robert Ayton

Post by studio-pots August 18th 2014, 2:23 pm

However, Robert didn't always mark his work and when he did it wasn't always on the base.

The other bowl in my collection shown below is unmarked, as the image of the base shows.

Robert Ayton Ayton_13

Robert Ayton Ayton_14

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Robert Ayton Empty Re: Robert Ayton

Post by NaomiM August 18th 2014, 6:03 pm

Interesting pottery. Although I have to say that, to my eye, it's not all that original. But hobby potters do get it right sometimes, and he's definitely one of them. I have a couple of hobby potter pieces on my wish list, so not a group to be ignored.

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Robert Ayton Empty Re: Robert Ayton

Post by studio-pots August 18th 2014, 10:43 pm

I don't think that Robert ever wanted to be original but just wanted to make pots that reminded him of the ancient wood fired pots produced at Bizen, Iga and Shigaraki in Japan. Not that his pots are wood-fired or would be mistaken for work from these 3 Ancient Kilns.

I would say though that once you have seen and held a few you would not mistake them for the work of anyone else, with or without a mark. At least he has that advantage over Shoji Hamada and Lucie Rie.  Cheeky

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Robert Ayton Empty Re: Robert Ayton

Post by big ed August 22nd 2014, 3:01 pm

I don't think the term "hobby potter" applies here , that suggests lesser imo , these are better than that , the top one in particular looks very well made and would not look out of place against better knowns , the bottom one is also a fine piece although I am personally not too keen on the Bob Dawe type dots impressed decor , is he related to Julie Ayton A Potters name I saw in d book ?
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Post by studio-pots August 22nd 2014, 4:02 pm

I have no idea if Julie Ayton is related, as until you mentioned her I wasn't aware of her existence. I had a look at her website and her work looks interesting so the next time I see Robert I'll try and remember to ask him.

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Robert Ayton Empty Re: Robert Ayton

Post by dantheman August 22nd 2014, 4:03 pm

surely a hobby potter is someone who pots for pleasure and doesn't sell

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Robert Ayton Empty Re: Robert Ayton

Post by studio-pots August 22nd 2014, 6:49 pm

Robert had to be persuaded to sell his pots by both Trevor, who ran the Harlequin Gallery before me, and myself. Before that he had only shown his pots in a large exhibition organised by the Craft Potters' Association at the V&A when a few Associate Members (i.e. members interested in studio pottery rather than makers) had work selected to be shown alongside that of Professional members and Fellows.

It was there that Trevor came across his work and traced Robert because, although Trevor arrived less than 5 minutes after the exhibition opened, all of Robert's pots had sold.

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Robert Ayton Empty Japanese style, hand built teapot, unmarked, Robert Ayton

Post by NaomiM April 19th 2022, 11:32 am

Fired on shells. Karatsu yaki from Japan, maybe,
https://tokodo.co.jp/en/about-ceramics/ceramics-producing-areas/

although David Wright hand builds and uses similar glazes so I’ll have to ask him if he’s ever made teapots. He doesnt fire on shells, though, so very much a long shot.

Robert Ayton Bad73f10

Robert Ayton D0c77010

Robert Ayton F505e610


Robert Ayton 48e98410

Robert Ayton 3556d810

Robert Ayton 4e26c410


Last edited by NaomiM on April 21st 2022, 5:58 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Robert Ayton Empty Re: Robert Ayton

Post by studio-pots April 19th 2022, 4:34 pm

I think that it was made by Robert Ayton.

I had an exhibition of his work alongside that of Motoko Wakana at the Harlequin Gallery in 2002. Aki Moriuchi came along to the PV and bought one of Robert's pots and she couldn't believe it was not made by a Japanese potter...... until I introduced her to him.

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Robert Ayton Empty Re: Robert Ayton

Post by NaomiM April 19th 2022, 4:49 pm

Cheers. Most Excellent That would explain the Western influence, such as the handle and lid top. And I was trying to match the spout with Japanese wares but none of them fit.

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Robert Ayton Empty Re: Robert Ayton

Post by studio-pots April 21st 2022, 4:46 pm

Robert did sometimes mark his work but often didn't and in reality I would be happy to say that he made it. We still do Christmas cards and he still has his proper job but his recreational activity these days seems to be playing bass in a blues band rather than making pots.

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Robert Ayton Empty Re: Robert Ayton

Post by NaomiM April 21st 2022, 5:56 pm

studio-pots wrote:Robert did sometimes mark his work but often didn't and in reality I would be happy to say that he made it. We still do Christmas cards and he still has his proper job but his recreational activity these days seems to be playing bass in a blues band rather than making pots.

Cheers. :)
That's a shame. His work is lovely

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Robert Ayton Empty Re: Robert Ayton

Post by studio-pots April 22nd 2022, 6:23 pm

He used to make it on his kitchen table in Balham and then fire it somewhere in Norfolk. I did sell a fair amount back in the day and other stuff that didn't sell went to his local charity shop so there's a fair bit out there.

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Robert Ayton Empty Re: Robert Ayton

Post by studio-pots April 24th 2022, 12:42 pm

Been down in the kitchen and found this plate of Robert's that we have had for 20 years or more.

Robert Ayton Ra_a10

Robert Ayton Ra_b10

Although Robert didn't study ceramics formally, he did mentioned that he went on short courses with Phil Rogers and John Maltby on occasions.

The plate, which is unmarked, and some of the features of the teapot above suggest to me a John Maltby influence.

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Post by NaomiM April 24th 2022, 2:05 pm

Most Excellent
I have my eye on a pair on mugs on ebay which I'm pretty sure are also his

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Robert Ayton Empty Re: Robert Ayton

Post by NaomiM May 5th 2022, 9:05 pm

Robert Ayton 832c0210
Robert Ayton F102a910 Robert Ayton 16621610

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Robert Ayton Empty Re: Robert Ayton

Post by studio-pots May 6th 2022, 10:12 am

.............. and you bought them.

Although not marked, which was the case with much of Robert's work, they are typical of his making method and decoration and really unlike anything else made here in the UK.

All you need now, is a teabowl. Happy

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Post by NaomiM May 6th 2022, 10:37 am

Most Excellent

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Robert Ayton Empty Re: Robert Ayton

Post by NaomiM May 8th 2022, 6:13 pm

Tea bowl Most Excellent


Robert Ayton Cbcaba10

Robert Ayton 3a222610 Robert Ayton 573c0f10 Robert Ayton Cce04110

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Robert Ayton Empty Re: Robert Ayton

Post by NaomiM Today at 5:51 pm

From my mystery marks files.

Robert Ayton Amark810

Robert Ayton Amark110



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