John Ward

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Post by philpot July 24th 2016, 7:24 am

John Ward Img_0014

One of the very finest of British hand builders. At the  Camberwell course  in the  late 60's,he has had a studio at Newport, South Wales since 1979. His quiet pots have a great beauty that matures the more you look at them. This vase is 22 cm high,17 cm in diameter.
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Post by philpot July 24th 2016, 8:08 am

John Ward Img_0015

John Ward mark/signature
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Post by philpot March 9th 2019, 7:54 pm

John Ward Img_3810

Part of the John Shakeshaft bequest in the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge.
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Post by studio-pots March 10th 2019, 9:48 am

I do agree that John Ward's pots have a great beauty. When I first became aware of his pots it was through photos and the reality is that they can never do his work justice. You really need to hold them.

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Post by philpot March 10th 2019, 3:58 pm

If there is any justice in this world, and the explosion of John Ward's prices in the past few years is a result. Never particularly trumpeted in the larger world,(the V&A only has two of his pieces, with similar paucity in other Museums) and quietly ploughing his handbuilt perfection in the remoteness of Newport Wales. While exhibiting consistently IN small galleries like the Stour Gallery, Amalgam Barnes, and Peter Dingley amongst others. He built a reputation entirely on the quality of his work. Which is unique. Of all the 'pupils' of Coper and Rie that now have taken the limelight, the quality of John Ward's work stands above everyone else.
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Post by studio-pots March 12th 2019, 12:24 pm

Before I knew anything about studio pottery we lived a few doors apart in Charlton S. E. London. I was speaking to Deirdre Burnett recently and she told me that he had stopped potting but was enjoying his retirement. They used to show together at the Peter Dingley Gallery.

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Post by croker January 27th 2021, 6:51 pm

As a collector of John Ward pots I was interested to learn that he has retired from potting.

Does anyone know when?
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Post by philpot January 27th 2021, 7:25 pm

A collector. Lucky you!
He must be about 82 now. An age at most people are a long time retired. Potters seem to work a good deal longer. But in the end it is probably the hands that give in.
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Post by croker January 27th 2021, 8:02 pm

I was attracted to wards pots a few years ago and decided to collect a few but with escalating prices i am finding it hard to justify new purchases in the present climate.I agree with a former post that ward is one of the best hand builders .I  have only been aware of the forum since lockdown but i hope to contribute more in future posts.
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Post by NaomiM January 27th 2021, 8:10 pm

Some potters you miss the boat on as their work is priced out of your pocket. But plenty more fish in the sea :)

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Post by croker January 27th 2021, 8:52 pm

hi, thanks for your reply but i didn't miss the boat as i already have a small number of his pots its just that future additions need a bit more thought before purchasing.I do have interests in other potters.
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Post by Grumpy Grandad January 27th 2021, 9:11 pm

Croker, you'd be welcome to add any photos you have of your Ward pieces to this thread. The more examples of a potter's work the better Happy
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Post by philpot January 27th 2021, 9:15 pm

John Ward pottery was never exactly cheap. This illustration is from a 1989 Christies catalogue. The bigger matt manganese vase was 20 cms high, hammer price was £990.

The smaller one with matt bands of Olive green glaze was 10 cm high, hammer price was £440. now that is 32 years ago


John Ward Img_0261
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Post by croker January 27th 2021, 10:01 pm

For anybody interested in Ward's pots Terry Bacon and John Oldham have donated 45 of their John Ward pots to The Hepworth, Wakefield, along with others by Alison Britton.

These should be on display when open again after the lockdown you can see them now on The Hepworth website. I will post photos of mine if you want when I can work out how to load from my phone as my computer is showing its age a bit.
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Post by philpot January 27th 2021, 10:48 pm

Yorkshire and the North East are going to have a brilliant selection of studio pottery. The Shipley Art Gallery recently had a donation of 552 pots being the collection of Art historian John Christian. This added to their Henry Rothschild Collection will make a fantastic Museum collection.    Then one has the national Centre of Ceramic Art ay York City Gallery with the astounding Bill Ismay collection amongst others.
            The donation of the Wards the Wakefield is just icing on the cake.
         The Terry Bacon and John Oldham Collection was big news in the Guardian.
https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2020/apr/04/we-bought-things-we-liked-amateurs-stunning-gallery-gift

         One admires their courage. ALL those expensive pieces on glass shelves. Then they had a Dog as well. Mind you, I don't quite if it all in one huge display like that does the Ward's justice. They are often quiet  pieces that sort of creep up on you and dwell in the back of your mind. Sottly, Softly display suits them. But they really do have some amazing pots!

John Ward Img_0264John Ward Img_0265
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Post by 22 Crawford St. January 27th 2021, 10:52 pm

Yes as usual we all think they were £25 for two, but I'm sure that £440 was four months rent for me back then. I think I had £2500 a year to live off and half went on rent.

Corker these links? Could not find any more photos of the pots?

https://hepworthwakefield.org/news/artist-qa-john-ward/

https://hepworthwakefield.org/news/the-hepworth-wakefield-announces-major-gift-of-100-artworks-from-local-collectors/

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Post by croker January 27th 2021, 11:24 pm

hi,although prices for these pots  seem high in 1989  compared to ceramics in other fields they were quite cheap. From a personal point i never display anything  behind glass but  on open  shelves or on furniture, you mention a dog with the open shelves in the bacon collection  but believe me the combination of grand children and a dog is  far worse.I think that those photos of the bacon collection are all there are at the moment.
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Post by philpot January 28th 2021, 8:02 am

I think the best collection of John Ward images is on the Maak Online auction site,
https://maaklondon.irostrum.com/auction/search/cce77831-8337-e811-80c2-0003ff3952e8?keyword=ward
I do not think that there has been a large scale exhibition of his work at all.
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Post by philpot January 28th 2021, 11:23 am

Information about John Ward is sparse on the internet. These images come from the POTTERS books produced by the Craft Potter's Association. They came out every 3 to 5 years. These images in the first post come from the 6th edition published in 1983. This coincided with a grand exhibition held at the V&A to celebrate the 25 th Anniversary of the CPA. For this edition only it was retitled STUDIO CERAMICS TODAY. The photos are of John Ward's entries. All in Black and  white unfortunately.
This was a rounded bown, black and blue hand built bowl, No size given

John Ward Img_0266




John Ward Img_0267[/urJohn Ward Img_0268
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Post by philpot January 28th 2021, 11:32 am

This comes from the 7th edition of potters published in 1986, Interesting evolution of the green banded pieces.

John Ward Img_0269John Ward Img_0271



John Ward Img_0270
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Post by studio-pots January 28th 2021, 11:39 am

Not flash but below is a "quiet" vase that I owned for a short time and have always wished that I had kept it longer.

It had originally been exhibited and bought from the Peter Dingley Gallery around 1981.

John Ward Jw_ar10

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Post by philpot January 28th 2021, 11:41 am

This comes from the 8th edition published 1989. The Black has come in,

John Ward Img_0272John Ward Img_0273John Ward Img_0274
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Post by croker January 28th 2021, 2:13 pm

hi philpot,thanks for the pics and info , on my initial post i stated that i was a collector of john ward pottery but my main interest is in post war modern art and design and john ward along with other potters are all part of this ,i will probably buy one more piece of his to have a representative selection then go on to other artists even then i will only have 8 pieces of ward (hardly a collection).Incidentally did you see the high prices at Anderson and garland this morning for mediocre waistel cooper pieces .I have something to say about this recently overhyped potter on a future post.
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Post by philpot January 28th 2021, 3:43 pm

We had a discussion on Waistel Cooper prices the other day.On this thread. The pieces at Anderson and Garland were fairly underwhelming!
https://www.20thcenturyforum.com/t27445-waistel-cooper-sells-for-3500-hammer-price?highlight=waistel+cooper

Given the stratospheric prices that much modern and contemporary art has reached, it has only been natural for dealers and art lovers to look at Studio Pottery. Its chicken feed prices in comparison.
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Post by 22 Crawford St. January 28th 2021, 3:46 pm

SSSsssshhhhhhhuuusssshhHHHHHH Philpot or everyone will know and prices will rocket and we won't be able to afford the tiniest eggcup.
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