The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

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The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

Post by philpot on April 18th 2018, 1:34 pm

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/apr/18/top-of-the-pots-the-smashing-rise-of-ceramics

Ceramic Art London. Cambridge Exhibition. A general run through the rising interest in British Studio pottery and all things clay. Quite interesting,if slightly OTT. Alternative lifestyle with Adam Buick surfing on the Pembrokeshire coast at 6 am? Don't think they have any idea just how much hard work making a living as a potter is!
Interesingly enough the Huntin, shootin, bible of the Green Wellie Brigade COUNTRY LIFE had a long and complimentary review of the Cambridge THINGS OF BEAUTY growing a couple of weeks ago.
Interest and praise from both sides of the social and political spectrum!Laughter Laughter



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Re: The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

Post by NaomiM on April 18th 2018, 6:17 pm

Eddie Curtis put up a 3 part blog post on FB about his working life and CAL and how hard it is to make a living if both partners are potters. After a decade or more of being a regular at CAL and having the highest sales of the year via that location, he did not get a place for 2018, although his wife did. Needless to say he was hopping mad and is cancelling his membership. Several other big names have also dropped their membership over the years, for various reasons, eg, Phil Rogers, and the discussion was whether CAL alumni should automatically get a place, or whether there should be an automatic rotation, or, as happens now, it’s on ‘merit’, ie, the panel are presented with a set of photos of that potters work and a unanimous vote is required to get selected since pressure for the 90-odd stands is so high.
But there are new fairs setting up like Aberystwyth and York, snd some closing like Art in Action, and as a collector I don’t really want to see the same faces at every fair, so there needs to be a balance.
Tim Lake has said he’s taking a year off. Mark Griffiths is considering selling direct, online, rather than waste money paying for stands and travel and accommodation. Etsy is an excellent resource

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Re: The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

Post by Potty on April 19th 2018, 3:08 am

NaomiM wrote:Etsy is an excellent resource

For "crafts" I agree, but not much on there in terms of "higher end artists/potters" (i.e. cpa level+ potters), in my opinion at least. I can think of 1 maybe 2 good potters that use it from the US, but more as an occasional selling platform than always having items for sale there.

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Re: The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

Post by philpot on April 19th 2018, 5:24 am

The real problem for Potters is the lack of an infrastructure of galleries in which to sell their product. Part of the whole changing face of retail. Equally, an awful lot of potters are just not very good at selling themselves Online. How many Potter's sites do you see that are not updated, no prices, bad presentation and not really wanting to send things by post? The retail world is changing fast, look at the whole slew of bankruptcies on the High Street. Adapt or die.
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Re: The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

Post by NaomiM on April 19th 2018, 10:48 am

Potty wrote:
NaomiM wrote:Etsy is an excellent resource

For "crafts" I agree, but not much on there in terms of "higher end artists/potters" (i.e. cpa level+ potters), in my opinion at least. I can think of 1 maybe 2 good potters that use it from the US, but more as an occasional selling platform than always having items for sale there.

I have 50-odd pages of good potters in my favourites on Etsy; over 1000 potters. Some big names are on there. Mostly from the US but also from the U.K., France, Australia, etc - Sabine Nemet, Steve Booton... yes, some just use it was a fairly static advert but others regularly list new work

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Re: The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

Post by Potty on April 22nd 2018, 12:30 am

NaomiM wrote:
Potty wrote:
NaomiM wrote:Etsy is an excellent resource

For "crafts" I agree, but not much on there in terms of "higher end artists/potters" (i.e. cpa level+ potters), in my opinion at least. I can think of 1 maybe 2 good potters that use it from the US, but more as an occasional selling platform than always having items for sale there.

I have 50-odd pages of good potters in my favourites on Etsy; over 1000 potters. Some big names are on there. Mostly from the US but also from the U.K., France, Australia, etc - Sabine Nemet, Steve Booton... yes, some just use it was a fairly static advert but others regularly list new work

"good" or "goodish" potters are not what I mean though.

The only higher end ceramic artist/potter I know of that uses Etsy is Stephanie Young, but that is only as a platform periodically and when she does list, all her work is sold out within mins, as she does make good use of social media such as Facebook. I'm sure other higher end US people sell there, but not so much from the UK I think. The 2 potters you mention are "good" potters for sure, but are not yet "higher end" in my opinion anyway.

This is an opinion, so we may just have to agree to disagree :D

I do think Etsy has potential, but with the current search system, it's pretty hard to separate the wheat from the chaff on there, as it's full of amateur artists/crafts people.

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Re: The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

Post by philpot on April 22nd 2018, 7:41 am

The word phrase 'higher ceramic artist' is very much a subjective one.
But it does raise the question if the golden age of British Studio pottery in particular has passed.  That specific set of cultural, societal, and economic circumstances that led to the huge blossoming of Studio pottery from the mid 60's onwards has disappeared forever. In fact so have the vast majority of pottery courses!
                Meself I find myself buying little from modern day potters. Rather more refining what I have.
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Re: The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

Post by Potty on April 23rd 2018, 1:00 am

philpot wrote:The word phrase 'higher ceramic artist' is very much a subjective one.
But it does raise the question if the golden age of British Studio pottery in particular has passed.  That specific set of cultural, societal, and economic circumstances that led to the huge blossoming of Studio pottery from the mid 60's onwards has disappeared forever. In fact so have the vast majority of pottery courses!
                Meself I find myself buying little from modern day potters. Rather more refining what I have.

Your right, hence I said "in my opinion" Excellent

The "golden age" of studio pottery as you call it is also subjective, personally I think studio ceramics produced currently and in fairly recent years have been excellent, especially the more sculptural ceramics.

Now if we are talking about the "Brown age of British Studio Pottery"  Cheeky You may be right!  Big Laughter

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Re: The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

Post by NaomiM on April 23rd 2018, 2:37 am

I do not believe The ‘golden age’ has passed, but rather that A ‘golden age’ has passed. There will always be golden ages, and with new glazes, and better and more controlled firing, I think we are in one now. There are wonderful ceramics being produced today which potters could only dream of 30 or 50 or 70 or 100... years ago.

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Re: The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

Post by philpot on April 23rd 2018, 7:09 am

I bow to your knowledge of the current studio pottery scene Naomi. I go to Hatfield, drop into Contemporary Ceramics in London a few times a year, and visit the odd show like Bovey Tracey, St Ives. What strikes me, is just how elderly both the potters and audience are.
            To be honest, I just do not see much I want to buy. Okay, I have a wide and mature collection. But even so, I am seeing little work that jumps out and grabs me. How many times  can you retread the Leach tradition?
              Equally, where are the new potters to come from? Very few courses now. Even fewer teaching and academic posts that helped many of our potters maintain themselves.
               It will be interesting where the millennial generation spend their money!
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Re: The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

Post by dantheman on April 23rd 2018, 8:50 am

on rent

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Re: The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

Post by NaomiM on April 23rd 2018, 10:47 am

Well I dont limit myself to just UK potters, but Matthew Blakely, Lisa Hammond, Peter Beard, stuff coming out of the Oxford Anagama kiln, Yo Thom, Chiui Wu, Mikki Saunby, Steve Booton.... I could go on; they are all at the top of their game and several are training the next generation. but I think maybe the problem is, if you have a mature collection then you get picky. It’s not any lack of good potters but more that one’s own collecting priorities change

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Re: The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

Post by philpot on April 23rd 2018, 1:06 pm

Got Peter Beard and Lotta Lisa Hammond (who notably are not spring chickens!). Matthew Blakeley....now there is an interesting case in point. Got a number of his earlier ice Blue pieces, but his present work leaves me cold.
But where are the giants of the field? The teachers, the masters the individual talents that spark ordinary people?? The Bernard and David Leach, Hans Coper and Lucie Rie, Michael Cardew.... Why have Goldmark have had not one single British Leach/Cardew potter from a younger generation?
Moreover -as Dan says- people nowadays rent more. Move more often. Have fewer possessions. The younger generation are simply poorer, with less money to spend on nice things.
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Re: The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

Post by 22 Crawford St. on April 23rd 2018, 1:23 pm

Not true. We all have more that our parents did. The young of now have more than we had at their age. My mother saved for sixth months to buy a bicycle when she went to university... would not happen now.

Unusual now not to buy a house till you are now in your early thirties. Not till you are in your 40s or 50s do most people have 'comfort' to begin collecting, the house to put it in and the spare wall space to fill.

Young of nowadays are only interested in experiences, they are not going to out buying what is in reality expensive hand-made art pottery when their peers are going snowboarding.

Only us oldies who buy pots.

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Re: The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

Post by philpot on April 23rd 2018, 1:39 pm

Save for bicycle?
Aw c'con! It will be purchased on credit.
Ditto for new cars. The huge majority are leased.
The Baby Boomer generation had FREE university tuition. Often with substantial grants. Moreover you could get a decent job with O Levels, and an excellent job with A Levels.
Nowadays you need a University degree for ANY decent job. Being lumbered with tens of thousands of £££ debt. with an interest rate of 6%.
Ten years of pay freezes or measly % increases that have not kept up with inflation, let alone Rents.
People are poorer.
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Re: The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

Post by philpot on April 23rd 2018, 2:29 pm

Between 2008 and 2018 Average wages increased by 16.4 %.
Between 2008 and 2018 inflation increased by 29.2%.
The average person is A lot poorer!

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Re: The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

Post by 22 Crawford St. on April 23rd 2018, 2:32 pm

The poor are poorer
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Re: The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

Post by dantheman on April 23rd 2018, 2:47 pm

one difference between us and the Millennial generation is  the difficulty of getting on the housing ladder. we are looking at a generation of renters resulting in less money for pot pots

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Re: The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

Post by philpot on April 23rd 2018, 3:10 pm

Its been a twisted scenario. The panacea for A depression has been 'Quantitative Easing', where governements all over the world have vastly expanded the money supply. All that money has sought a home, and it has mainly been invested in assets. So House owners in London AND THE south east in particular especially have shown house price gains beyond their dreams of avarice. They have become wealthy.
But those without assets have become a lot poorer. Its not just the poor, it a whole swathe of the lower middle class. Especially government employees where wage restraint has been even tighter. The teachers, lecturers, middle management. That whole slightly left leaning class of people that were the natural buyers of studio pottery. The new poor. A whole market has entirely disappeared.
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Re: The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

Post by 22 Crawford St. on April 23rd 2018, 5:46 pm

I know a few unmarried youngsters (under 30) who live with their parents and who save and then spend all their cash on trips.
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Re: The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

Post by NaomiM on April 23rd 2018, 6:15 pm

philpot wrote:Got Peter Beard and Lotta Lisa Hammond (who notably are not spring chickens!). Matthew Blakeley....now there is an interesting case in point. Got a number of his earlier ice Blue pieces, but his present work leaves me cold.
But where are the giants of the field? The teachers, the masters the individual talents that spark ordinary people?? The Bernard and David Leach, Hans Coper and Lucie Rie, Michael Cardew.... Why have Goldmark have had not one single British Leach/Cardew potter from a younger generation?
             Moreover -as Dan says- people nowadays rent more. Move more often. Have fewer possessions. The younger generation are simply poorer, with less money to spend on nice things.
           


Because most don’t become recognised as giants until after the fact. Both Hammond and Blakely (to take just two examples) are heavily involved in setting up the Clay College in Stoke. g’Give it a couple of decades, when their students are established potters and singing their praises, and they will be recognised as giants in their field.

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Re: The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

Post by philpot on April 23rd 2018, 8:31 pm

Its a real tough life making your living solely as a potter. Potters are notorious for having poor incomes. That is why so many supplemented their income by teaching. Those teaching  jobs are no longer  there. Moreover, will there be a ongoing customer base to buy their work?
           One does wish them luck. But it was hard enough for the generation that emerged from college/university courses from the early 70's onwards. It will a lot tougher for any new emerging generation.
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Re: The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

Post by 22 Crawford St. on April 23rd 2018, 10:04 pm

We moan, but is it any different than acting, than painting, ballet, the Arts etc...only the top 1% get anywhere, 99% are forgotten. Sturgeon's Law applies
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Re: The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

Post by NaomiM on April 24th 2018, 1:47 am

Money is spent on hobbies. If that hobby is collecting studio pottery then that’s where any spare cash will go. Youngsters think nothing of spending £600 on a phone or a camera, but a pot depends on perminance so they have a place to put it. There’s little point in buying an expensive pot while there are kids running round who can break it - most of the ceramics my parents bought when we were kids were safely tucked away in the back of the wardrobe and under the bed out of our way. Most collectors buying higher end ceramics are older because they have fewer spending commitments once the mortgage is paid off and the kids have left home, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a large and extremely keen pool of younger collectors coming up behind them, cutting their teeth on the cheaper end of the market.

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Re: The ever Onward march of Studio Pottery. Guardian article.

Post by philpot on April 24th 2018, 3:53 pm

'Golden ages' in Art do not last forever. Usually they are quite short. A combination of social, artistic and commercial circumstances that results in a brilliant blossoming that is highly unusual. They come, they go. But its rare that they last three generations. Things change.
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