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Post by Rochellewillow April 5th 2019, 7:27 am

Could anyone tell me anything about James Walford career I have found some information but it’s sketchy. I would like to know the date made for this piece. I have seen similar on internet would appear to be a crab (Raku) there are other examples of organic sea Life/creatures? But mostly examples are quite plain, I am curious to know why the diversity. I would also be keen to know the material made from if anyone has any ideas I have read that he used fullers earth but I’m assuming this would have been on the more delicate pieces.
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Post by Rochellewillow April 5th 2019, 7:29 am

James Walford 9df78110
James Walford 5dbd5e10
James Walford 264b6510
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Post by studio-pots April 5th 2019, 8:17 am

James Walford was born in 1913 and studied painting at the Slade and then the Royal College of Art.

After the Second World War he started evening classes in pottery with Dora Billington at Kingston School of Art and then moved over to S. E. London to study in Woolwich with William Staite Murray's former pupil, Heber Matthews.

Allegedly, he bought his first gas kiln directly from Bernard Leach in 1947 and from then until the late 1950s gained a considerable reputation as a potter making traditional thrown pots that were described at the time as "close copies of Chinese Song wares showing exceptional virtuosity".

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Post by studio-pots April 5th 2019, 8:26 am

In fact the first pot that was bought by the V & A for the national studio pottery collection, rather than being donated, was a vase bought in 1954 directly from Walford.

He was a founder member of the CPA in 1958 when he was potting in South Nutfield in Surrey but the following year he had to give up potting because of an affliction that prevented him from throwing.

The same year he moved to Crowborough in Sussex where I believe he remained until his death.

In 1977 or thereabouts he did begin making sculptural pieces, usually in stoneware as your piece is, and often of animals and birds. This was on a relatively small scale but I do remember seeing a few contemporary pieces in a small gallery in London near Kings Cross back around 1990 when I first became interested in studio pottery

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Post by philpot April 5th 2019, 8:27 am

An interesting potter who has disappeared off the radar very quickly.
Born in 1913. Died 2001. Studied painting at the Slade school of Art and the Royal school of art. Post war he changed direction and established a pottery in Surrey where he worked from 1948-59.
              He then moved to Crowborough and stopped potting until 1977, when he resumed on  a small scale. He was independently wealthy (his house in Crowborough was Big!) and pursued potting in latter years more of a hobby. He sold his work by advertising, and through auction houses.  He had a special interest in chinse ash and celadon glazes, almost entirely in stoneware and made them very well. Made some figures also. There are several pieces of his work in the V&A collection.https://collections.vam.ac.uk/search/?listing_type=&offset=0&limit=15&narrow=&extrasearch=&q=james+walford&commit=Search&quality=0&objectnamesearch=&placesearch=&after=&before=&namesearch=&materialsearch=&mnsearch=&locationsearch=
            Sadly now almost entirely forgotten. I have a few pieces, and will dig them out if I can find them. We do not seem to have a thread about him on here.


Last edited by philpot on April 5th 2019, 8:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by studio-pots April 5th 2019, 8:29 am

philpot wrote:We do not seem to have a thread about him on here.


We do now!

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Post by philpot April 5th 2019, 8:30 am

Which I will try and make bigger!
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Post by studio-pots April 5th 2019, 8:53 am

I probably haven't seen a piece for nearly 20 years and so it would be good if you could add some examples, philpot.

I think when I saw the sculptural pieces around 1990 the gallery also had a few drawings by him framed on the wall. However, I have found no mention of him in The Dictionary of Artists in Britain since 1945, which seemed strange considering his original training. The "independently wealthy" comment of philpot's probably explains why.

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Post by philpot April 5th 2019, 9:25 am

James Walford Img_3915James Walford Img_3916James Walford Img_3918James Walford Img_3919James Walford Img_3920James Walford Img_3921

All Stoneware. The Celadon vase does catch those Chinese glazes.
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