Clay Big Spender

Enthusiasm for studio and contemporary earthenware is at an all-time high, with clay’s chic status making its mark across the Instagram profiles of interior designers, celebrities, and collectors alike.


Studio Ceramics at Sworders

 

Enthusiasm for studio and contemporary earthenware is at an all-time high, with clay’s chic status making its mark across the Instagram profiles of interior designers, celebrities, and collectors alike.

Celebrated potter and art teacher Bernard Leach carved out an identity for fellow ceramic artists in the 1920s, founding the movement of studio pottery, a term applied to the creation of ceramic artworks that are carefully crafted in limited quantities using unusual glazes and production techniques. Leach Pottery, St Ives, remains amongst the most respected and influential potteries in the world.

Bernard Leach

A glazed and multifaceted vase. Bernard Leach (1887-1979). Sold for £606 including fees in 2017

 

The 20th-century resurrection of studio pottery in Britain changed the field of ceramics forever, with developments through teachings at the Camberwell School of Art and Central School of Art and Design encouraging a new generation of potters to experiment with abstract forms and glaze effects.

From Leach’s influences, the arrival of acclaimed artist potters Lucie Rie (1902-1995), Hans Coper (1920-1981), and Michael Cardew (1901–1983), amongst others, has had a reverberating effect on what is today, one of the most exciting and dynamic areas of the art market.

Lucie Rie pourer

A glazed stoneware pourer. Lucie Rie and Hans Coper. Sold for £1,850 including fees in 2018

 

The movement has accelerated into the contemporary sphere with artists John Ward (b.1938), Kate Malone (b.1959), and Robert Johnson Washington (1913-1997) all in vogue and commanding large sums at auction.

 

John Ward

A hand-built black and white stepped rim bowl. John Ward (b.1939). Sold for £9,750 including fees in 2020

 

Our May and July 2021 sales continue with the Trevor Coldrey Collection featuring the works of leading contemporary artists Dan Kelly (b.1953), Jim Malone (b.1946), Nic Collins (b.1958), Mike Dodd (b.1943), and Robert Johnson Washington (1913-1997), to name but a few. Coldrey and his late wife Monica ran the Harlequin Gallery in South East London. A keen supporter of craftsmen and craftswomen, he built an unrivaled collection of contemporary ceramics. Having retired from the gallery in 1999, he now sells on some of his works to the next generation of collector.

 

We consign works by studio and contemporary ceramicists for our flagship Design auction, held four times a year.

To discuss a valuation, please contact our specialist John Black on – johnblack@sworder.co.uk | 01279 817778

 

 

 

 


 

Recent News

 

The Journey of a Dame Lucie Rie Bowl | From Discovery to Record Sale

When conducting the valuation of the late John and Collette Lewington's ceramics, we discovered a remarkable Dame Lucie Rie bowl hidden behind assorted cups. Initially estimated at £8,000-12,000, it sold for £32,500. This piece exemplifies Rie's iconic style, reflecting her journey from Austria to becoming a renowned figure in studio ceramics.

10 July 2024

Inside Christine Keeler's World

A remarkable collection of Christine Keeler's personal letters and photographs is set to captivate bidders at our annual Out of The Ordinary sale on Tuesday 30 July. Offered by her friend James Birch, this archive provides an intimate glimpse into the life of the woman at the heart of the Profumo Affair, revealing her thoughts and experiences during one of the most scandalous periods in British history.

10 July 2024

Vistosi | From 16th Century Mastery to 20th Century Icons

Sworders are thrilled to have several works from one of Vistosi’s finest collaborators – Ettore Sottsass in our 9 July Design Auction. The man who established the Memphis Group, worked with several glassworks, including the famed Venini works.

4 July 2024

 


 

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