A new exhibition at Buckinghamshire County Museum highlights this rich diversity and
showcases one of the most important studio ceramics collections in the country.
During the 20th century, Britain was at the centre of studio ceramics.
Many of the best known potters, such as Bernard Leach, Lucie Rie and Hans Coper
lived and worked in England. Their influence on the world of studio ceramics has been immense.
British studio potters have used a wide range of styles and techniques, from the delicate pinched porcelain forms of Mary Rogers to the angular slab-built pots of Ian Auld. Drawing on the Museum's spectacular collection of studio pottery, the exhibition contains over 100 pots and includes work by key potters working in Britain in the 20th century; Bernard Leach, Lucie Rie, Hans Coper, Ruth Duckworth and Ewen Henderson.
As the works on display in Twentieth Century Transformations clearly demonstrate, the close relationship between the potters and their work is central to the idea of studio ceramics. Unlike the segmented production of ceramics made in a factory, studio potters are involved in every stage of making a pot, from design to production. As the term studio ceramics suggests, the scale of production is small and intimate rather than mass-produced and each piece is a unique work of art crafted from clay.
To complement the exhibition an on-line database of the entire collection of 320 studio pots is in preparation. The database will include a colour image for each piece and allow people to search by potter. The database will be available on www.buckscc.gov.uk/museum from the end of March.