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Peter BeardImage Gallery

Contact Details

Studio: Tanners Cottage, Welsh Road , Cubbington, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, UK, CV32 7UB. View in Google Maps
Telephone: +44 (0)1926 428481
Fax: +44 (0)1926 428481
Email:
Web-site: www.peterbeard.co.uk
Availability: My studio is open at any reasonable time, by appointment.
Last Updated: 2011-07-15

Artist's Statement

Artist's Statement

Art communicates by combining process, materials and concept, this fusion is particularly poignant in the world of crafts.
Peter Beard has explored this area through his ceramics for many years and his success is verified by international reputation.

Making is central to the crafts and arguably it defines the nature of man, the toolmaker.The earliest ceramics took the form of idols offered to the gods on a fire, thus proving that the act of making has spiritual and aesthetic considerations equalling, or perhaps exceeding, its utilitarian ones. Peter Beard is primarily interested in aesthetic considerations; his experience transcends the skill needed to create an object. It is his ability to define and create a beautiful object that singles him out. Although Peter is a master of the processes he employs, (usually slab building or throwing) he is not a slave to technique. He draws together slabs of clay to form an elegantly twisting line along the edge of a pot, yet he is brave enough to leave the rim pinched and fresh, acknowledging the act of forming the clay. If a process is to speak of anything then it must speak unabashedly of itself; the hand forming the clay. Every pot Peter makes bears testimony to this.

Ceramics is one of the few areas where art meets science. The selection of materials is often based on empirical as much as on personal preference. It is when the research and preferences meet that a true sense of the maker's intentions become clear. This is especially evident in Peter's work with glazes. He is a man who takes risks, glazes bubbling here and running there. These risks have their dividend; the run of the glaze informs us directly of the subtle curves of a form, as gravity takes an opportune moment to intervene before being frozen as the kiln cools. The blisters represent a meeting of two opposing glazes along a boundary defined by the maker's hand; a pattern being too crude a word to articulate the juxtaposition of these two volcanic forces. It is Peter's combination of research, risk taking and self-criticism that enables him to keep up his fearless standard, right to the edge of what even he thinks possible.

Peter is aware of historical ceramic precedents, the ancient art of Egypt is a touchstone for a lot of his recent work. He is no imitator though, and his work is a personal reinvention of the past, at once contemporary yet imbued with an archaic authority. This reinvention is born of Peter's approach to his work. He sees himself as firstly a maker. It is by making that ideas reveal themselves and are refined. The act of making distils Peter's experiences, be they a favourite landscape or a pre-Raphelite painting. The results bear no direct lineage to any one precedent, but they are a pretty potent brew. In Peter Beard's work the trinity of process, materials and concept are so closely woven that it is almost impossible to tease them apart. Peter's ability to twist such tightly spun cloth shows his immense skill and determination. The end results speak clearly of the potter himself. It is no surprise that his pots have garnered such acclaim.

Current / Future Events

Current / Future Events

Current Work

Current Work

I make thrown and hand-built pieces in oxidised stoneware. I have recently diversified into working with bronze, cast iron and stone, in addition to ceramics.


Work generally available from:
Contemporary Ceramics, Marshall Street, London.
Bowie & Hulbert, Hay on Wye, Herefordshire.
Stour Gallery, Shipton on Stour Warwickshire
Round House Gallery, Foston, Derbyshire

Other Information:
Regularly gives lectures/demonstrations to Colleges and Ceramic Groups.
I run Summer Workshops on decorating techniques (bookings from previous Autumn for each year recommended)

Technical Information

Technical Information

I make thrown and hand-built pieces in oxidised stoneware fired to 1280°C, using combinations of shiny, matt and semi-matt glazes, built up in layers prior to firing to create textural surfaces in a range of pastel shades and some stronger colours.  Wax resist is used extensively to create patterns and to isolate the glaze layers during application.

History

History

Career Background
Born in Southport, Lancashire in 1951.

I first encountered clay when I was a small child and whilst studying for my degree in industrial design and furniture design at Ravensbourne College of Art in London (1970-1973) was able to spend time in the ceramics department.  

On finishing college I helped set up a pottery in Scotland making thrown domestic stoneware. I opened my first studio in Kent in 1975, making mainly sculptural pieces.  My current studio is in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.


I have exhibited regularly in group exhibitions and one man shows since 1975 in Britain and abroad. My work represented on the Crafts Council index of selected members.

Teaching:
2008 Invited on teaching tour of South Africa
2007 Teaching at JJ School of Art, Mumbai, India

Membership and Awards and selected Exhibitions

Membership and Awards and selected Exhibitions

1976 Elected member of Craft Potters Association of Great Britain
1989 Elected to the Council of the Craft Potters Association of Great Britain
1990 Awarded traveling scholarship by South East Arts to study in Egypt.
1990 Awarded Award of Merit, Fletcher Challenge International Ceramics Competition, New Zealand
1992 Lecture and workshop tour of New Zealand and Australia supported by the British Council
1993 Employed as consultant by the charity Project Ploughshare on a project to set up a pottery in Ethiopia
1995 Awarded funding by South East Arts for travel and research in Japan
1996 Winner of the INAX Design Prize, INAX Corporation, Japan
1999 Elected member of the Academy of International Ceramics
2000 Winner of the Pot d’Or at Keramisto, Holland
2002 Purchase Award, the 2002 International Orton Cone Box Show, USA
2002 Winner of silver medal at XV111 International Biennial of Ceramic Art, Vallauris, France
2004 Major Arts Council award for research
2004 Exhibited bronze sculptures at the Royal Academy, London
2005/6 Continued to have regular one-man and joint exhibitions internationally
2007 Major one-man show of clay, metal and stone at Rufford Art Gallery, UK
2008 One-man exhibition of ceramics and bronzes at Cymroza Gallery, Mumbai
2009 Guest Artist at International Ceramics Studio, Kecskemét, Hungary
2010 Galerie Du Don, France

2011 Major commission to produce ceramic pieces for the Gold Medal winning Monaco Garden, Chelsea Flower Show

Publications

Publications

Author of:
Resists and Masking Techniques in Ceramics for A&C Black. ISBN No 0-7136-3747-1

Publications

My work is featured in:

Studio Porcelain by Peter Lane, published by Pitmans, 1980
Studio Ceramics by Peter Lane, published by Collins, 1983
Ceramic Review.   Article in Issue 109, 1988
Ceramic Form by Peter Lane, published by Collins, 1988
Ceramics Art & Perception.  Article No 6 1991
The Complete Potter - Glazes by Emmanuel Cooper published by Batsford, 1992
Ceramic Review.  Article in Issue No 138, 1992
Ceramic Sculpture by Ian Gregory, published by A & C Black, 1993
Ceramics Monthly, article in November 1993
Throwing pots by Phil Rogers.
Hand formed Ceramics by Richard Zakin, published by Chilton, 1995
The Complete Practical Potter by Josie Warshaw, Annes Publishing, 1999
Neue Keramik. Article in Issue 11, 1999
The Art of Handbuilt Ceramics by Sue Bruce, published Crowood press 2000
Ceramics Mastering the Craft by Richard Zakin, published Krause Publications 2001
The Potters Guide to Ceramic Surfaces by Jo Connell, published Quarto.2002
Antiques Price Guide by Judith Miller published Dorling Kindersley. 2003
Ceramic Review.  Article in issue 203, 2003
Neue Keramik.  Article in issue 3/04  2004
The Teapot Book by Steve Woodhead published by A&C Black, 2005
The Shell, A World of Decoration and Ornament by Ingrid Thomas published by Thames and Hudson, 2007 
Firing by David Jones published by Crowood Press, 2007
Ceramics Art and Perception, Article in issue 71 2008 
Klei Magazine.  Article in issue 6 2008
BBC Homes & Antiques Magazine, Antiques of the Future article April 2009 
500 Ceramic Sculptures published by Lark Books
The Art of Ceramic Decoration published by Uitgever 2009
Slab Techniques by Ian Marsh and Jim Robison published by A&C Black 2010
Contemporary British Studio Ceramics by Annie Carlano published by Yale University Press 2010

Collections

Collections

My work is held in many private and public collections including:
Keramion Museum, Germany
Museum für Angewandte Kunst,  Köln Germany
Ballantyne Collection, UK
Die Neue Samlung Museum, Munich, Germany
Burnley City Art Gallery, UK
Norwich Museum, UK
Stoke on Trent City Museum, UK
INAX Corporation collection, Japan
Museum for  Moderne Keramik, Germany
Buckinghamshire County Museum
Leamington Spa Museum
Museum Ariana, Switzerland
Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear Museums
Ichon World Ceramic Center, Kyonggi Province, Korea
International Ceramics Museum of Maroussi, Athens
University of Kansas, USA.
Hanhyanglim Gallery & Jay Collection, Republic of Korea
Museo Nacional de Ceramica Gonzalez Marti, Valencia, Spain
2nd piece purchased in 2011 by Neue Samlung Museum, Munich

Work Styles

Work Styles

Stoneware
Thrown
Handbuilt
Wall Panels, Plaques
Sculptural
Garden