• OXFORD CERAMICS GALLERY

    OXFORD

     

    Oxford Ceramics Gallery is an independent gallery specialising in the exhibition and sale of modern and contemporary studio ceramics. We work with both UK and international artists across generations with a particular focus on British, Danish and Japanese work.

     

    Established by James Fordham and his partner Rachel Ackland in 2006, the gallery has been in its current Walton Street home in Jericho in central Oxford since 2011.

     

  • Lucie Rie 1902-1995, Bottle Vase with Flared Neck, 1972

     

    Lucie Rie 1902-1995, Bottle Vase with Flared Neck, 1972

    Stoneware with mottled grey glaze; sgrafitto decoration
    26 x 13.5 cm.
    LR seal to base
    Price: £25,000 (plus any applicable taxes + ARR)

     

    Lucie Rie (1902-1995) trained in ceramics in Vienna, but her reputation is largely defined by the period after 1938, when she settled in London and set up a studio near Marble Arch. Here she remained until the end of her life, always rising early and following a disciplined routine of throwing and raw glazing forms that expanded the vocabulary of the wheel. Her mixed clay bottles with flaring necks, sgraffito bowls and vases with heavily pitted surfaces are best judged in the context of the modern environment, of 20th century architecture and design as a whole. Rie’s true functionalism was best expressed in her tablewares of the 50s and 60s, elegant tea and coffee sets with incised decoration and iron flecked salad bowls and lidded pots. In the last two decades of her life she concentrated on more decorative individual pieces, and since her death her work has continued to climb in value.

    Provenance:
    British Craft Centre, where originally acquired.
    Private collection, Oxford.

     

    Further Literature:
    See Lucie Rie, Houston/Cripps, Crafts Council no.126 for similar example.

     

  • Philip Eglin b.1959, Red Yellow Green Jug

     

    Philip Eglin b.1959, Red Yellow Green Jug

    earthenware with slip decoration

    44 x 40 cms

    Price: £7,000 (plus any applicable taxes)

     

    Philip Eglin has added much to the language of figuration in the last thirty years, but his work also encompasses big buckets, plates, dishes, jugs and smaller more intimate tablewares. Born in Gibraltar in 1959, Eglin studied ceramics at Staffordshire Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art. In 1996 he won the Jerwood Prize (Ceramics), having quickly established a reputation for his fluently modelled and painted sitting, standing and reclining nudes. Madonnas, popes and cardinals followed, his ideas drawing as much on the history of sculpture and painting as ceramics, as well as everyday modern culture and imagery, in terms of both subject matter and the discarded paraphernalia with which he makes his moulds. Eglin is an accomplished social critic, but his view of the world is tempered by playful wit and celebration too.

  • Ibrahim El-Salahi, The Tree, 2003. Vigo Gallery

     

    Jim Partridge and Liz Walmsley b. 1952/1953, Restless, 2021

    Bench of scorched oak
    41 x 197 x 35 cm.

    Price: £8,200 (plus any applicable taxesO

     

    Jim Partridge and his partner Liz Walmsley treat wood in a way it deserves, not with a finely turned perfection, but with a strong sense of the material’s true vigour, retaining that elemental simplicity you find in lengths of raw timber, and in the essential life of the grain. Their various sculptural bowls (Partridge’s individual work), seats, benches and bridges are not only bold pieces of concentrated form, but carry a semblance of ritual, a sense of directness and simplicity found too in tribal or early European artefacts. But the language is confidently modern, the work as at home with contemporary architecture as in the broader British landscape from which it springs and with which it so skilfully merges. Born in Leeds in 1953, Partridge attended the John Makepeace School at Parnham House. For many years Jim and Liz have been based in Shropshire.

     
     
  • Elizabeth Fritsch (b. 1940), Blown Away jar, 1989

    Elizabeth Fritsch (b. 1940), Blown Away jar, 1989

    Height: 33 cm.

    Price: £ 15,000 (plus any applicable taxes + ARR)

     

    Elizabeth Fritsch (born 1940) is one of the most prominent British hand-builders of her generation, one who created a new aesthetic of sculptural vessel forms and geometric decoration. He pots have ranged from quiet comparatively austere pieces to more complex shapes and marking, the colours often vivid and luminous. She has a painter’s sense of brush and surface (reminiscent of early Renaissance frescos), and a keen architectural eye for contour and silhouette. Her forms - which include cups, jugs, vases and bottles - have a largely symbolic function, and are cut and altered to create interesting structural deviations with leans and ellipses which takes her work in and out of symmetry. Her geommetries often relate to her deep interest in music and its rhythms, and her wider appreciation of the natural and human-made environment. Fritsch, who is based in London, attended the Royal College of Music before studying ceramics at the Royal College of Art from 1968-71.

     

    Further Literature:

    ‘Elizabeth Fritsch’, exh. cat., Galerie Besson, London, no. 13 (illus.)

     

    Exhibitions:

    London, Galerie Besson, ‘Elizabeth Fritsch’, Oct.–Nov. 198, no. 13.

     
  • Elizabeth Fritsch (b. 1940), Blown Away jar, 1989
     

    Rupert Spira (b. 1960), Large Black Vase with sgrafitto

    65 x 30 x 20 cm.

    RS seal to base

    Price: £14,000 (plus any applicable taxes)

     

    Rupert Spira is among the finest ceramists of his generation, known for his elegant tableware, his undulating open bowls, his eloquent groupings of slender cylinder vessels and his unique poem bowls. His work is simple and strong in form, quiet and restrained in character. His glazes range from matt white to a vivid Chun blue and a rich copper red, and he is a master of sgraffito.

     

    His first brush with studio pottery was a Michael Cardew exhibition in 1975. He later recalled, “Cardew’s pots had a raw, vital, organic quality I’d never seen before. What struck me was their potency, their capacity to communicate.” He went on to train under Cardew for two years before setting up his own studio and establishing his own distinctive style, but the desire to communicate remained central to his work.

     

    In the late 1990s Spira began to introduce words to his ceramics - poetry, often his own - painstakingly incised or embossed. At times the words are indistinct, their meaning elusive; elsewhere they are clear and precise. They add a different dimension to our reading of the pots and have a serene, almost meditative quality.

     

    Spira was active as a potter for more than 30 years, during which time he achieved international renown. His work can be found in private and public collections throughout the world, including the V&A, the Fitzwilliam Museum, the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.

  • Elizabeth Fritsch (b. 1940), Blown Away jar, 1989
     

    Peter Collingwood (b. 1922 – d. 2008), Macrogauze M.22

    103 x 240 cm.

    Signed on plate and numbered no.4

    Price: £ 18,000 (plus any applicable taxes + ARR)

     

    Peter Collingwood (1922-2008) achieved a quiet and ethereal modernity in his textiles, objects whose open weaves, with their floating geometric rhythms and soft colours, offered a sort of abstract painting in sculptural terms, enriching not only the space of the rooms in which they hung, but the objects around them. Born in London, Collingwood trained as a doctor but subsequently worked with several distinguished weavers, and set up a workshop in Archway, north London, where he combined making with college teaching. In 1957 he became an artist in residence at the Digswell Arts Trust, meeting Hans Coper, with whom he had a memorable joint exhibition at the V&A in 1969. In 1964 Collingwood established a workshop near Colchester. He was a great technical innovator, creating a new language for woven forms which gave them translucency and a poetic sense of weightlessness.

  • Elizabeth Fritsch (b. 1940), Blown Away jar, 1989

     

    Hans Coper (b. 1920 – d. 1981), Large Angled Composite Form, c. 1950s

    Stoneware

    26 x 18 cm.

    HC seal to base

    Price: £ 18,000 (plus any applicable taxes + ARR)

     

     

    Hans Coper’s thrown and altered vessels, concentrated, precise, superbly balanced and yet full of stilled energy, are amongst the signature forms of modern ceramics. They have taken the language of wheel-made work and containment to another sculptural level, work as much about clay engineering as a vocabulary that appears timeless. Why timeless? Simply because of their economy and concision, their qualities of distilled expansiveness (to border on a contradiction in terms) that carries some of the essence of the earliest vessels and figures (Cycladic forms are often cited) while having a very 20th century consciousness. German-born, Coper (1920-1982) initially came to Britain in 1939, and from 1946 worked with Lucie Rie in her London studio, moving to Hertfordshire in 1958, and subsequently to Somerset. Coper was always interested in structure, eliminating glazes and eventually all surface decoration. His work is often regarded as a modernist alternative to the example of Leach, but ultimately it is self-contained and independent, not part of any school.

     

    Condition:

    Small area of repair to rim.

  • Elizabeth Fritsch (b. 1940), Blown Away jar, 1989

     

    Andrea Walsh (b. 1974), Collection of Contained Boxes, 2019

    Clear Gold / Warm White & Platinum / Pale Yellow & White Lost Wax Cast Glass, Black Fine Bone China, 22ct Burnished Gold, Burnished Platinum

    Artist seal to base

    Price: £17,500 (plus any applicable taxes)

     

    Andrea Walsh’s boxes and vessels are an exquisite exploration of materials honed into the most personal and concentrated objects. These tactile forms invite touch and handling, and combine finely honed components; ceramic, glass and metal. She explores these for their properties of “clarity, purity and translucency”. What results is a kind of functional sculpture in minature, cylindrical perhaps or crisply and asymmetrically faceted. Born in Stockport in 1974, Andrea Walsh studied Fine Art at Staffordshire University and Glass at Edinburgh College of Art, and she lives and works in Edinburgh. Her investigation of containment and material has resulted in items of precious simplicity, very covetable, and which add immeasurably to our appreciation of the highly crafted and the intimate.

     

     
  • Elizabeth Fritsch (b. 1940), Blown Away jar, 1989

     

    Julian Stair (b. 1955), Five Cups on a Ground

    Four thrown cups and one thrown beaker on a light rectangular ground Porcelain, coloured porcelain, clear glaze, polyurethane, lime, marble powder, pigment, conservation grade wax

    47 x 19 x 10.5 cm.

    Seal on base of each piece

    Price: £7,000 (plus any applicable taxes)

     

    Julian Stair’s robust, succinctly designed work makes most of his material, whether he is using thick, prominently turned porcelain or coarse brick clays. He is essentially a modernist whose pots show a broader awareness of architecture and the human-made environment. They live in this context. His pieces have ranged from well designed tablewares (including elegant cups and saucers) to monumental vessels, including funerary jars and life-size sarcophagi. Cups, saucers, caddies, teapots and other pieces placed on special stands, plinths and shelving have drawn attention to the ceremonial qualities of functional wares, as well as new types of context and presentation. Stair is as much concerned with the symbolic aspects of pottery as its sensual tactile qualities. Born in Bristol, he trained at Camberwell College of Arts in the mid 1970s, and the Royal College of Art from 1978-81. Stair lives and works in south London.