Potterycrafts Lifetime Achievement Award
The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a potter or ceramist who has done much to promote the ceramic arts during their life. The recipient of this award is selected from proposals made by the participants at the previous festival.
The 2013 Award was awarded to Walter Keeler
Potterycrafts were proud to present the Potterycrafts Lifetime Achievement Award at the recent International Festival of Ceramics in Aberystwyth www.internationalceramicsfestival.org. The Festival started in 1987 and has evolved to become one of the most important ceramic events worldwide. It offers teachers, students, ceramic artists, collectors, working potters and amateurs the chance to meet and study the work of distinguished, internationally known potters and ceramicists from Wales, the UK and around the world. The Festival attracts about 1000 people who attend lectures, watch practical demonstrations and visit special exhibitions over three days. International potters of the highest calibre demonstrate skills and techniques and also have their own workspaces – enabling personal discussion about their work. The focus is both practical and inspirational – kilns are built, pots are made and fired. The biennial festival is organised jointly by North Wales Potters, South Wales Potters and the Aberystwyth Arts Centre.
The winner of Potterycrafts Lifetime Achievement Award this year was Walter Keeler, seen here at the award ceremony with Ken Shelton from Potterycrafts who presented the prize, Jim Robison, MC of the show and Wally on the right. Ken first met Wally when he gave a seminar to Potterycrafts customers thirty years ago, he praised Wally’s skill as a potter, teacher and innovator, he particularly mentioned Wally’s wonderfully precise assembled pieces and his magical control of salt glazing techniques. Wally has been an inspiration to a generation of potters and richly deserves the award. The award was a sculptural ceramic piece specially commissioned by the Festival from renowned American ceramic artist Richard T. Notkin.
Lifetime Achievement Award 2011 – Emmanuel Cooper
The 2011 award was received by Bonnie Kemske on behalf of Emmanuel Cooper.
Born in a Derbyshire mining area, Emmanuel Cooper OBE trained at Hornsey College of Art and set up his own pottery in 1963 in London, where he lived and worked. Emmanuel was a writer, lecturer and potter who always maintained his practice producing thrown and modelled porcelain and stoneware. His work is characterised by clean, neat and functional forms, allied with Bernard Leach’s concept of the primacy of form over decoration, although in appearance they are much closer to the work of Lucie Rie.
Initially focused on tablewares, Emanuel later specialised in individual pieces, especially bowl and jug forms, distinguished by a range of innovative glazes in white, turquoise and yellow. Emmanuel was the chair of the Craft Potters Association and was one of the founding editors of Ceramic Review in 1970.
An influential and extensive writer and broadcaster on the arts, his books include A Thousand Years of Pottery and a biography of Bernard Leach (2002) as well as works on working class art and homo-erotic art and photography.
Lifetime Achievement Award 2009 – Don Reitz
Don Reitz is undoubtedly one of the most important and influential ceramicists working today. Taught at Alfred University in the early 1960’s, Reitz has pursued a life-long investigation of both salt and wood firing, his forms full bodied and boldly marked and etched with knife marks. A great teacher and a fearless improviser, Don Reitz has received many honours world-wide including the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award
Lifetime Achievement Award 2007 – Ruth Duckworth
Ruth Duckworth was one of the grand dames of ceramics. Examples of her work are held in major institutions throughout the world such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York.
Born in Hamburg in 1919 she Emigrated to Britain in 1935 and spent the first the first thirteen years of her career working as a stone carver. She developed a minimalist style which was carried through her work as she moved into ceramics. This period coincided with the great resurgence in functional pottery under the influence of makers such as Leach and Hamada and an emphasis on materials and processes. Ruth’s modernist and abstract sculpture by contrast was concerned with ideas and intellect. Expanding the horizon of ceramics, she excited and influenced generations of potters.
The rapid development of her reputation especially for her work in porcelain led to a years sabbatical to teach at the University of Chicago. Accepting the position allowed her to create more monumental works than when she lived and worked in Europe. For this reason, she decided to remain permanently in the United States.
Ruth Duckworth was a true and worthy recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Lifetime Achievement Award 2005 – David Leach
David Leach, the eldest son of the great potter Bernard Leach, was a potter of international reputation whose work is eagerly sought by collectors all over the world. He worked with his father at the Leach Pottery in St Ives as a student, manager and partner until the mid 50s when he set up his own studio at Lowerdown Pottery near Bovey Tracey in Devon. Aside from his own work, David worked extensively in ceramics education and for crafts organisations and throughout his career maintained his enthusiasm for ceramics, constantly striving for technical and artistic improvement. He died in February 2005 after a long and productive life.
Lifetime Achievement Award 2005 – Frank and Janet Hamer
Founder members of the South Wales Potters, Frank is well known for his fish decorated plates and Janet for her ceramic birds. They were suprised and delighted to receive the award in recognition of their work producing The Potter’s Dictionary. This comprehensive and thorough encyclopaedia, now in its fifth edition is used as an invaluable reference by potters worldwide. Information about this book can be found at Potter’s Dictionary
Previous Lifetime Achievement Award winners
- 2003 Janet Mansfield (Australia) and Warren McKenzie (USA) – February 2013: Janet Mansfield, well-known as a potter, writer, and publisher has sadly passed away. Janet founded Ceramics: Art & Perception in Australia in 1990 and had been involved in our selection advisory panel for many years.
- 2001 Michael Casson
- 1999 Ray Finch
Sponsored by studiopottery.co.uk
If you wish to nominate someone you think has made an outstanding contribution to the world of ceramics, please send your nominations to: The International Ceramics Festival C/O Aberystwyth Arts Centre, UWA, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 3DE Wales UK.