Ceramics by Edmund de Waal
As I’m sure you can imagine mixing into different creative groups is very important to us, it gives us a fresh perspective in terms of the content we’re producing and it unearths new individuals making things that we didn’t previously know existed. I’m always open to taking on others suggestions and ideas, so when somebody suggests a name or website worth investigating curiosity takes over. Unfortunately the reality is that the majority of the time these kind of suggestions aren’t the sort of style or project that we traditionally share, however I was pleasantly surprised by the work of Edmund de Waal today who was mentioned to us by a local potter who’s been giving us evening lessons in his quaint little studio.
I’ve done a fair bit of research on ceramists and potters from the past, discussing the likes of Barbra Hepworth and Toshiko Takaezu for example. However the majority of modern creatives we’ve covered have been understated independents who are for the most part not known internationally. In this respect Edmund De Waal’s inclusion is forging new ground as he’s regarded as one of the worlds leading artists working in ceramics today. His creations have been exhibited at the Victoria and Albert museum and Tate Britain among others so he isn’t lacking any credentials as an artist. Browsing over his portfolio I didn’t have any reservations about bringing his minimal style into our ever growing archive, hence curating this small selection of projects that he’s undertaken in the past as a bit of an overview, which I trust many of you are going to enjoy.
Born in Nottingham, Edmund began apprenticing with potter Geoggrey Whiting whilst at school, with this experience forming the early foundations for his skills as a ceramist. Once he had finished his initial schooling he went on to practice another of his passions, English at Cambridge university before studying further in Tokyo at the Mejiro Ceramics studio. This combination of ceramics and writing has been a reoccurring synergy throughout his life, becoming quite the accomplished author alongside his career in ceramics. Edmund has claimed many literary prizes including the Costa Biography Award, the Galaxy New Writer of the Year Book Award and the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize to name a few, with his most recent published text “the hare with the amber eyes” expected to be printed in over twenty-three languages by next year.
Last year saw two significant awards presented to Edmund for his ceramics with the appointment as a trustee at the the V&A Museum and the presentation of an OBE for his services to art. Browsing over his website I was taken aback by the shire scale of the collections he creates, with one series for the V&A totalling 425 single objects, his dedication to his work is a big inspiration. What I enjoyed most about his work was that he isn’t simply creating form for the visual pleasure of an object, he’s delving deep into a construed concept or ideal and experimenting with what hasn’t been created before. Hopefully what we have here will entice you across to his webpage to see and learn a little more about Edmund de Waal. I’ll personally be keeping an eye out for his latest developments myself as he’ll be creating a public sculpture in September for the first time.