Documentary on Potter Svend Bayer

Acknowledging a running theme of traditional craft with the daily line up, I thought I’d introduce a documentary I recently viewed which follows the work of English Potter Svend Bayer. Given we have shared lots of ceramics and pottery in the past I felt the need to source a project that would expand on what we have already highlighted and this twenty minute film does exactly this.

If you have an interest not only in the process of pottery but the philosophy behind those creating also, then I have no doubt that you’ll find this watch really captivating as Svend goes into great detail throughout. I think this is what sets this film aside from many others that I’ve come across in the past, as almost every aspect of the process is given ample coverage both visually and in the narration that Svend provides. Not many films highlight both the glaze and kiln stages for example, and even if they do there isn’t enough time dedicated to these aspects, nor the passionate explanation.

The film begins with Svend explaining how he learnt the trade and the key individuals that had an influence on the early stages of his career. This guy is the type of individual you just want to sit and listen to because you know he has so many great stories to tell, and so much knowledge to share on his given interests. Throughout there are lots of references to Japan which is to be expected given their rich history and heritage in the creation of pottery.

What did surprise me though was Svend’s approach towards this tradition as he chooses to run against the grain somewhat and create what wouldn’t be considered conventional in the land of the rising sun (Japan). I don’t think we should knock him for this however as he’s obviously taken great influence from the Japanese way of creating, and used this knowledge to inform his own abstract style which is a refreshing variation on a traditional craft. I’d recommend a cup of tea or coffee for this one, but it’s well worth sitting down and taking the time to get a little inspired – watch below and enjoy.


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