A Dipped Rim Oval Pot

Artist: John Ward (b.1938)
stoneware, the body with a worked surface and mottled sandy yellow and cream glazes, the interior with a loosely brushed pale blue glaze, impressed JW seal to base
Height: 15 cm
Width: 14 cm
Price: £1800 plus ARR

Amalgam Gallery, Barnes, where purchased by the present owner in 1974 

London, Amalgam Gallery, Barnes, Michael Carlo, Pauline Solven, John Ward, 1974

An early example of Ward's work, this pot was bought by the owner from the artist's second group show and thus gives us a welcome reminder of how he had already begun to form the aesthetic with which he has become associated in the first years of his career. The form, a gently squeezed oval pot with a dipped rim, is a familiar one, as is the dry sandy fawn glaze over a burnished surface, but it is already showing the poise and elegance unmistakable as a work by John Ward.

The warmth of the colouring is very pleasing, as is the little surprise that awaits the viewer inside the pot. A light blue glaze, paler that duck-egg blue, partially fills the interior. At first sight it appears to have been brushed on but it seems likely that the glaze was poured in and the pot rotated, the residue then poured out, leaving something that is both intentional but subject to the movement of the material.

 A similarly glazed example is in the Anthony Shaw Collection at CoCA, York and is illustrated in Emma Crichton-Miller, The Pottery of John Ward, p.102. Shaw first discovered Ward's work at Amalgam Gallery in 1974 and thus probably bought his first pieces by Ward at the same exhibition at which this pot was purchased.

A Dipped Rim Oval Pot
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