Bottle Vase, by Derek Clarkson


Bottle Vase by Derek Clarkson (1928 – 2013)

Approximate height 19cm

Closely associated with a calligraphic decoration technique used on much of his work, alongside a significant experimentation later in his career with crystalline glazes. Clarkson trained at the Manchester College of Art, then progressed to become Senior Lecturer in Ceramics at the Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University. In 1962 became a full member of the Craftsmen Potters Association of Great Britain. One of the potters representing Great Britain at the International Academy of Ceramics Exhibition, Geneva. 1965 work was included in the Design Council’s Craft Index.  Work in the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Artist’s Statement: The bottle has been the form consistently and almost exclusively made over a space of fifty years. Mainly a satin matt creamy grey felspathic or celadon glaze with cobalt/iron calligraphic brush decoration. Frequently this decoration is a repeated motif giving an overall texture/pattern relating to and emphasising the ovoid form. The intuitive judgement of surface curvatures whilst decorating on a porous unfired glaze is an enjoyable challenge relating the composition of abstract brush strokes to the shapes of the unpainted areas between and the form. The crystalline glaze pattern qualities which I work on are an extension of my brush decoration format and seeking separating crystals on a crystal free background.

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