Friday 7 October 7.30pm Tickets £7.50, £17.50 with supper
One of this country’s most exciting potters, Svend Bayer, will talk and show a short film about his life, his work and his ground breaking wood-firing techniques.
Born in Uganda to Danish parents, he came to this country when he was 16. He graduated from Exeter University and joined Wenham Bridge Pottery as student to Michael Cardew. Later Cardew called him ‘easily my best pupil… his is a force of nature. Everything comes to him so easily.’
In 1975 he set up his own pottery at Sheepwash, North Devon, near the ball clay mines and sawmills who supply the offcuts to burn in his kiln. Since then he has worked with tremendous levels of energy, strength and application making the pots which are recognised around the world.
He is known for the extraordinary size of his pots and for the exceptional colours and textures he achieves with his glazes. His firings are unusually protracted and hot, lasting five days and nights during which the kiln has to be continuously stoked with
wood. While the shapes of his pots derive from traditional forms, he breaks
tradition by exposing delicate glazes to the wood ash in his kiln. This high-risk practice causes the glazes to ooze and flow with remarkable colour and texture.
His work exudes personality, deriving from a traditional training but breaking the rules with the hand of a master. ‘If you look for perfection in my pots you will not find
it.’ He says, ‘ Look at them as you would on survivors… they have the signs of
a life lived which, in my pots, come from the firing process.’