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Walter Keeler's pottery is mainly domestic and functional in salt glazed stoneware or, more rarely, earthenware. He trained at the Harrow School of Art, studying under Victor Margrie and Michael Casson, and later returned there to teach.
Walter says"The pottery tradition is at the heart of all my work. Pottery for use has been central to all settled human communities. Seldom merely functional, it has been a vehicle for expression and the fulfilment of a delight in the pleasure of handling a sensual and incredibly versatile material; the useful bound up with the intellect and the imagination.
I discovered pottery as a boy, becoming intimate with fragments of ancient pots picked up on the beaches of the Thames in London. They infiltrated my mind and my senses, giving me an insight to the syntax of thrown pottery; a sense of what is authentic, which I only understood as I gained experience in the craft.
So my work is informed by my passion for pots from the past, but also by making and firing, and the world and times in which I live. Sometimes I make simple useful things like mugs or jugs, on other occasions my work is less straightforward, making demands, even challenging the user to negotiate with an unexpected pot to do an ordinary job."
Potter of the Month
- August 2011
The last time that Walter Keeler had a show here was an exhibition which brought him together with Takeshi Yasuda. It is a special pleasure to see him back at Bevere during August with work from his latest firing. Walter has been spending some time in the past year thinking through the development of his work particularly in earthenware. There will always be a demand for his fine soda fired vessels and we will be showing a small range of those as well.
Walter is a modest gentle man who has become a major figure amongst studio potters. His work is instantly recognisable for the clarity and crispness of design, immaculate soda glazing and a distinctive ceramic voice.
Walter’s ceramics have a timeless quality in the sense that they sit comfortably in each of the several decades he has been making pots. We always enjoy showing his work in the gallery. His pots have great presence and ensuring that each has the space and context is the challenge. This is work which to quote Schopenhauer should be treated like a prince – let it speak first.
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