Waisted Jug

Michael Casson (1925-2003) was a vivid presence on the ceramics scene, not only an accomplished potter but an important educator through his role in establishing the studio course at Harrow School of Art. Apart from Leach and Cardew perhaps no one was so vocal in championing the value of studio functional wares, Casson’s personal warmth and ease making him a popular figure. Born in London and educated at Hornsey College of Art, Casson’s first workshop was in Bloomsbury, where he made earthenware. He moved to Buckinghamshire and on to stoneware in 1959. Latterly he worked in Herefordshire. Stylistically quite an eclectic potter, he admired Leach’s ethos but was more influenced by the pottery of the ancient Mediterranean, and as a young man was excited by Picasso’s work at Vallauris. His pots were often playful, but latterly grew simpler in form and surface as he began to concentrate on the rich effects of salt firing. His large jugs were particularly successful.

David Whiting