Henry Hammond

Henry Hammond  (1914 - 1989) was one of the most gifted brushwork potters of the 20th century, producing deft and lyrical decoration that richly evoked the English landscape. Taught by William Staite Murray at the Royal College of Art in the 1930s, Hammond (like Murray) owed a debt to Chinese exemplars, but his pots were more thinly potted than Murray’s. They were actually quintessentially English, their brushwork full of the poetry of the countryside in summer, of dragonflies, widgeon and leaping fish, of leaves and grasses blowing in the wind. Hammond was in some ways a reluctant potter, his work comparatively rare. Much of his energy was spent in education, most notably as head of the famous pottery department at Farnham, Surrey. The pots were not ‘innovative' or meant to be, but essentially canvasses for his masterly sense of drawing, marking which brought real spirit to his elegant forms. Oxford Ceramics Gallery has a particularly strong collection.

David Whiting