‘He was me of the most remarkable British potters of the last fifty years, and as Lucie Rie proudly remarked of her old pupil, he was inimitable'
Our Artist Focus continues alongside our current exhibition Hans Coper, Lucie Rie and Pupils. This week we focus on a pupil of both Hans Coper and Lucie Rie, as well as a teacher himself, the potter Ian Godfrey.
Ian Godfrey (1942-1992) was a highly imaginative and virtuoso potter who play a leading role in the sculptural shifts in British ceramics in the 1960s and 70s. He trained at the innovative Camberwell College of Arts (1957-62), where Godfrey developed as a hand builder, subsequently combining this with throwing to create highly original pots. They were richly populated by temples, birds and beasts, tableaux for his inventive flights of imagination, and usually carved out with a penknife when the clay was leather-hard. His source material was eclectic, admiring as he was of art and ritual from a range of ancient civilisations, and able to convey something of their mysteries in his own sculptural and playful pieces.
Godfrey lived and worked in London for most of his life, his ceramic work interspersed with teaching, most notable at Camberwell.