Alan Caiger-Smith was born in Buenos Aires in 1930 and studied at Camberwell, Cambridge University and the Central School. He established Aldermaston Pottery, Berkshire in 1955, where he developed an international reputation for his tin glaze and lustres. Drawing ideas from the ceramic history of the Near East, Caiger-Smith's individual shapes and calligraphic decoration are a distinctive, very modern reinvention of work in the Hispano-Moresque tradition, and a significant part of the post-war growth in British studio wares.
His finest work is arguably that which has the most variety in surface, with an iridescence more dry and matt than overtly glossy, and with brushwork at its freest. Transcending technique has always been a challenge for potters, to learn and then somehow un-learn the confines of set methods and styles.