John Ward (1938 - 2023) studied ceramics at Camberwell. He was based in Wales since 1979, the decade in which he rose to prominence as a leading hand-builder, cutting and altering to make numerous individual bowl-forms, often of great simplicity. His best work has a clarity and directness which has resonances of Hans Coper’s feeling for structure. Ward concentrated on the ‘bone’ of the pot rather than distracting decorative detail. Oxides and matt glazes enrich his forms, some of which have abstract linear and geometric drawing across their surfaces.
He has written, “There is something compelling about the making of pots, regardless of function, which keeps me within this particular sphere; they are the focus of so many interests and associations”. Ward had an affinity with his coastal landscape, his pots often evoking some of the shapes and surfaces he found there, from stones and rocks to the rhythms of the sea. A hugely popular potter amongst collectors, the genuine qualities of his pieces need to be considered away from the attendant hyperbole.