Hans Coper.


I would first become aware of Hans Coper in the late 1970’s. An exceptional man. At that time I would be seriously into design and workshop technique. Ongoing self education and reading are so very important.


I have a very good biography of Hans by Tony Birks.

 ISBN 0-00-411773-5

His work tho so modern has a great connection with art of the past. Cycladic forms come to mind, I have a very useful Thames and Hudson on Minoan and Mycenaean Art. All the little Thames and Hudsons are well worth collecting and reading cover to cover. A poor mans education. The low cost printed book is a wonderful thing.

I loved reading abt Hans, poor man suffered during the war, there should have been no reason for him to be forced to work labouring in cold and wet while in British hands. That goes for anyone. Luckily he fell in with Lucie Rie and it must have been happy days for him then. His technical abilities put him at the top, yet its his forms and surface treatment that mark him as a singular man. I would love to own some of his work, to let him know down back through the years that he is loved and appreciated.

What makes good design? Economy of form and the eradication of irrelevant affectation is one way. It can be ‘thought’ made visible. As is the best art in all cases. I wonder how much he destroyed? So many artists prefer to destroy works that to their eyes fall short of the mark. I have a feeling with Hans that little of his effort would be wasted. An exceptional craftsmans ability with an intellect and creative minds eye would be a strong compass to steer by. I know in my own particular case, when I intuitively know in my minds eye that I’m onto a good ‘un I generally end with a good result. I have never found ‘playing’  or doodling to throw up images of any worth. It comes in a flash to my minds eye in a finished state.

Looking back over the years when Hans was active it must never have been easy. I myself luckily have no reason to waste money (that I haven’t got) and concern myself with things that money cannot buy.

As a postscript here is a useful link, lots of catalogue pics, I would like to buy Jacqueline Poncelet (tho not the forms here) and Gordon Baldwin and the exquisite Hamada square bowl……..


Joanna Constantinidis rang me twenty plus years ago. She was keen on my work and wanted to collaborate. As I sit here now declining her request will always haunt me.  

It cannot be left unsaid as to the real value of art. To create a little journey of invention, like a brief clip of exquisite chamber music beautifully played. Something that wouldn’t have existed otherwise if it wasn’t for ability, practice and the spark of creativity.

I spent too many hours last night looking at British studio ceramics online. There are lots of wonderful on-line resources, images to explore. So many names are familiar to me, I was an avid reader of the Crafts Council ‘Crafts’ magazine for 1980- 89, I have them all nearby to me now. I hadn’t realised twenty years had passed and so many ceramicists, familiar names, were born so long ago. 

Now, with my good taste and if only I had the money………..


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