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Dish (2021) - Richard Phethean


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Medium textured terracotta with brushed slips and an earthenware glaze

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Richard Phethean (b.1953) is an established professional studio potter whose work has been exhibited and collected widely across the UK and Europe. He graduated from Camberwell College of Arts and trained in the studios of Colin Pearson and Janice Tchalenko. For the last forty years, Phethean has been a visiting teacher and demonstrator of throwing. He was a member of staff on the University of Westminster Harrow degree course for twelve years and also taught in an Oxfordshire Quaker school, where he attracted potters from around the world for intensive training on the potter's wheel. In 2014, Phethean moved permanently to a large studio in Lower Kenneggy, near Penzance, which continues to be a base for his practice and home for his weekly classes and short courses. The Tresabenn Studio has recently received a Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust funding to train a young Cornish apprentice over the next 3 years. Phethean is a Fellow of and recently retired Chair of the Craft Potters Association. He is author of The New Ceramics – Throwing, published by Bloomsbury in 2018, a popular textbook illustrating throwing techniques.

Phethean makes thrown, altered and assembled vessels in coarse textured red and black earthenware clays. He decorates these using brushed slips and resist techniques, seeking harmony between form and surface. His current work combines references to ancient pottery, and European slipware traditions, but also early twentieth century abstract paintings and reliefs of jugs and vases – reversing the idea to apply a two-dimensional image on a three-dimensional form.

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