Ceramike - Background Information
 

Ray Finch - Craftsman Potter of the Modern Age

Ray Finch lidded jar Ray Finch plate Ray Finch teabowl

 

Ray Finch joined Michael Cardew at Winchcombe Pottery way back in 1936, now some 60 years later Ray is still following his philosophy of making quality pots at affordable prices. This major retrospective exhibition and accompanying book by Long Gallery owner John Edgeler provide a fitting celebration of Ray's contribution to the moden studio pottery movement.

Long Gallery - Ray Finch Exhibition

The Long Gallery's arts and crafts furniture made a pleasing backdrop to the exhibition which was staged in three of the gallery's rooms. A wonderful display slipware from the mid-1930's onwards was shown upstairs with later stoneware downstairs including an extensive dresser display of chargers and a collection of cider jars including an 81cm tall monster.

The Long Gallery has a No Photography policy but the profusely illustrated book with many of the photographs the work of Sid Tustin's grandson Steve more than makes up for this. The book includes conversations between John and Ray Finch, essays by David Whiting and Phil Rogers and contributions from potters who have worked with Ray at Winchcombe - Alex McErlain, Eddie Hopkins and Dave Wilson. The conversations are particularly enlightening with Ray talking about his early years working with Michael Cardew and also his ideas on form, techniques and glazes. After reading the book I felt I had learned much about Ray Finch as a man, a leader and a potter and I would have no hesitation it recommending it to anyone interested enough to have viewed this webpage.

 

Ray Finch - Craftsman Potter of the Modern Age

The book, which is a 155 page paperback, costs £20 and is available from John at the Long Gallery, Queen Anne House, High Street, Winchcombe, telephone 01242-602319. It is also stocked by the CPA and so should be available at Art in Clay at Hatfield. I have also seen it at the Rufford Ceramic Centre in Nottinghamshire.

Book Chapters
  • Cardew and Hamada : a Conversation
  • Cardew Days : An essay on firing the bottle kiln in 1936
  • The last of the slipware : A commentary
  • Stoneware : The development of form and glazes
  • Form, technique and glazes : A further conversation
  • The rhythm of making
  • Throwing with Ray
  • Ray Finch and kilncraft : A master at work
  • Appreciation
  • Tribute
  • Some final thoughts
  • Other tributes and contributions
Appendices
  •  Pen pictures of selected colleagues
  •  Guide to Ray Finch marks and seals
  •  Listing of Ray Finch exhibitions and shows