Michael Cardew | Abuja Pottery Cup

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Abuja Pottery cup with double handles by Michael Cardew (1901-1983).

c.1955

This is a charming, characterful piece by a great maker from the cannon of British Studio Pottery. Alas, as is the way with ceramics, there is a small chip on the rim of this item, but otherwise, the piece is a unique and attractive item.

Measures Diameter: 12 cm x height: 8.5 cm

Provenance: Purchased from Seth Cardew and has been in a private collection since.
 


Michael Cardew was born in London in 1901. He studied at Oxford University, and in his breaks, visited W. Fishley- Holland, Edwin Beer-Fishley's grandson, at the Braunton Pottery. William readily agreed to teach him to throw for one pound a week. Here he heard about the St. Ives Pottery, and on leaving Oxford went to join Bernard Leach as a student.

Cardew stayed in St. Ives until 1926 when he took over a disused pottery near Winchcombe.

In 1939 he left Winchcombe Pottery in the capable hands of Ray Finch and set up a new pottery at Wenford Bridge.

In 1942 Cardew went to Ghana as a pottery instructor and later set up the Pottery Training Centre in Abuja, Nigeria. He remained in West Africa for long periods until his retirement in 1965, helping to develop stoneware using local materials.  His later work is strongly influenced by his African experience. The pottery at Wenford Bridge was run by the Australian, Ivan McMeekin and from there Cardew produced stoneware with painted decoration.  He also spent time in his latter years lecturing, travelling and writing.  He was awarded an MBE in 1964 and an OBE in 1981.

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