Plate, c. 1960
6.4 x 34 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with funds from the Volunteer Committee to the Winnipeg Art Gallery
Michael Cardew was an important British studio potter, who worked within the long tradition of English slipware that dates back to the ancient Roman period. He also employed many of the techniques of medieval European potters, digging his own clay, preparing his own glazes, and firing in a traditional bottle kiln. Cardew worked with Bernard Leach and Shōji Hamada at the St. Ives Pottery between 1920–1923, sharing a philosophy that favoured functional wares. The cream-coloured slip—or diluted clay—that glazes the ground of this plate is typical of Cardew. Here it is enhanced with a delicate painting of a bird, among foliage, rendered in cobalt blue.