Colin Pearson was born in London in 1923 and studied painting at Goldsmith’s College – where he discovered pottery in his final year. From 1953-1954 he worked with Ray Finch at Winchcombe Pottery, subsequently going to work at Royal Doulton Pottery in Lambeth and then becoming David Leach’s assistant at the Friars’s Pottery at Aylesford, Kent in 1955-1956. He managed the pottery after Leach left in 1956 for another five years, before setting up his own studio in Aylesford Village in 1961. His early work was mostly domestic stoneware, influenced by both medieval English pottery and that from the Far East. It was in the 1970’s that his characteristic studio pieces began to emerge – the familiar ‘winged’ pieces were first exhibited at his 1971 British Crafts Centre exhibition. These pieces, which took ideas from ancient Chinese bronzes and Tang and Song dynasty ceramics, combined the techniques of throwing and construction in a manner previously unseen in the contemporary ceramics world. In 1982 he moved to Islington, London where he set a new studio. He spent the rest of his life in London, working until forced to stop by illness in 2003. Colin Pearson died in December 2007. David Whiting’s obituary in the Guardian Newspaper described Pearson as “one of the most creatively charismatic of postwar British potters. Noted not only for his highly individual vessels, which broadened the language of the potter's wheel, he was also a masterly educator who imparted his love of clay and his extraordinary knowledge of the chemistry of ceramics to generations of students.” Source: text Gallery Besson, London.
Pictures: Colin Pearson, around 1993 (In: European Ceramics, Höhr Grenzhausen, 1993); Portrait, dated 1999; two pieces from the Capriolus collection (sold).
- Cooper, Emmanuel, Contemporary Ceramics, London 2009.
- Thormann, Olaf, Gefäss / Skulptur - Vessel / Sculpture; Keramik / Ceramics seit / since 1946 Grassi Museum für Angewandte Kunst Leipzig, 2013.