David Roberts is one of the most significant ceramic artists working in Europe today. A distinguished British potter, David has an international reputation as a leading practitioner in Raku ceramics – a technique with its origins in small-scale vessels made for the Tea Ceremony in late sixteenth-century Japan.
Roberts is acknowledged as responsible for the introduction and promotion of modern, large-scale Raku in Europe. He has also been instrumental in its re-introduction to the United States of America, where his example has played a key role in the foundation of the ‘Naked Raku’ movement. In his personal exploration of this traditional technique he has transformed it into a vibrant and contemporary art form. David’s vessels are made using a special kind of Raku called by various names such as Smoke Stencil Raku, Naked Raku, Raku Pellee, and Painting with Smoke. The various names refer to the fact that there is no glaze on the pieces’ surfaces - just ‘naked clay’ stained by smoke patterns of one kind or another. The more intricately patterned vessels, such as ‘Eroded’ are created by inscribing lines through a glaze and barrier slip which are guided by a series of circular, reducing sized stencils. The shiny surface is formed by a terra sigillatta slip.