Richard Batterham


Richard Batterham JugRichard Batterham built his first kiln, a two-chambered climbing one, in 1959 in the garden of the house where he still lives. From the beginning the pots have been made to enrich rather than to adorn life. Within a few years a range of pots had developed which satisfied the needs of both kitchen and table. From this base the pots have continued to develop and grow both in range and quality. A purist potter, Batterham avoids modern appliances that make pottery "easy". He stocks only the simplest raw materials, firing with wood and glazing with ash, and occasionally with salt. He times his rhythms to coincide with the seasons of the year, finding himself, in his sparsely heated workshop, most productive between March and September. He says of his routines:

"I was soon made aware, sometimes very abruptly, of the diversity and wide variety of each of the simple raw materials I wished to use, and that we should have to play and work together. For example; the ash from each tree, even from two of the same species, will vary according to its location, and must be explored, and a choice made from what is offered. As in all the making and firing, preconceptions must be forgotten, and an open mind be kept, able to receive the good unknown qualities which will appear. One must not dictate, but listen, observe and respond."

A classicist, Batterham is above fashion. His decoration is always continuous with the form of his pots and grows from out of it. Although he works within a tradition his statements are always personal and unique. His pots are a discerning choice.

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