Welcome to NewsFile, your weekly roundup of news from the world of contemporary ceramics and contemporary ceramic art. Unfortunately, as is sometimes the case on NewsFile, we have sad tidings this week. Marianne de Trey, a force within the British crafts movement, has passed away. From The Guardian:
Above image: Marianne de Trey. Photograph from the Ceramics Review Archive.
Marianne de Trey, who has died aged 102, was one of the pioneers of the British functional studio ceramics movement after the second world war. Following the ideals of Bernard Leach, these potters provided handcrafted alternatives to factory production. Through her tablewares, her role as a teacher and the decorative pieces she continued to make into old age, Marianne contributed significantly to the British crafts revival. Her fine, often exuberant tablewares are among the signature forms of postwar ceramics.
She also left her mark in the US and went on to run a pottery at Dartington in Devon that became integral to the artistic programme established there by Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst.
Marianne was born in London to well-to-do Swiss parents, Emma (nee Lehmann) and Auguste de Trey. Her father, who ran an old family business making dental tools, encouraged Marianne to attend the Royal College of Art in London, where she studied textiles, graduating in 1936 and going on to teach the subject at Ipswich Art School. At the RCA she met Sam Haile, a fellow student, whom she married in 1938. He was a charismatic painter and potter, part of the British surrealist group. He introduced his new wife to a broader world of revolutionary art, literature, music and politics, a wonderful but frightening time, she said.
Though an energetic traveller abroad, her life at Dartington was frugal, her lack of interest in material things typical of many craftspeople of her generation. She received numerous honours, including two retrospectives of her work, and was made a CBE in 2006. On the latter award Marianne’s feelings were mixed, particularly when it came to a tiresome search around Totnes for a hat for the investiture. Down to earth, direct and practical, she was not the sort of woman who wore hats.
While some of the grander artistic schemes at Dartington ultimately failed, Marianne’s perseverance ensured an unbroken tradition of pottery over half a century.
She is survived by her daughter, Sarah (who also goes by the name of Tattwa Gyani), and two grandchildren, Tom and Anna.
Marianne de Trey, potter, born 3 November 1913; died 18 October 2016.
Welcome, Kansas City Urban Potters
News out of one of America’s ceramics hubs: KC Urban Potters just opened its doors in Kansas City, MO. Their website currently features the work of about 7 ceramists and we suggest giving it a look. From the studio:
Kansas City Urban Potters is a collective of full-time studio artists making functional pottery with a high standard of craftsmanship. Located in the heart of an already-strong clay community, the collective looks to expand visibility of contemporary studio pottery to local and regional audiences through invitational exhibitions, public lectures and community-based events. Through joining forces and partnering with other local organizations, makers can accomplish far more than what would be individually possible.
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