Geoffrey Eastop: 1921-2014
We are sorry to report that Geoffrey Eastop died recently (Christmas Day). A first class maker, who continued to exhibit in major galleries until his death, including two fairly recent shows at Osborne Samuel in MayfairGeoffrey Eastop was born in Norbury, South London in 1921 and, after originally working in insurance, trained as a fine artist at Goldsmith’s College from 1949 to 1952. He had intended to make a career as a painter but had dabbled with potting at Goldsmith’s and when the opportunity to get a paid position at the Odney Pottery came up he took it. After staying there for a year he was persuaded by Alan Caiger-Smith to join him in setting up the Aldermaston Pottery that specialised in tin glazed earthenware with painted decoration that combined Geoffrey’s potting skills and painter’s instincts admirably. Geoffrey stayed at Aldermaston for six years before deciding to start out on his own.
Staying in the Oxfordshire/Berkshire area for the rest of his career, Geoffrey’s work change over the years. Initially, it mainly consisted of thrown and altered work in porcelain and stoneware but 1969 saw him begin a long and rewarding association with the artist, John Piper. More recently he spent many years developing an innovative hand building technique that he uses to explore the structure and surface of walls, which further developed into his exploration of part figurative rock shapes.
Over the years Geoffrey lectured in art and design as well as ceramics and undertook major commissions that include a large mural for Reading Civic Centre in association with John Piper and floor and wall tiles for Robinson College Chapel in Cambridge. (information with thanks from www.studio-pots.com)