I regard my work to be of interest more for its visual properties than any functional ones. I consider myself as a painter of three-dimensional objects whereby the surface of a pot becomes the canvas. Music also plays an important part in the activity of painting a pot; it helps me to create an atmosphere that reflects my mood and feelings at the time.
My preference generally falls into two categories, which I like to think of, as inner and outer. The inner being more contemplative, which might include Gregorian chants, Indian music and the timelessness of the Shakuhachi from Japan. The outer would cover anything from modern jazz to opera.
see the video of John's work: http://vimeo.com/20118228
John Pollex has worked in all areas of slip-decoration since the early seventies. In the mid eighties he developed a range of highly coloured slips which he now applies to his work with a variety of sponges, brushes and plastic spatulas.
He has recently developed more hand building methods with a range of bottles, winged forms, teabowls and mugs.
He particularly enjoys the personal contact to be found in lecture/demonstrations and has featured in over fifty workshops given in the UK and overseas since the 1970's. He is a Fellow of the Craft Potters Association of GB and the Devon Guild of Craftsmen.
Work generally available from:
Contemporary Ceramics, London.
Devon Guild of Craftsmen. Bovey Tracey, Devon
Simon Drew Gallery, Dartmouth, Devon
Porthminster Gallery, St. Ives, Cornwall.
Online Ceramics. http://www.onlineceramics.com/
Clay: White earthenware
Bisque Temp: 1050 c
Glaze Temp: 1120 c
- Black background: Red Body Clay 68%, Potash Feldspar 9.5%, China Clay 4.75%, Manganese Dioxide 4.75%, Red Iron Oxide 13.2%.
- White base slip for colours: Potash Feldspar 12%, China Clay 22%, Ball Clay 66%
Both slips are passed through a 120-mesh sieve twice.
Preparation of coloured slips:
Dilute 20gm of body stain in about 1cm of water in a 450gm yoghurt pot. Add the white base slip and mix to a thin creamy consistency. I also mix up neat solutions of the of the body stain colours in the plastic containers films are supplied in. Once the range of colours is laid out on a suitable non-porous surface, the neat solutions can be added to them with a brush to create varying tones on colour.
Glaze: Medcol Transparent Earthenware (2414928)
John Pollex studied at Sir John Cass in Whitechapel from 1966-68; he then went on to become Technician at Harrow College of Art during 1968-70. After Harrow he became assistant to both Bryan Newman and Colin Pearson until 1971. He moved to Plymouth in the autumn of 1971 and went on to establish his reputation based on work inspired by traditional English slipware.
From 1985 he changed direction and has subsequently received wide acclaim for his development of highly individual thrown and altered forms; these are richly painted with abstract patterns and images, reflecting personal memories and his interest in Eastern meditative philosophies.
Also influential in his work are the paintings of Sir Howard Hodgkin, Patrick Heron, Hans Hofmann, Robert Natkin and more recently Gerhard Richter. The art of Zen calligraphy reflects his connection to Zen Buddhism.
Slipware" (pub. Pitmans 1979)
TV Appearances: WTV "Which Craft?" 1976
WTV "Preview West" (Arts Programme) 1980
TSW Today South West 1983
WTV Insight 1996
Mary Wondrausch on Slipware. 1986
Ceramic Review. No.132. Nov/Dec 1991
John Pollex by Sandy Brown; Ceramic Series No. 51. Jan/Feb 1992
Ceramics Technical, No. 5, 1997. 'Slip painted ceramics'
The Studio Potter. Dec 1999. Volume 28 No1
The Snake in the Garden, Slipware: The renaissance of a European Tradition, Aberystwyth Arts Centre
Devon Today. Dec 2003
Ceramics Technical, No. 20, 2005. Ceramic Screens - 'The Voulkos Series'
Engoben, A German book on Slipware by Wolf Matthes. (great images) 2006
Ceramics art and Perception. Issue 73, 2008. My tribute to my Teacher the late Colin Pearson.
Techniques using Slip, John Mathieson. 2010.
CPA News, No 142 March / April 2012
1990:- "4 Legs Good, 2 Legs Bad" Simon Drew Gallery, Dartmouth; Solo
Exhibition, Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Bovey Tracey; Fletcher Open,
Auckland, New Zealand; Solo, Christchurch, New Zealand; Solo, Auckland,
New Zealand; "Pots Prints and Paintings", Opus 1, London; Showcase, CPA
London; Contemporary Ceramics, New St. Gallery, Plymouth
1991:- "Arts for the Environment", New St. Gallery, Plymouth; Solo Exhibition, White Lane Gallery, Plymouth; CPA Members, Mid-Cornwall Gallery; Solo Exhibition, CPA London.
1992:- Solo Exhibition, Aberystwyth Art Centre, Aberystwyth, Wales; CPA Members, Catalan Craft Centre, Barcelona, Spain; "Mug Shots", Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh; "Plats du Jour", Blue Coat Centre, Liverpool; "Anyone for Tea", Gibbs Gallery, Canterbury, Kent; Solo Exhibition, Jewel and Roberts, Holmfirth, Yorks.
1993:- Heart to Heart, CPA, London; European Ceramics, Knaresborough, Nth. Yorks; CCA, London, Xmas Show.
1994:- Solo Exhibition, Bettles Gallery, Hants; CPA Members, Mid-Cornwall Gallery; "Wall Pieces, Rufford Craft Centre, Nottingham; Studio Potters, V&A Museum, London
1995:- "Jugs", Devon Guild Craftsmen Bovey Tracey, Devon; Gordon Hepworth Gallery, Nr. Exeter, Devon; British Art Fair, Royal College of Art, London.
1996:- "Art 96" London Contemporary Art Fair, The Business Design Centre, London; John Pollex & Ashley Howard, Bettles Gallery, Hants; British Art Fair, Royal College of Art, London; CPA Members, Mid Cornwall Galleries
1997:- Art '97 Design Centre, London; Messing with Mud, Plymouth Art Centre.
1998:- Art '98 Design Centre, London; St. James Gallery, Bath; Montpellier Gallery, Gloucestershire; Bircham Gallery, Norfolk.
1999:- Art '99 Design Centre, London; Solo Exhibition, Brook St. Gallery, Hay on Wye; The Oxford Gallery, Oxford; Bettles Gallery, Hants; St. James Gallery, Bath.
2000:- Art '2000' Design Centre, London; Laburnum Ceramics, Cumbria.
2000 Solo Ex. Bettles Gallery, Hants.
2001 Art 2001 Design Centre, London.
2001 ‘Use it’ Rufford Craft Centre. Notts.
2001 ‘Kaleidoscope’ Coombe Farm Gallery, Devon.
2001 Mainhill Gallery, Ancrum, Jedburgh, Scotland.
2001 ‘Snake in the Grass’ touring exhibition.
Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth, Wales.
Collins Gallery, University of Glasgow,
Tullie House Museum, Carlisle, England.
Midland Art Centre, Birmingham, England.
Hove Museum & Art Gallery, England.
Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, England.
2001 Clay no.8’ Woodbury Studio Gallery, Devon.
2001 Solo Ex. Dartington Cyder Press, Devon.
2002 Art 2002, Design Centre, London.
2002 ‘Teabowls’ The Oakwood Gallery, Notts.
2002 ‘Tea Party’ Bircham Contemporary Arts, Norfolk.
2002 Sofa – Chicago, USA.
2003 Art 2002, Design Centre, London.
2003 ‘Tea total’ Contemporary Ceramics, London.
2003 ‘Spring Ex. P.R. Collections. Herts.
2003 ‘Summer Ex’. Potters. Bristol.
2003 Ceramic Screens. Paul Somerville. Plymouth
2004 Art 2004, Design Centre, London
2004 Gallery Q2, Dundee, Scotland
2004 'Slipware' Rufford Ceramic Centre, Notts
2004 'Clay 11' Woodbury Studio Gallery, Devon
2004 'Images from the floating world', Marshall Arts Gallery, Totnes, Devon
2004 Ceramic Screens - 'The Gemini Series' Paul Somerville, Plymouth
2005 Solo Ex. Burton Art Gallery, Bideford, Nth. Devon
2005 'Teapots' The Queens Gallery, Dundee, Scotland
2005 Ceramic Screens, 'The Hendix Series', Paul Somerville, Plymouth
2006 'What a Dish' Contemporary Ceramics, London
2006 'Picasso theme ex' Wetpaint Gallery, Cirencester
2006 Solo Ex. Broughton Gallery, Broughton, Scotland
2006 'Fire, Form and Function. The Gallery at Bevere, Worcester
2006 'Plates and Platters'. Paul Somerville, Plymouth
2007 Rufford Craft Centre. Notts
2007 The Gallery at Bevere. Worcs
2007 Bircham Gallery, Norfolk
2007 Artmill Gallery, Plymouth
2008 Bowie Gallery. The Guardian Hay Festival, Hay on Wye
2008 'Painted'. Contemporary Ceramics, London
2008 Bettles Gallery, Hampshire
2009 'Summer Ex.' The Gallery Upstairs, Henley in Arden
2009 Artmill, Plymouth
2009 'Clay 16', Woodbury Studio Gallery, Devon
2010 The Gallery at Bevere, Worc
2010 The Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Devon
2010 Simon Drew Gallery, Devon
2010 The City Museum and Art Gallery, Plymouth
2010 The Gallery Upstairs, Henley-in-Arden
2011 Ruthin Craft Centre, Denbeighshire
2011 The Gallery Upstairs, Henley-in-Arden
2012 Solo Ex. Contemporary Ceramics Centre, London
2013 Porthmister Gallery, St. Ives, Cornwall.
2013 The Gallery Upstairs, Henley - in - Arden.
2013 Leeds City Art Gallery, Leeds.
1990:- Scottish Potters Association, Inverness; Northern Potters, Manchester.
1991:- Potterycrafts, Stoke on Trent; Potters Day, Bridgewater, Somerset; Art in Action, Oxford.
1992:- South London Potters, Bromley; Wealdon Potters, Haywards Heath; Art in Action, Oxford; Midland Art Centre, Birmingham.
1993:- International Potters Festival, Aberystwyth; Chiltern and Dacorum Potters Guild, Herts.
1993:- Chiltern and Dacorum Potters Guild, Herts
1994:- Southern Potters, Winchester, Hants
1994:- Southern Potters, Winchester, Hants
2003:- Westcountry Potters, Devon
2005:- Appledore Arts Festival, Nth. Devon
2006:- South Wales Potters, Abergavenny
New Zealand Society of Potters Annual Symposium, Palmerston Nth, New
Zealand, followed by a series of two day workshops at Nelson, Dunedin,
Invercargill, Hamilton and Auckland
1982:- Podmore Ceramics Seminar, Amsterdam
1983:- Podmore Ceramics Seminar, University Brussels, Belgium; Potterycrafts Seminar, Reikjavik, Iceland
1985:- Potterycrafs Seminar, Bregenz, Austria
1990:- New Zealand, Seven Seminars Tour
1992:- Irish Craft Potters, Sligo, Ireland
1996:- Juniata College, Huntingdon, Pa, USA