David Gee

I am a London-based ceramicist who trained at Camberwell School of Art and Design in the 1970s, during what has become known as the School’s “Golden Age” for ceramics. The ceramics course at Camberwell was established by some of Britain’s leading potters such as Colin Pearson, Lucie Rie and Hans Coper. I completed my education at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

In addition to ceramics I studied printmaking at Camberwell, and was the first ceramics student there to attempt to combine ceramics with printmaking by creating my own photo-litho transfers and applying them to my work. My interest in printmaking continues to this day, having developed printing techniques to decorate the clay before forming my bowls, plates, canisters and vases.

I mostly produce one-off pieces, using white earthenware clay imported from the famous pottery area of Kannenbäckerland in Germany. I decorate using slips, underglazes and transparent and coloured glazes. The interiors of my ceramics are glazed with a food-safe, lead-free glaze.

In addition to throwing on the potter’s wheel, I hand-build lidded boxes and canisters. My larger bowls and plates are formed by applying clay to plaster moulds (made and turned by me).  The bowls are trimmed on the wheel ensuring an even thickness before adding thrown foot-rings which are often pierced to enable the piece to be wired and hung on a wall.

My decoration is inspired by an interest in patterns and movement found in the natural world: waves, vapour trails, the laying down of sediments and erosion of rocks by water and wind, marble and rock formations, animal and reptile skins, tree bark etc. Other treatments are inspired by architectural and mechanical grids and frameworks, nets, geometric patterns etc. Most of my designs are applied as a continuous pattern, suggesting that they could continue beyond the rim of the bowl or plate or lid of a canister. The profiles of my bowls are mostly parabolas which again suggests that the sides, if continued, would grow to infinity. I would like to believe that each of my pieces represents a fragment of a much larger reality.

David Gee died  on 17 January 2021.

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