Mark Griffiths: Exhibition
40th Anniversary Exhibition
30 May to 11 July 2015
The Leach Pottery presented a celebratory exhibition of work by Shropshire based potter Mark Griffiths to mark his 40th year as a professional potter. Griffiths set up his first workshop in 1975 with the help of a New Craftsman Grant awarded by the Crafts Advisory Committee, and began his career making domestic stoneware. In 1982 he relocated to Shropshire and set up home in a redundant village school, where he established his current working studio, kilns and pottery showroom.
Known as a ‘big ware’ thrower, Griffiths continues to make high-fired stoneware in between commissions for large scale garden pots, and over the last twenty years has created hundreds of outdoor pieces for historic venues such as the Powis Castle estate and Hampton Court’s spectacular formal gardens.
In this, his first ever solo show at the Leach Pottery, Griffiths showcased both his large, standalone pots and smaller domestic ware. The unifying focus of the collection is one of ‘bold form’, of strong shapes created in a variety of ways, usually thrown in one piece or multiple sections before being altered, or slab built, and decorated with a brush and oxides or by cutting through wet slip to reveal the clay beneath. Griffiths’ interest in making pots that reflect a sense of ‘place’ continues to influence his selection of clays, glazes and firing methods, and native wood ash, granite dust from local quarries and found materials such as ochre and iron slips from local pools and stream banks are included in his glaze recipes.
‘I feel incredibly privileged to have spent forty years making pots, often more by luck than judgement. It has been, and continues to be, a huge challenge to make pots that please both me and others, and I still feel that the pots that reach out and make the whole task mean anything are still to be made’.