Beard, Peter Fraser
Peter Fraser Beard was born in Southport, Lancashire in 1951. After studying industrial and furniture design from 1970 to 1973 at Ravensbourne College of Art in Chiselhurst, Kent, he spent a couple of years helping to set up a pottery in Scotland making domestic wares. In 1975 Peter returned to Kent and opened his first studio in Harvest Bank Road near West Wickham Common. Here he started making the one-off sculptural pieces for which he is famous. In 1980 he moved to Bottom Pond Road, Wormshill near Maidstone. During his spare time while he was in Kent he taught at the Kent Institute of Art and Design. After twenty years in Kent Peter moved to Cubbington near Leamington Spa in Warwickshire and has been there since. He is a master of texture; making much use of wax-resist and a combination of glossy, semi-matt and matt oxidized glazes on stoneware he creates richly coloured patterns resembling naturally occurring surfaces that might be seen through a telescope or a microscope. His forms are thrown and hand-built, often on a plinth in a complementary finish and colour. Peter's work is widely acclaimed, has won many international awards and is found in numerous private and public collections (source: Pottery Studio).
Images: Peter Beard, 2006 (source:hayclay); Peter Beard in his studio (2013); vase (Auction Quittenbaum); blue vase, 2006 (source British Studio Pottery Collection, Graham Webster _FB 2022).
“My work has always been inventive and I work in an intuitive way, constantly sketching and experimenting with new forms and processes. My forms are strong and simple but have complex surfaces which draw the viewer to look more closely. Each piece should work as a whole, combining harmony of form and pattern. My influences come mainly from nature and landscape – from shells, stones and plants to the bigger visual panorama. The qualities of metal have always interested me – in particular I am fascinated by ancient metal work from the Bronze and Iron ages. My ceramic work usually uses techniques of layering glaze and painting patterns with wax between the layers of glaze, the wax acting as a resist for the next layer. This is a long and meticulous process which creates complex patterns and textures within the glazes which are then fired to stoneware temperatures. Alongside my ceramic work I produce sculptural pieces in bronze and stone, the outcome of my desire to experience how one medium influences another. This has been very challenging and hugely exciting for me as an artist and I continue to push the boundaries of my skills to produce timeless, beautiful objects which people will enjoy having in their homes and workplaces.” (source: hayclay)