Ian Godfrey was born in 1942 in Ely. He went to school in London, going on to Camberwell Art School to study painting in 1957. There he began to make pottery, training in the department run by Dick Kendall with teachers who included Lucie Rie, Hans Coper & Ian Auld. In 1962 he started his own pottery workshop in an Islington basement, and in 1967-68 he worked at the Royal College of Art on a pottery fellowship. Over the next few years his work was widely exhibited, and in 1974 he was awarded the gold medal at the Faenza international ceramics competition. In 1975 he moved to Denmark, where he set up and ran a domestic pottery workshop in Jutland. He returned to London in 1980, starting a new workshop in Highgate, which continued to be his base until his death in 1992.
Although from the start Ian Godfrey shared his workshops with other potters, he developed an entirely individual style, with his own techniques – notably carving the almost dry clay with a pen-knife – as well as a personal repertory of forms (text: Galerie Besson).
Portrait and objects around 1989 (source: Anita Besson).