Ross, Duncan

First name: 
Year of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Great Brittain

1961-65 West Surrey College of Art & Design, Farnham: Ceramics & Printmaking.
Studied with Henry Hammond and Gwyn Hanssen-Pigott.
1966 Sussex University ATD(Dist)
1966-77 Painting and teaching in Devon.
1971-88 Worked in Education at Secondary, Further and Adult levels.
1988- present. Established ceramic workshop in Farnham, Surrey.

Duncan Ross explains in his website: 'My work is thrown and burnished using many layers of a fine terra-sigillata slip with resist and inlay decoration. Colours are achieved by smoke firing, and the decoration is developed from many sources including textiles and geometric motifs. I use only clay and smoke. I began working with sigillata with the desire to use the simplest materials with low firing temperatures and to develop a rich surface with a combination of form and pattern that would be integral to the clay. Starting with a simple black line and dense burnished orange, I gradually experimented with the multi-layers of slip and resist to obtain a surface that has a feeling of depth, allowing the smoke process to play its essential and unpredictable part. From highly complicated patterns using lines to create rhythms around the form this extra dimension has released my linear pattern from its stucture, allowing me to "float" shapes onto the surface. I am always searching for development that comes from repetition; allowing the idea to flow from one group of work to the next, adding and omitting to arrive at the ideal and most natural relationship of surface to form. The pots are placed in sawdust in saggars and have several firings at various temperatures; each firing suggesting the next stage. It is the combination of the fundamental and the sophisticated that I find fascinating.'
‘The rich, intriguing surface effects do not, like glaze, separate the making and the firing. These are pots which work on the boundaries of primitivism yet are highly sophisticated, they please because they defy definition, they are pots on the edge, a satisfying and intriguing blend of technical skill and creative vision.' Source: Emmanuel Cooper OBE    Ceramicist, writer and critic. 

Visit the artist website:

Work of the artist: 

Burnished terra sigillata ceramics.


Cooper, Emmanuel, Contemporary ceramics, London 2009.

Image source: 

Portrait (source:; poster Galerie Terra Delft 2002; artist signature (bowl collection Capriolus); bowl around 2002 (collection Capriolus); vase (source: MAAK/London).