William Plumptre

William's recent show here in the Billiard Room (28 Nov - 28 Jan 2017), with Emma Tennant, looked at the very significant influence of Japan on both of their work.   William is the only British potter to have ever studied under Tatsuzo Shimaoka (1919-2007), who is a National Treasure.  He has built a reputation as one of the outstanding English potters working in the distinguished Anglo-Japanese tradition, founded in the early 20th century by Shoji Hamada and Bernard Leach. Having studied Ceramic Design at Chelsea College of Art, he worked in Japan for a year and in 1988 set up his workshop in the Lake District.

William works with stoneware clay mostly thrown on either a traditional Japanese kick wheel or an electric wheel although some of his work is slab-built and press moulded. All his work is reduction fired in the gas-fired kiln he designed and built himself.  He has exhibited at leading venues in the United Kingdom and the United States and one of his plates was once selected as the official present from the British Government to the Japanese Emperor.  More recently he was invited back to the Shimaoka Pottery, with just six other students from around the world, to take part in an exhibition to commemorate the life of Tatsuzo Shimaoka.

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