David Roberts

David Roberts Contemporary Ceramics

View David Roberts’ works featured on Ceramics Now Magazine

David Roberts is one of the most significant ceramic artists working in Europe today. A distinguished English potter, he has an international reputation as a leading practitioner in Raku ceramics: a technique with its origin in small-scale vessels made for the Tea Ceremony in late sixteenth-century Japan. Roberts is acknowledged as responsible for the introduction and promotion of modern, large scale Raku in Europe. He has also been instrumental in its re-introduction to the United States of America, where his example has played a key role in the foundation of the ‘Naked Raku’ movement. In his personal exploration of this traditional technique, Roberts has transformed it into a vibrant and contemporary art form.

David Roberts is one of the first British ceramists to specialise in high quality contemporary Raku, the making of which he has helped popularise, as a serious discipline within contemporary British ceramics in the many exhibitions, workshops and demonstrations he has held throughout the UK, Europe and the USA. His work investigates the clay bodies interaction with smoke-marking and deep carbonisation. The resulting vessels are strongly evocative of David’s increasing engagement with the natural world and the contours and stratification of stone and landscape.

David Roberts lives and works in the Yorkshire Pennine mill town of Holmfirth.

David Roberts’ C.V. (resume) – View his works

1947 – Born in Sheffield.
1966-70 – David Roberts introduced to ceramics during education degree studies at Bretton Hall College.
1970-81 – Full time art teaching in secondary schools. Increasingly concerned with making pots, initially in stoneware, changed to Raku in the late seventies.
1981 – Ceased full time teaching to concentrate on making pots.
1981 – Received Yorkshire Arts Association Travel Award which funded a visit to the USA.
1983 – Awarded a three week residency at Art Park, Lewiston, New York, USA.
1984 – Elected council member of Craft Potters Association.
1985-88 – Chair of Craft Potters Association.
1986 – Invited onto Crafts Council Selected index.
1993 – Member of Crafts Council Setting up Grants Committee.
1994 – Selected as Full Exhibiting Member of Contemporary Applied Arts, London.
2000 – Elected as member of The International Academy of Ceramics

– Clay Energy, Gulong, NSW, Australia
– Solo show, Hart Gallery, London
– Solo show, Blackwell House, Bowness-on-Wiindermere, Cumbria, UK
– Collect, with Scottish Gallery, Saatchi Gallery, Kings Road, London, UK
– Maiden Bridge Arts Centre, Tatham, Lancaster, UK
– Residency workshop, International Ceramics Studio, Kecskemet, Hungary
– Collect, with Scottish Gallery, Victorisa and Albert Museum, London, UK
– Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool, UK
– Maiden Bridge Arts Centre, Tatham, Lancaster, UK
– National Council on Education for the Ceramics Arts (MCECA) Pittsburgh, PA, USA
– CONCRETAMENTE, Palazzo, Venezia, ROme, Italy
– Solo show, Hart Gallery, London
– Collect, with Scottish Gallery, Victorisa and Albert Museum, London, UK
– Anagama Gallery, St Germain en Laye, France
– Solo show, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh, UK
– Maiden Bridge Arts Centre, Tatham, Lancaster, UK
– Terra Viva Gallery, Provence, France
– Gallery Puls, Brussels, Belgium
– Solo show, Hart Gallery, London
– SOFA, Chicago, USA
– Master and Pupil, CLay, LA, USA
– Le Decor du Trait…au Sens, Musee Palissy, St Avit, France
– IAC exhibition, Icheon World Ceramics Centre, Korea
– Masterpieces, Turin, Italy
– SOFA, Chicago, USA
– Internatinal Academy of Ceramics (IAC), Athens, Greece
– 2 Person show (with Richard Devereux), Maltby Fine Art, Winchester, UK
– 2 Person show (with Merete Larsen), Carlin Gallery, Paris, France
– Invited artist, Parcours de Ceramiques, Carouge, Geneva, Switzerland
– Sculptural Objects and Functional Art Fair (SOFA), Chicago, USA
– 1st World Ceramics Bienalle, Icheon Wold Ceramics Centre, Korea
– Sofa – Chicago, U.S.A
– Solo Exhibition – Hart Gallery London
– International Raku – Galerie Weger, Germany
– Raku- Investigations into Fire, Rufford Craft Centre, Nottinghamshire
– Painting with Smoke – Touring Exhibition of Raku Ceramics by David Roberts organised by Huddersfield Art Gallery and Cleveland Craft Centre opens at Huddersfield Art Gallery
– Millenium Ceramics Exhibition, Southwell Minster, Nottinghamshire
– Solo Exhibition – Hart Gallery, London
– Solo Exhibition – Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh
– Two person show with Tina Vlassopulos, Loes & Reinier, International Ceramics, Deventer, Holland
– Raku Ceramics – Craft Display Space, Barbican Centre, London
– ‘Touching the Past’ – Contemporary Ceramics, London
– Solo Exhibition – Hart Gallery, London
– London Contemporary Art Fair (Hart Gallery)
– International Art Fair, Gent, Belgium (Hart Gallery)
– English Ceramics, Athens, Greece (organised by C.P.A.)
– Beaux Arts, Bath
– International Ceramics, Alpha House Gallery, Sherbourne, Dorset
– C.P.A. Exhibition, Mid Cornwall Gallery, Par, Cornwall
– Summer Exhibition – Contemporary Applied Arts, London
– Earth and Fire – Rufford Crafts Centre, Nottinghamshire
– Solo Exhibition – Hart Gallery, Nottingham
– Solo Exhibition – Hart Gallery, London
– British Ceramics – Galerij Deskco, Kortmark, Belgium
– Candover Gallery, Arlesford, Hampshire
– Galerie S102, Trintelen, Holland
– Handbuilt Ceramics, Rufford Craft Centre, Notts
– Solo Exhibition – Hart Gallery, Nottingham
– Solo Exhibition – Jewell & Roberts, Holmfirth, Yorkshire
– Gallery Argyle, Brussels, Belgium
– Solo Exhibition – Contemporary Ceramics (C.P.A.), London
– Edinburgh Contemporary Art Fair (Hart Gallery)
– Art’92, London Contemporary Art Fair (Hart Gallery)
– Solo Exhibition – Jewell & Roberts, Holmfirth, Yorkshire
– Solo Exhibition – Andrew Usiskin, London
– Solo Exhibition – Courcoux & Courcoux, Salisbury
– Solo Exhibition – Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh
– Ashdown Gallery, Uckfield, Sussex
– Solo Exhibition – Craft and Design Centre, Leeds, accompanied by publication monograph by Tony Birks
– Solo Exhibition – Beaux Arts, Bath
– Coil Built Pots – Oxford Gallery
– Courcoux & Courcoux, Salisbury
– Solo Exhibition – Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Wales
– Solo Exhibition – Raku Forms, Crafts Potters Shop, London
– Beaux Arts, Bath
– Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh – group show organised by Henry Rothschild
– English Ceramics – Charlotte Hennig Gallery, Germany
– British Ceramics – Gallery Linden, Holland
– Playing with Fire – Craft Potters Shop, London
– Artist Potters Now – touring exhibition organised by the Oxford Museum and Sothebys
– Four Potters – Huddersfield Art Gallery
– Raku and Lustreware – Westminster Gallery, Boston, USA
– Lustreware – British Crafts Centre, London
– Modern British Studio Ceramics – David Queensbury, London
– Solo Exhibition – Beaux Arts, Bath
– British Ceramics – De Sluis Gallery, Holland
– Big Pots – British Crafts Centre, London
– Handbuilt Pots – Craft Potters Shop, London
– New Members Show – Craft Potters Shop, London

– V&A Museum, London
– Scottish Museum, Edinburgh
– Ulster Museum, Belfast
– Museum of Wales
– Yorkshire Museum Services
– Leeds Schools Art Loan Service
– Lotherton Hall
– Wakefield City Art Galleries & Museums
– Huddersfield Art Gallery
– Piece Hall Gallery, Halifax
– Townley Hall Art Gallery, Burnley
– Bolton Art Gallery
– Cleveland County Council
– Stoke-on-Trent Art Gallery & Museum
– Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

1984 – Coiled Pottery – Betty Blandino – A&C Black.
1985 – Collectors History of English Pottery – Griselda Lewis – Antique Collectors Club.
1988 – Ceramic Form – Peter Lane – W. Collins & Sons Co.
1990 – Raku – Ian Byers – B.T.Batsford.
1991 – Raku Pottery – Robert Pipenburgh – Pebble Press (2nd Edition).
1994 – Raku, A Review of Contemporary Work – Tim Andrews – A&C Black.
1995 – Smoke Fired Pottery – Jane Perryman – A&C Black.
1996 – The Spirit of Clay – Robert Pipenburgh – Pebble Press, USA.
2000 – Raku – Investigations into Fire – David Jones, Crowood Press.
2004 – Naked Clay, Jane Perryman, A&C Black Ltd, London
2004 – World Famous Ceramic Studios, Vol.I, Europe, Bai Ming, Heibi Fine Arts Publishing House, China
2005 – Raku, Second Edition, Tim Andrews, A&C Black Ltd, London
2009 – The Spirit of Ceramic Design, Robert Piepenburg, Pebble Press, Ann Arbor, USA

1987 – Ceramic Review (No.105) – article on David Roberts by Stephen Brayne (cover illustration)
1987 – Ceramic Series – catalogue for solo exhibition at Aberystwyth Arts Centre written by Emmanuel Cooper.
1990 – Brochure written for solo exhibition at Leeds Craft and Design Centre – article written by Tony Birks.
1990 – Ceramic Monthly (November) article written by Tony Birks.
1992 – Ceramic Review (No.137) – article written by W.A. Ismay (work on cover).
1995 – Ceramics Art and Perception (No.20) – article written by Jane Hamlyn.
1995 – Ceramic Review (July/August) – review of solo exhibition at Beaux Arts Gallery, Bath, written by Felicity Aylieff.
1998 – Review of recent work published in North Wales potters Association Newsletter written by Steven Mattison.

1977 – “Lift-Off Raku Kiln” – Ceramic Review (No.44).
1982 – “American Raku” – Ceramic Review (No.76).
1988 – “Paul Soldner” – Ceramic Review (No. 109).
1989 – “Raku Today” – Ceramic Review (No. 118).
2000 – First Edition of the mongraph, Painting with Smoke, Lynne Green, Smith Settle, Otley, UK
2009 – Second revised and extended edition of Painting with Smoke, Lynne Gree, Greendrake press, Liversedge, UK

– All the work is coil built and Raku fired. Prior to firing, some surfaces are burnished using various levigated slips. Biscuit firing is between 1000 & 1100 degrees Celsius. The Raku firing is between 850 & 950 degrees Celsius and is completed by a prolonged smoking and cooling process. Finally the pots are cleaned and where applicable sealed with a natural wax.

Visit David Roberts’ website and his profile on Hart Gallery.

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