Friday, January 27, 2012


Beyond being one of the 20th centuries greatest potters, Michael Cardew (1901-1983) was known as a great teacher and this can be seen in his work he did setting up potteries in Nigeria.  Working for the Nigerian Government as the Pottery Officer in the Dept. of Commerce and Industry from 1951 to 1965, Cardew set up a pottery in Abuja and  taught pottery to  the regional Hausa and Gwari. The intent was to establish self-sufficent potteries using local clays and materials and in essence, produce various pottery cottage industry by which local potters could make and sell pottery as an occupation. This  illustrated large water jar with indiginous style decoration is made of stoneware and glazed overall in a temmoku iron glaze. This pot was made by Lami Toto (who came to work at Abuja in 1963 as one of four women potters) and was most likely made just prior to cardew leaving Nigeria. At first glance this pot closely resembles the work of Lady Kwali, but in fact, the water jar shape and design are typical of those produced in the Gwari region of Nigeria.

1 comment: