Reviews of Jane Waller's Ceramics
‘The most stunning revelation was the work of [Jane] Waller, virtually unknown even to collectors. Years ago, Waller devised a technique whereby different pieces of clay coloured right through by being mixed with natural oxides (cobalt, manganese, copper, iron) are patched together in abstract patterns. These are pounded in a mold, scraped much later after drying and glazed very much later still. The painstaking process, spread over several months, has enabled her to create bowls that rank among the great creations of 20th-century pottery’
(from ‘Contemporary Ceramics, Making History’ by Souren Melikian, International Herald Tribune, March 4-5, 1989
‘After [such famous potters as Hans Coper, Lucy Rie and Ewan Henderson] there come some new potters with extraordinary talent. Jane Waller, who has devised a technique that allows her to weave into a single, patchwork-like pattern different clays that she invariably colors with natural oxides, will be heard of again. …. Waller’s method takes months before a pot is at last ready. Her production with this technique, which she calls ‘Millefiori’ after the name of the ancient Roman glass technique, is, not surprisingly, limited. At Bonhams her prices were very accessible. It won’t last.’
(Souren Melikian. International Herald Tribune, April 28, 1989)
‘She forces small, regularly shaped, varicoloured pieces of clay and/or porcelain into a mould and fuses them, so that the eventual product is, in effect, a mosaic of little pieces of colour, arranged in patterns, which constitute the wall of the vase or whatever, producing precisely the same pattern and colour inside and out. I confess that, in a wide experience, I have never before encountered this remarkable technique.’
(Colin Moss, reviewing her show at the Falcon House Gallery, Boxford, 1982)
'The best pottery in the world was created in the BC period,' pronounced Jane Waller. This is rather modest, as La Waller’s own handiwork – bowls, plates and vases made from minute fragments of coloured clay in a style beloved by the Ancient Egyptians – is spectacular indeed. These visually alluring utensils, whose mosaic patterns tinted with politely subtle dyes go through each piece like ‘millefiori’ glass, are on display at The Amalgam Gallery, Barnes, 1984.
'The fact that Jane’s mother is a stained glass artist and her father an imaginative architect has clearly influenced her work. But the colours … soft apricots, blues, ochres and mushrooms edged with navy-black art deco borders, are her own mysterious melange'.
(Ms London 16/4/84)
‘Jane Waller’s Treasure Chest exploits another potent association of the Box and gives her simple structure overtones of mysterious romance that recall nothing so much as Victorian neo-classicism'.
(Edward Phelps, Bath and West Evening Chronicle 23/12/86)
Jane Waller's Ceramic books:
Hand built Ceramics - needs to be republished!
‘Hand built Ceramics’ is beautifully-printed and will stay open while somebody works from it. Inside, I have discussed ways in which the potter can gather inspiration from within as well as around; from contemporary works or from earlier civilisations which involved a mythology in their ceramic tradition. I show the need to relate decoration to form, and give the ‘advanced’ technique for each method so that everything can be learned from the start.
Cover image is a work by Judith de Vries
‘Colour in Clay' 2006 The Crowood Press Ltd - In Print
In this book, I made a study of that particular magic the use of colour oxides and stains in the clay body can bring to throwing, pinching, coiling, inlay, lamination, Millefiori and sculpture.
I profiled 50 artists from Europe and the USA, who give explanations of their work as well as including their sources of inspiration. This, when it came out, was celebrated as ‘a ground-breaking book and inspiration for students and experienced potters alike’.
‘The Human Form in Clay’ 2007 The Crowood Press Ltd - In Print
This book is the first of its kind: a celebration of fifty contemporary artists from around the world who have chosen to create the human form in clay as a vehicle for expressing ideas, concerns and revelations about the human condition.
Included is each artist’s biographical details and precise descriptions of working methods. And every artist has been asked to nominate a major source of inspiration, giving the reasons for their choice, and shown to accompany each artist’s own work.
Cover picture is ‘Vertical Start’ by Babette Martini