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Charles Bound

Charles Bound (born 1939) is one of the prominent expressionists of British clay. His broadside approach to the material, free and gestural, and his commitment to wood firing ensures pottery at its most elemental. His bowls, plates and cylinders of various form look as if they have undergone some powerful geological process, as in a sense they have, through Bound’s strong manipulations of the clay and the extreme actions of the kiln. He is sensitive to the wide-ranging qualities of the the material, from the tactility of his tea bowls to the boldness of his jars and platters, all covered with fly-ash and varied marking and accretions from the firing.

Now based in Wales, Bound came to clay late, in 1983, but was soon setting up his first studio. Because of their style and process, his pots, which combine thrown and additional components, invite comparisons with Japanese kiln traditions, but they perhaps have just as much to do with the American spirit in materiality and improvisation that emerged in visual art after World War Two. It connects to abstraction in painting, and indeed his own very free and rich work on canvas. His pots are actually very nuanced, with qualities that gradually unfold as one lives with these objects over the years.

David Whiting

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