Svend Bayer スヴェン バイヤー : Goldmark Gallery

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I have known Phil Rogers and Svend Bayer for twenty years. Working as potters, we are too busy to meet up often, yet we remain good friends. I like both Phil’s outgoing activities and Svend’s simple solitary lifestyle, while I remain indecisive between studying old pots and making my own.

I missed the preview of Svend’s exhibition at Goldmark Gallery at the end of last month, but after he sent me his signed catalogue and video disc, I reslly wanted to see his pots so I visited the gallery with a friend. Svend loves making big pots and I have always admired his large jars and plates. I noticed this time that he used less large shell wadding than in previous exhibitions. It has never been commonly used by Japanese potters, yet seashell wadding was introduced to potters outside Japan by the Japanese potter Shiro Tsujimura 20 years ago. This infectious trend spread all over the world like wildfire and has been adopted by many wood-fire potters. In my opinion, without unnecessary marks from the large scallop shells, Svend’s pots would be even more beautiful and graceful.
I enjoyed holding the smaller pieces and studying their details. Svend must have put a lot of thought in making, firing and selecting the pots for this show, all the pots have strong presence. To sum it up, beautiful pots by Svend and a wonderful display by the gallery.

While most galleries in the UK and some in Japan do not like customers to touch the display, Mr Goldmark, on the contrary always encourages his guests to pick up the pieces on show which helps people to really appreciate pottery. I like this attitude and hospitality. Mr Goldmark also has a good eye for beautiful things; I regard him as a very rare connoisseur on pottery in the UK. He reminds me of sukisha. (The word sukisha originally meant art connoisseur in the late mediaeval Japan. And the word was applied for some successful  modern industrialists who also collected important art objects and built private art museums)
Earlier this year, Mr Goldmark had invited me to show him my best tea bowls after he visited my website, so I brought him two Shino tea bowls that I had made in the Czech Republic.


About Gas

Hi, I am a wood-fire potter, living and working in the Japanese tradition in Tring, Hertfordshire (UK). Following mediaeval potter's wisdom, I design and build simple wood-fired kilns called 'anagama' for long period of firing and 'raku-gama' for quick (glazed tea bowl) firing. My anagama firing usually takes 9 - 10 days.
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2 Responses to Svend Bayer スヴェン バイヤー : Goldmark Gallery

  1. James Hazlewood says:

    Hi Gas,

    I hope you are keeping well and not too cold at the moment! Thanks for posting these images – the pots look exceptional. I have only met Svend Bayer once at Whichford and had a nice chat with him. One day I will go to visit him at his pottery. I have been in the past but he was out – I should have called first! We did go up the road to visit Clive Bowen though so it wasn’t a wasted journey. Clive also makes some stunning pot.
    We still haven’t organised that trip to see the Aylesbury collection! Sorry – I’m useless.

    Do you have any pots for sale at the moment?

    All the best,


    • Hi James,
      Sorry I did not get in touch with you a while. In fact, I have suffered from terrible insomnia since the end of summer. I lost my concentration on what was supposed to do. But do not worry, I finally managed to pick myself up and ready to face my solitary life.

      I had an agreement with Mr. Goldmark that I would show him my best tea bowls last year. So I have to save some tea bowls. I went to see Svend’s exhibition and took just two tea bowls to show. Two Shino tea bowls were acquired by Mr. Goldmark on the spot.
      I have a few tea bowls for sale at home. I was going to make an extra page on my Anagama website. What I really want is to have my best 100 pots in stock and displayed nicely. As you have been patient with my selfish request for you to wait, I would not mind sending some pots away, if you could come to my place and could find something you like.
      Best regards,

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