With nearly 45 years’ experience behind him since setting up his first studio in 1976, Jim Malone has firmly established his place in the pantheon of great British potters. A veteran thrower in the mould of Bernard Leach, Michael Cardew, and Bill Marshall, Malone has enlivened the Anglo-Oriental pottery tradition with his expressive, functional wares.
Avoiding what Cardew called the ‘deliberately willed injection of personality’, he has always aimed instead for openness in every process: ‘What I have tried to do is create an environment in which the kind of pots that I want to produce can happen, because you can’t contrive it, you can’t make them happen; you have to let them happen.’
The evolution of Malone’s pots has been gradual, almost subconscious. Working within a repertoire of historical forms – 13th century Chinese, 16th century Korean – he has slowly but surely refined each silhouette, removing all that is unnecessary or inelegant. Round-bellied Korean bottles and black Tenmoku vases, draped in copper pours, sit side by side with medieval-style jugs and ash-glazed mixing bowls, demonstrating Malone’s supreme skill on his Korean-style kick-wheel as well as the breadth of influence in his work.
The pots in this exhibition – at once robust and graceful, intimate and universal – have been hand-picked by the Goldmark pot department. Represented is the culmination of Malone’s five decades of throwing with an ever-watchful eye, looking and responding to the shaping of the clay, striving to give his materials the clarity of their own voice.