Peter Beard is a maker of vessels and sculptural pieces. Richly glazed, his forms can have an almost sentinel and totemic presence, the shapes elemental, the glazing iridescent and luminous. Because of the biomorphic nature of what he does, the shapes evoke landscapes or objects in the landscape, as well as some of the earliest art forms, from the simplicity of axe heads to the powerful frontality of Egyptian sculpture. Born in Lancashire, he discovered clay at primary school, an interest deepened while studying industrial and furniture design at Ravensbourne College of Art in London. After time helping to set up a pottery in Scotland, where he made functional stoneware, he established a studio in Kent. He is now based in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. His tall elegant jars and discs have colours evocative of sea and river beds, of the movement of sky and water, so while Beard’s pieces have a sense of permanence, their surfaces ripple with energy.
by David Whiting