Born in South East London, Richard Phethean studied ceramics at Camberwell College of Art and Crafts, and worked with Colin Pearson and Janice Tchalenko before establishing his own London studio. Well known as a teacher, Richard is now based in Tresabenn, Penzance, Cornwall where he produces thrown and altered forms of great originality. Made in earthenware and slip-decorated, Phethean pots explore contour and profile, clay as an assembly of cut elements, as well as an effective ground for his expansive abstract decoration. There is a process of construction and deconstruction about his work, as if he is analysing the structural nature of functional form, but doing it playfully, like the decorative still lifes of late Cubism.
by David Whiting