Balancing white piece
Provenance: The artist
Peter Hayes (b.1946)
Ceramic sculptor Peter Hayes makes his timeless pieces with an attitude of playful curiosity. A recent trip to Oman has inspired a new way of marking his pieces with abstract patterns. Peter Hayes has travelled and led projects in Africa, India, Japan and Korea, embracing many of the ideas and techniques he has observed in local craftspeople into his own practice. During lockdown Peter found a joyous freedom through making his sculpture in his sunny garden
Produces Individual work using textured clay combined with burnishing and polishing of surfaces. Weathering is an integral part of the making process and Peter often immerses the forms in the River Avon for long periods of time.
Clay that is not meant to be suitable for raku firing is also used, so that it cracks in the kiln and produces the surface which is a signature of Peter’s work.
“I have always been interested in the history of ceramics – why and how ‘things’ are made of clay. This interest was extended after I spent several years travelling through Africa working with various tribes and village potters and being intrigued how, with limited technology and basic tools, they were able to get such exquisite, beautiful surfaces. I found the same inherent skills in India, Nepal Japan and New Mexico. I tried to adopt the ideas picked up from my travels in my own work. By building up layers of textured clay combined with burnishing and polishing of surfaces, I try to achieve opposites of rough and smooth.
I have been working on large scale ceramic forms which I have placed in the landscape. My main aim is that the work should not compete with the landscape, but evolve within the environment. With this in mind I have introduced other minerals into the Raku ceramic surface such as iron and copper. With the elements of time and erosion, the individual piece takes on its own developing surface.
Recently, one of these large commissions has taken me again to India. My Client suggested I make it on site. Now I have discovered Udaipur in Rajasthan where I come for inspiration, when my studio in Bath in England gets cold in the winter months. This has introduced me to other artists and craftsmen enabling me to work with a range of different materials, such as glass, marble, stone and Damascus steel.
In practice I go by the seat of my pants. I have always worked this way, not going by any particular rules or methods.
I find it joyful to work with many different materials. Each has its own character, its own limits, its own tolerance – some materials fight back, some play the game.
Finally I think it’s the material that is in charge and it will only let you make what it wants. It is my job to push it to its limits and somehow an equilibrium is made between maker and material.”
Aberystwyth University, Wales
The Allen Gallery, Alton, Hants
Buckinghamshire County Museum, Aylesbury, Bucks
Reading Museum & Art Gallery, Reading
Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh
Garderner Collection, Toronto
Museum of Modern Art, Kingston, Jamaica
Museum of Modern Art, Brussels, Belgium
Silber Collection, California
J.B. Speed Museum, Lousiville Kentucky
St.Ives Revisited – Peter Davis, 1994
“Peter Hayes” – American Ceramics 12/2 (Review – Graham Gallery) 1996
“Paintings, Sculpture and Vessels”, Peter Hayes and John Emmanuel – Anatol Orient, 1997
Raku, Investigations into Fire – David Jones, 1999
Ceramics for Gardens and Landscapes – Karin Hessenberg, 2000
British Studio Ceramics by Paul Rice, The Crowood Press, 2002
Raku, 2nd Edition by Tim Andrews, A&C Black , 2005
Ceramic Form by Peter Lane, A & C Black, 1998