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Elizabeth Raeburn

After working in music and book publishing, and then as a teacher, Elizabeth Raeburn began full-time studies in Studio Pottery at Harrow School of Art in 1973. While there, she spent a brief but influential time as a production student in David Leach’s workshop. In 1975 she moved to Somerset, where she established a pottery with Rodney Lawrence. Since 1981, she has concentrated on Raku firing. This exciting technique always offers an element of surprise which acts as a creative counterbalance to the precisely constructed pot. The pieces are all hand-built, mostly decorated with white or coloured slip and finished with a semi-transparent glaze, sometimes using the clay from her own garden. The shapes and shadows of the forms are often emphasised by leaving some surfaces unglazed; these are blackened by the post-firing reduction which is achieved by plunging the hot pots into sawdust or damp newspaper and quenching with water.

Elizabeth’s work is represented on the British Craft Council Selected Index, and in many public and private collections at home and abroad. Her solo exhibitions include the Oxford Gallery, the Galerie für Keramik und Kalligraphie in Hamburg, the Dan Klein Gallery, and four at the Galerie Besson in London. In 1992/93 she won two prizes at an exhibition at the National Museum of History, Taipei, these two pieces being acquired by the museum. In 1994 she completed a mural of Raku wall tiles for Art for Life, in Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, depicting areas of Somerset. In 1997 she was the first winner of the “Jackson-Stops and Staff Craft Prize”, which is awarded annually to the maker of the piece judged to be the best in our presigious Summer Exhibition. During 1997-98 she had work shown at Sotheby’s Exhibition of Contemporary Decorative Arts and was commissioned by Harvard University for a presentation at the book launch of The Quest for Longitude. In 2003 she was one of four of David Leach’s students whose work was included in his retrospective exhibition which toured the U.K. 2003/4.


Courtesy of the artist’s website.