Galleries - November 2010

with graceful wit against a rich oily brown iron oxide background, and a tea bowl in which restrained green copper pours over a white foamy bracken ash glaze sensu- ously conjure up primordial Cor- nish elements. There are also fine ceramics here by Bernard and David Leach, Andrew Marshall, Trevor Corser and Kenneth Quick (1931-1963). That Marshall is now increasingly regarded as a pre- eminent modern ceramic artist is also shown by the current Tate St Ives display, ‘Tenmoku: Leach/- Hamada/Marshall’ (to 23 January). I recently passed this thoroughly engaging book, Printmakers' Se- crets by Anthony Dyson (A & C Black, £29.99) to a Suffolk friend, the fine painter/printmaker Dom Theobald, who, amongst other ac- tivities, teaches an occasional and seriously innovative print work- shop. He laughed and said he had About fifteen years ago I visited the artist-potter William Marshall (apprentice and then foreman to Bernard Leach from 1938-1977) at his home near St Ives –and wit- nessed a host of newly fired ce- ramics by William and his son Andrew (b.1952) just emergent from the two-chambered wood- and-oil-fired kiln they had built in 1977. An exhibition, ‘William Mar- shall and Leach-related Cera- mics’, at the Cambridge Book and Print Gallery (2 to 14 Nove- mber) launches a new limited edi- tion publication, ‘William Marshall: Organic Vision’ by Peter Maber (£15), with a perceptive essay on Marshall (1923-2007) the ‘consu- mmate thrower, so much so that in his later years Leach relied upon him to throw his larger pieces’, ‘the most painterly of the Leach potters’, ‘master of the drip, the splash, the pour’. Maber’s 36 sup- erb colour photos of Marshall’s ceramics set in subtly appropriate Cornish landscapes, reflect the artist’s intuitive aesthetic of mod- elling ‘glazes and decorations on natural effects: lichen spotting the coastal rocks, winter bracken scratching the moors’. Qualities Bernard Leach ad- mired in the great Japanese pot- ter Shoji Hamada –‘closeness to wild nature, to long, soft brushes, to wind brushing in the grass . . . to asymmetric composition and rhythm’ –are present in William Marshall’s stoneware vessels of variegated, transcendently original effects: a yunomi (tea-cup), whose deliciously offbeat spots sparkle already found the book, enjoyed it immensely for its wealth of ‘dis- tilled wisdom’ and –unusually for a book on this subject –sheer readability. For Printmakers' Se- crets is a refreshingly original overview of current practice by richly varied contributors from London’s Royal Society of Painter- Printmakers (RE), who use, be- tween them, almost the whole range of printmaking techniques, each process explained in their own written accounts alongside generous illustrations. And Tony Dyson’s secret for successful edit- ing is in keeping these accounts personally anecdotal, highly idio- syncratic, and not too long! –each giving voice to the technique that, equally, germinates the ideas be- hind the impulse to make prints rather than, say, a drawing. And all the historical information we should ever need is in Dyson’s au- thoritative Introduction, a friendly and accessible essay by a gifted artist and master-printer, that never overwhelms with daunting technical terms but, happily, both informs and inspires. This is a book for a very varied audience, I imagine, from makers to collectors, and indeed every- one in between who appreciates both contemporary printmaking and exceptionally good writing. In fact one's only regret is that it misses out so many other marvel- lous artists who beaver away out- side the fellowship of a prof- essional society. Perhaps Anthony Dyson's next book could be called Secret Printmakers ? P RESSSECRETS Jilly Szaybo 12. GALLERIES NOVEMBER 10 MARSHALL LORE P hilip Vann