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John Bauer Ceramics
John Bauer (b.1978)
Never Subcontract Love or Happiness. We all look for someone more complete. We reach, we hope, we try to love we are loved.
John Bauer is an established ceramisist who lives and works
in Cape Town. His work has been exhibited world-wide, and collected by
two museums before he was thirty.
He is globally recognised for his unusual, cutting edge developments
in Porcelain production. Using Sung Dynasty techniques, the images on
his work rise above the surface of the clay. They are not negative
impressions, but positive ‘expressions’ from the clay’s surface.
He perfectly reproduces in porcelain the trappings of a past age,
where skill and craftsmanship were an artist’s primary concern. By
appropriating rare coins, carvings, lace and organic substances he not
only references the technologies of the past but archives them for the
John Bauer pushes the limits of what is technically possible in
ceramics. A sentimentalist, he salvages antique crochet cloth, linens
and lace and makes these materials immortal by recreating them, stitch
by stitch, in porcelain. He is able to enlarge them to gigantic
proportions or offers them in an extreme diminutive form. There is
always a surprise factor in his work. It is full of light and
translucency. Love is a central theme in Bauer’s work. He sometimes uses
the inspiration of netsuke, old coins, flowers, found objects and dolls
to embellish his work. His signature bowls carry his artwork of
mythical creatures and angels whispering words of wisdom and love.
John Bauer was inspired by accounts he read of the pottery of the Ming Dynasty from China (4-5 centuries BC): "Archaeologists digging up these ceramics came across the same recurring designs where a sophisticated production technique was being used which enabled the artists to create a multitude of works of refinement and quality, That sparked my imagination, I hope archaeologists of the future will think the same of my work. I'd like them to puzzle over the technique I was employing too."
John Bauer is an established potter who lives and works in Cape Town.
His work is featured at the Modern Artists Gallery UK. and the
Anthropology Store in the US.
Crown Prince Abu Dhabi
William Humphrey Museum - Kimberly Northern Cape South Africa - National Collection
Iziko Collection Iziko Museum South Africa - National Collection
Smithsonian's Catalogue on Contemporary Craft
Ambling down the tree-lined streets of lower Claremont, I was struck by
the spruce front gardens, flower beds and shrubs. But this spick and
span fizzled out abruptly outside John' Bauer's front gate where trim lawn
yielded to unruly thickets of weed. In this quiet haven, the hullabaloo
of green, lavender and ochre adorning John's house, seemed like an
eructation at a tea party. The brood of boisterous, terracotta
troglodytes whooping it up on the garden wall, could certainly face
charges of disturbing the peace. Trevor Black
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