COOPER, Emmanuel

Emmanuel Cooper   (British 1938 –2012)

Emmanuel Cooper a British Studio potter, who also became widely known as a writer, editor, critic, biographer, teacher, broadcaster, curator and campaigner for gay rights. His wide cultural and artistic interests and activities were pursued with a relentless energy and great entrepreneurial skill which made him a powerful advocate for the crafts and visual arts.

He trained at Dudley Training College and Hornsey Colleges in Art, continuing his training with Gwyn Hanssen Pigott and Bryan Newman. He set up his own pottery in 1963, in West London and had his first solo exhibition in 1968. He established the Fonthill Pottery in Finsbury Park in 1973, and moved it to Primrose Hill in 1976, where it remained.

He was soon involved in what became the Crafts Potters Association and served for many years as a council member, chair, and eventually a fellow. He was the co-founder and co-editor of Ceramic Review with Eileen Lewenstein in 1970. He was co-editor and publisher with Lewenstein until 1997, and the sole editor thereafter until a couple of years before his death. He helped build this up from what was essentially a CPA newsletter into a wide-ranging ceramics journal, with an international reputation. It also became profitable, helping to subsidise the CPA shop. The magazine reenergised the ceramic world in the UK and was instrumental in changing the face of ceramics.

Emmanuel Cooper also taught at some of Britain’s influential and prestigious art colleges. He was the senior lecturer at Middlesex University, a visiting lecturer at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, Central St. Martins School of Art and Goldsmiths. He was visiting Professor of Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art from 2000-2011 an which capacity he supervised PhD and MPhil degrees.

Also a prolific writer he wrote many books on ceramics, including a biography of Bernard Leach, Lucie Rie among others and his glaze recipe books is still used to this day.

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