Ewen Henderson completed his National Service with the Royal Air Force and worked in a timber company in Cardiff before he made the decision to study art formally. He took evening classes alongside his job before enrolling on a diploma course at Goldsmith’s College and subsequently studying ceramics at the Camberwell School of Art under Lucie Rie and Hans Coper. While Rie is famed for her smoothed, elegantly symmetrical forms, Henderson favoured splintering and disproportion. Abandoning the potter’s wheel, he hand built his work and thereby gained greater freedom to manipulate clay and experiment with form. the surfaces increasingly painterly as he developed stains and oxides which coloured and often blistered surfaces.
For most of his life, Henderson taught at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, Goldsmith’s College and the North London Collegiate School, whilst developing his reputation and recognition on the international stage. There have been numerous exhibitions on the sculptor either showing him alongside British sculptors and ceramicists or unveiling his works as the product of a unique talent.
Ewen Henderson’s work can be found in the permanent collections of some of the world’s major museums such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, The Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. There has been a resurgence of interest in his work with exhibitions in 2018, such as the Oxford Ceramics Gallery and Marsden Woo Gallery, both presenting solo exhibitions on Henderson’s work.
A ceramicist and artist who stood apart, unclassifiable yet with a claim to be one of the most influential British potters of the last quarter of the 20th century.