WELCH, Robin

Robin Welch    (British 1936-)

Robin Welch is a painter and potter has developed a considerable reputation over his 60 year career. He studied Art and Design at Penzance School of Art and worked with Michael Leach, son of Bernard, at St Ives. After National Service in the Parachute Regiment in Jordan and Cyprus he studied at the Central School of Art in the 50’s. It was at the Central School of Art, the sculptor William Turnbull and ceramicist Gordon Baldwin, inspired Welch to a broader perspective in his work. The emergence of the new abstract expressionist American painters such as Rothko had their first show in London in the 1950’s, had a profound effect on students and teachers alike. Welch worked part-time at the Leach Pottery, between 1953 and 1959. He was offered a job in Australia so he and his new wife, Jenny, also a potter, travelled to Australia where he worked for several years. On his return, after working in London and in Australia, Welch set up his workshop in Suffolk in 1965 where he has worked ever since.   Punctuating his work with lecturing and residences in Australia, New Zealand, USA  and Europe.

He works on a series which can also include paintings as well as ceramics. His designs are meticulously drawn before he starts works.  He uses a heavily grogged clay to give the pieces strength and texture and often uses both thrown and hand-built components. He uses slabs and coiling to build a piece up and as he is hand building, he can alter pieces easily. On the surface he often uses porcelain slips and stains which are layered to give the piece depth.  The pieces are often fired multiple times to build up a depth of surface, texture and colour.  His pot making developed alongside his drawing practice, in the same way that paintings are made. Therefore his pieces can be approached as artworks, as much as ceramic forms.

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