Edmund de Waal

Edmund de Waal (1964-)

Edmund de Waal started to pot when he was five. Close to clay throughout his school years, he was taught by Geoffrey Whiting when a scholar at King’s School in Canterbury. A disciple of the ‘Anglo-Oriental’ potter Bernard Leach, Whiting introduced de Waal to English ceramics as well as to ceramics from China, Korea and Japan. Leaving school, de Waal knew that he wanted to be a potter. He continued to train with Whiting, read English at Trinity Hall in Cambridge and then set up his own studio, first on the Welsh border and then in Sheffield. Having completed a postgraduate diploma in Japanese language at the University of Sheffield, de Waal spent one year at the Mejiro Ceramics Studio in Tokyo. Following his return from Japan, he set up a studio in London in 1993 and gradually focused his work from functional wares executed in clay to installations worked in porcelain. As much influenced by Sung dynasty wares as by the Bauhaus movement, de Waal is also a prolific writer and has been Professor of Ceramics at the University of Westminster since 2004.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts since 1996, de Waal’s work has been the subject of numerous group and solo exhibitions in Britain and abroad and can be seen in public collections in Cambridge, Edinburgh, London and Oxford, as well as in New York and Tokyo. He also acts as an advisor to museums and regularly curates exhibitions. Considered one of the finest potters of his generation, de Waal was awarded the silver medal at the World Ceramics Exposition in Korea in 2003.


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