Born in Islington, in 1938, Ward attended London's Camberwell School of Arts & Crafts from 1966 to 1970. During the 1970s he had two workshops in South East London, before he moved to Dyfed, Wales, in 1979. Ward's hand-built pots have earned him a place as one of Britain's greatest potters.

Screen Shot 2017-05-12 at 10.21.24 John Ward, Vessel, circa 1995

To create his works, Ward sometimes altered at his pieces during the leather-hard stage, by cutting and rejoining to create ridges and grooves between curving surfaces. To create the matt finish, the pieces are scrapped and burnished with a pebble. Finally, Ward only uses matt glazes, with most of his pots twice-fired in an electric kiln. Ancient pre-glaze pottery is clearly a heavy influence on Ward's work, inspired by the ancient pottery art of China and Egypt, early Cypriot pottery and early Persian bowls.

Screen Shot 2017-05-12 at 10.21.08 John Ward, Bowl with flared rim

''There is something compelling about the making of pots, regardless of function, which keeps me within the particular sphere; they are the focus of some many interests and associations.'' - John Ward

Screen Shot 2017-05-12 at 10.20.38 John Ward, Small Tulip Vase, circa 1990


Modern influences on his work include Hans Coper and Dame Lucie Rie, both of whose work will feature in Maak's auction taking place from May 15 to q8 at ROA Gallery on London's Pall Mall as well as available via online bidding. Today, as Maak's 2016 auction results suggest, Ward is extremely popular with collectors with some of his pieces currently in the V&A collections. No less than seven pieces by Ward will be featured in Maak's auction.

Screen Shot 2017-05-12 at 10.24.10 Hans Coper, 'Digswell' Composite Form, circa 1960

Screen Shot 2017-05-12 at 10.23.25 Lucie Rie, Small Footed Bowl, circa 1958

Nearly 300 works of British and International studio ceramics will be featured in Maak's auction taking place from May 15 to 18, 2017, with estimates from $400 to $13 000. Lucie Rie, Edmund De Waal, Hans Coper, Elizabeth Fritsch, Gordon Baldwin, Bernard Leach, Hamada Shoji and more will all be featured. Check out the full catalog here.