Harlequin Gallery



Peter Swanson

The pots below are currently available.


Large tenmoku jar with  poured nuka glaze
40.2 cm (15.8 inches)



Oak ash nuka yunomi.
9.4 cm (3.7 inches)
Maximum diameter:
8.4 cm (3.3 inches)
Price: £40

Peter Swanson has been making a living out of pottery in his adopted Cornwall since 1974. Despite his long career, Peter has never sought national recognition, being happy to make pots that satisfy him, selling them locally and to visitors to Prussia Cove in Penwith, where his current pottery is based. As Peter says, “Extracting the best from my kilns and materials, whilst constantly seeking perfection is paramount. To attain a level that approaches the best of history’s pots is a very demanding target and keeps ones mind focused.” 

  The first time that I showed a significant body of Peter’s work was as part of the “Pottery from Cornwall” exhibition in 2006. In that exhibition the work consisted of gas fired reduced stoneware but since then Peter has built a small anagama kiln at his home so that this time the pots will be a selection from both kilns. His gas-fired pots have glazes made using locally sourced materials such as clay, wood ashes and stone dust and the decoration is not representational in any way but abstract and seems to suggest rocks, plant growth and crashing seas.

  For many years Peter had been inspired by holiday visits to La Borne in France, where there are many wood-firing potters working and relics of this traditional pottery community are to be seen. A move of home with more land gave him an opportunity to build his own anagama based on what he had seen in France. He admits to having spoken to other wood-firers in England but has purposely kept his distance so as not to just replicate their work. As always he is following his own instincts, trying to produce work that is right for him, using shino, on occasions pine ash but usually allowing the fly ash to decorate. He recognises that anagama firing is a constant learning process, with the results “sign posting his direction and leading him to places of interest every time”.

  Since 2006 Peter has taken part in a two person Harlequin exhibition in 2008 and more recently was one of the featured potters in the “Artists of the South West” held in Winchcombe.